Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Yearn

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

Music has a unique ability to affect the human soul. The synergy of words and tunes helps us express reality, and feel reality — especially when it resonates with our deepest desires.

The deepest desires of the redeemed heart may find no truer expression than the words of Psalm 73:23–28. “Whom have I in heaven but you?” verse 25 says, “And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”

Our Earnest Prayer

We read these words and say Amen. We read them and we want to speak them with every bit of the same sincerity found in the writer. We want to desire God like this. We want him to be supreme in our affections like this. The verse becomes both our anthem, and our earnest prayer. “Lord, I want to yearn for you,” we might say, or sing.

Far from a boast of our piety, these words signify our begging for passion. God, you and only you occupy this place in our hearts. You and only you.

This passion — our love for Jesus — really is the most important thing in the universe. That passion is, after all, the testimony of God’s love for us, as the apostle John says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Our Greatest Passion

Our intimacy with Jesus — our knowing him and loving him — matters more than anything else in our lives. To be sure, other things are important. Good theology matters, walking in integrity matters, loving the church matters, being a solid spouse and parent matters, among other things — but what is knowledge and rule-keeping and doing good for others when our hearts are not enthralled by Jesus? What lasting, sustainable impact will any of these things have if our hearts are not melted by the glory of God’s grace? What is our understanding of the cross if the bleeding-dying-raising mercy of Christ doesn’t captivate our soul’s deepest gaze?

Better, then, is that our knowledge of God —and our holiness and ministries and marriages and parenting — flow from a life overcome by our Savior. This is the life surrendered to his supremacy, the life of grace that yearns for the One who gives us our life and breath, the One in whom we live and move.

You and Only You

Here, in this longing, is where we confess that Jesus is better than anything in the world. Here is where we stop and say that whatever good we have in our lives — whatever good things God has given us — Jesus is absolutely better. And perhaps, in this yearning, in our desire to yearn for him more, we pray with St. Augustine,

Lord, bring to me a sweetness surpassing all the seductive delights that I once pursued. Enable me to love you with all my strength that I may clasp your hand with all my heart. . . . You, Lord, are my king and my God

Lord, I want to yearn for You, and only You.