My friend Mary tells me that she doesn’t always sing all the words to the hymns and choruses in a church service. She says, “It doesn’t seem honest to sing, ‘All I want is Jesus’ when my heart wants many other things too.” I appreciate her honesty.
In verse 25 of Psalm 73, Asaph sounds like a spiritually minded man who wants God only: “There is none upon earth that I desire besides You.” But that’s not how he began this psalm. Initially, he admitted that he wanted the prosperity that others around him had: “For I was envious of the boastful” (v.3). But when he drew near to God, he recognized that he was foolish to be envious (vv.21-22,28).
Even when we know God, we are often distracted by the prosperity of others. C. S. Lewis wrote, “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. . . . We are far too easily pleased” with lesser things than Him.
What do we learn about God in this psalm that might help when our desires distract us from God’s best? Well, we see that even though we may be tempted to envy what others have, He is continually guiding us and bringing us back to focus on Him. He “is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (v.26).
true satisfaction is found. But we’re weak and sinful
and easily distracted from Your best. Teach us to
draw near to You, and may You, in turn, draw near to us.