Psalm 73 (Desiring Christ Alone)

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Verse 25 is the goal of our lives- to be so in love with Christ, that the things of this earth no longer has hold of our attention or our hearts.  What would it be like to love and desire God so singularly and so passionately, that “earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  Even as the Psalmist (Asaph) writes these words, we see that this was not always the case. 

Psalm 73 is such an honest Psalm.  By now we realize the honesty of all the Psalmists. This Psalm begins with a case against pursuing God.  He says at the outset that “my feet had almost slipped, I had nearly lost my foothold (v. 2).”  He is saying that he almost lost his faith completely, and was ready to give in and give up.  The reason? He did not see the point of pursuing God anymore.  He observed those who clearly do not follow God, and they seemed to prosper and enjoy life so much more than those who pursue God.  He, admittedly, was filled with envy “when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (v. 3).”  They seemed to have “no struggles” and be “free of care.” 

Meanwhile, he has been struggling to keep afloat.  He has been struggling to balance his faith with his real desire of wanting what he sees the wicked enjoying.  Not only was he filled with envy, but he was struggling with grief and bitterness (v. 21). He was not in a good place.   So, what changed for him, so that this same person can now say “earth has nothing I desires besides you?” 

He had a glimpse of glory. He had a glimpse of the glory of God, when he entered the sanctuary of God (v. 17).  He had a glimpse of the glory awaiting the righteous (v. 24).  He had a glimpse of the terror awaiting the unrighteous (v.19).  He had a glimpse of glory, but also of God’s patient and steadfast love.  He realized that God had been walking besides him this whole time. And that the only reason he had not completely fallen, was not because he was hanging on to God, but God was hanging onto him (v. 23).  God’s glory and love begins to change his heart, change his desires, until one day he can say that he desires God above all things. 

Now, even as he says that, he knows that he can fall again.  So, he reminds himself and us, that “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (v.26).”  God will continue to uphold him and strengthen him and bring him back to Himself, his portion, and our portion forever.

I’m not sure where you are in your spiritual journey.  Maybe you feel your feet slipping.  Maybe you feel overwhelmed with envy or grief or bitterness, or any other emotions that cloud your vision of God.  Let’s pray for a fresh vision of God’s glory and unfailing love.  Let’s pray for a renewal of our heart’s desires, so that we too can say “earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  And when (not if), but when our hearts fail again, may we find that His strength and grace is sufficient to keep holding onto us, until we see His glory face to face. 

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