During the Wednesday evening prayer meeting we have been studying the Psalms to help us learn how those prayers our own. In the course of that study we have examined specific prayer requests and the attitudes behind the prayers. One desire that repeatedly appears in the Psalms is a longing for God that surpasses all other desires.
In Psalm 10 David’s first concern was for the presence of God. (Psalm 10:1) When David prayed he looked for God. He was not just seeking help from God, He was seeking God. In Psalm 13 David’s grief was compounded by the apparent absence of God. (Psalm 13:1) David sought deliverance from a grave trouble, but what troubled him most was that God appeared to have forsake him. David’s ultimate request is for God.
In Psalm 16 David expressed his satisfaction in God. His contentment was not in the things he possessed or the things he hoped to gain. God was David’s joy in the present and his hope for the future. God was David’s joy in this life and David’s delight in the life to come. (Psalm 16:5-6) David persisted in desiring God because he knew that in the presence of God is joy and eternal delight. (Psalm 16:11) David was content if He had God.
In Psalm 17 David contrasted the desires of the wicked with his desires. The wicked desire the things of this life. They look for increase of goods and their treasure is on this earth. The godly person desires God and is not satisfied with anything less than God. (Psalm 17:14-15)
These are just a few examples of David’s supreme desire for God. In all his requests, he sought one thing above all else. He wanted God. This does not minimize the validity of David’s other requests. He actually and passionately sought deliverance, protection, strength, victory and healing. David was not unconcerned about the problems of life and troubles of this world. However, David, had a desire that ruled over all the other desires. David desired God.
Is God your greatest desire? If we love God with all our being, then we will long for Him more than any other thing. The needs of the flesh are present, demanding and insistent. Our body screams for food, sleep, recreation, success and comfort. The loud cries of our flesh often drown out the needs of our soul. We cry out to God for the satisfaction of our fleshly needs, but do we look to Him as the satisfaction of all our needs? Do we recognize that the presence of God is far more important than the satisfaction of our physical desires? Job illustrates this for us when he says,“I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
If God is your greatest desire it will show up in your prayers. Do you pray that you may know God and be close with Him? An injured child will run to her mother. Any adult can wash the wound, put a band-aid on it and offer comfort. The hurt child desires more than nursing, she wants her mother. She wants a presence and only that presence can satisfy. The Christian must desire God above all else. Many things in this life promise to ease heart pains, but the Christian must not be satisfied with anything less than the presence of God. Many things offer solutions to trouble, but the Christian must not be satisfied with anything but God. If you pray only for answers to physical problems, you may find yourself in the same sad situation as the Israelites in the wilderness. They hungered for many things in the wilderness. They cried out and God gave them their desires. “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15) What good is it to have your stomach filled while your spirit starves? Don’t stop praying for the physical needs of yourself and others. Pray earnestly for God to intervene in circumstances, but make God your greatest desire. Arthur Clarke said, “Nothing but God can satisfy the wishes of an immortal spirit.”