Psalm 63:1 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Is this opening verse of Psalm 63 a reflection of your desire? How much do you want God? Note the superscription of this Psalm. David wrote these words while in the desert, probably on the run from either Saul or Absalom. There is not much water available, one guesses, and this makes the sentiments expressed all the more remarkable.

When in a desert place where there is little water one could hardly be faulted for saying that his greatest desire at the moment was for something to drink. But David does not lose his desire for God, even when his thirst is screaming at him.

What makes you put other things ahead of God on your wants list? This is subtle. No true believer is going to be quick to admit that God is not number one. But we all have our deserts that make other things that come higher than God on our desire list seem legitimate.

Just as we would not condemn a man in the desert for saying his greatest desire was for water, so we justify having desires for things other than God in what we consider our desert experiences.

The desert of cancer causes the desire for good health. The desert of loneliness causes the desire for a spouse. The desert of poverty causes the desire for money. The problem with this is that the more we do not get what we want the more all consuming the desire for it becomes. What starts out as a legitimate desire becomes an all consuming passion and before one knows it, the desire for God is gone altogether. The longer the single girl goes without a husband the more a husband becomes the reason for getting up in the morning and the more one is likely to find that God just is not sufficient. Not only will He be low on the list of desires, He may very well become an irritant. “If God loves me so much why won’t He give me what I want?” It is not a big leap from there to abandoning God completely, although it is not likely that would be admitted.

Fill in the blank – “I’d be happy if_________________________________________________”. Whatever you put in the blank is what your version of Psalm 63:1 would be. “O _____________ you are my god. Earnestly I seek you. My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Now it is idolatry, and there is no sin greater than that. So we go back to the question asked at the beginning. How much do you want God? It must be more than ____________________.

Whatever your desert is, remember that God is there in it with you. He has not forgotten you and He is better for you than getting out of the desert. Get out if you can, but do not allow your desire to escape from your desert to replace your desire for Him. He is better.