My Heart's Desire


When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

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

Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
  Psalm 73:21-28 (NIV)

Letting go of anything is hard. We are worldly. We set our sights on earthly things. Is it even possible to say with the psalmist that earth has nothing I desire besides you

What if we truly believed and practiced earth has nothing I desire besides you? What would our lives look like? How would others perceive us? Imagine the glory God would gain through lives lived for Him. 

The psalmist who wrote #73 in the Scriptures declares God is good, to Israel and to those who are pure in heart. Asaph, the psalmist, knew God and His goodness. Yet he became consumed with the wealth of the arrogant. He almost lost his way. He speaks frankly about being jealous of the prosperity of the wicked. It appeared to him that they had everything, including an easy life. Through the awful trap of comparison, he struggled to understand why life seemed so unfair. 

A right perspective caused his change in perception. He entered the sanctuary of God. Maybe he actually entered the Temple or possibly he went on a retreat. Perhaps he simply got down on his knees and sincerely spoke to God, opening his heart in prayerful meditation. Whatever he did, he found answers. He found refuge. He found peace. 

I’ve been in the place of envy, wondering why other people’s lives look so perfect. They have every material thing possible. All their relationships seem flawless. They succeed and rise to fame in whatever they do. Promotions and salary increases regularly come their way. Why does everything work out for them? Why, Lord, why doesn’t life work out that way for me? 

Oh the bitterness that becomes entrenched in our souls when we focus on others in comparison. We forget about our own gifts and abilities. We forget who we are. We forget what we have. We become senseless. As Asaph puts it, 

When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

Do we realize we are negating who God made us to be? We are basically complaining to our Creator about His creation. How does our dissatisfaction affect God’s heart? I’m sure He grieves, yet He continues to yearn for His children to be satisfied in Him. 

I look at myself and see that Almighty God has blessed me with gifts and talents, with a loving family and a roof over my head. All that I have, I offer Him thanks. All that I am, I humbly bow before Him in gratitude. I will remember who He has made me to be.

I will praise the God who loves me, no matter what I’ve done or not done. As long as I truly enter His sanctuary with an honest, humble heart, He redirects my path. He holds my hand and walks me through my angst. He strengthens me and gives me peace, even as I face the storms of life. Why on earth would I desire anything more? He IS all I need. 

From this day forward, I will remind myself of what I have learned in His sanctuary. I will let go of the stuff of life and cling only to Him. This is my “letting go” to do list:

Letting go of jealousy and envy

Letting go of debilitating grudges

Letting go of worry and fear

Letting go of resentment and regret 

Letting go of accumulated stuff and material possessions

I could go on and on. I’m so imperfect. But my Father God is perfect and He is all I need in this life and after. He has been and still is my refuge and strength. He has been and still is my Help whenever I cry out to Him. He has been and still is Faithful and True. I am so grateful to Him. I am so thankful for Him.

I will let go of attitudes and things that distract. I will hold onto the One who satisfies my soul. I know He will hold onto me as we walk through life together. I will say with confidence it is good to be near God. He is my desire.

What do you need to let go of? What distracts you from a good God? Humbly enter His sanctuary with thanksgiving. You’ll quickly realize He can be trusted. You’ll know who He made you to be. You’ll know He is your strength. And you’ll be able to say with the psalmist, “Earth has nothing I desire besides You.”

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
  Psalm 63:1-4 (NASB)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)