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Singing Psalm 73 to assess how you formulate personal desires

Looking around and within for your personal desires

Psalm 73 is a psalm of transformed desires. The composer starts out playing a comparison game where he gets the short end of the stick. He’s looking all around him and seeing how well others are faring, and then he looks at himself and doesn’t see anything worth much.

How do we determine what it is we actually want? It seems to be a natural reflex to look around at and want what others have. Is this how it must be done? Is it a wise course? Let’s sift through it to find out.

Singing Psalm 73 to stir up your dead-end personal desires

Looking to Jesus with your personal desires in clear sight

In this complaining state, he sees himself as a brute beast. Then, seemingly out of nowhere enters God. He takes him by the hand, guides him in wisdom, and gives him a vision of glory anticipating the Lord Jesus beseeching navel-gazing people in confusion and bewilderment to come to him to learn gentleness and humility, and he promises to give them rest.

His coming and living among us perfectly, taking our sins upon himself through death, giving us his perfect life, promising to be with us always, and making his home with us as he prepares an eternal home for us, makes it possible for us to be transformed today living life unburdened, free, and full.

When no one else noticed, paid attention, or seemed to care, the Lord not only cares but holistically leads him in heart, soul, mind, and strength, transforming him so that he sees nothing the same. Indeed, nothing is the same once God initiates.

When I have looked to people, activities, food, education, or things to make me happy, these invariably got in between God and me where they didn’t belong. When the result was expected to bring happiness but instead disappointed, I would feel unsettled, anxious, sad, or angry. Things did not make sense, and I went along brutish and ignorant, like a beast. These things, gifts from God to be enjoyed with God, were displacing God, the only one who can make me happy, rescue me, save me from myself.

There is nothing more freeing than having the desire and ability to serve God and those he is calling you to serve, and there is nothing more enslaving when you can’t. Singing Psalm 73 as you lay your personal desires and all that is pressing on you within your heart before the Lord will stir up every dead-end desire, separating them out so you can see and discern each one clearly. Only then can you know what you really want and what you really don’t want and ask accordingly.

Singing Psalm 73 to live in light of your transformed personal desires

Question your new personal desires with confidence

Taking the time necessary to ensure that nothing is getting between God and me, nothing is blocking your access to him for life and joy, not even knowledge, is the key to living in peace with the Lord, others, and yourself. If your desires lead you to love him, you know it was he that initiated to place those personal desires within you. I know there is nothing in me that deserves his presence.

He, through his word and by his Spirit, transforms your twisted thinking and puts your mind and body in order. Loving the Lord is the key to life. Because the triune God, Father, Son, who is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, entered with compassion, you can sing with this composer:

“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.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;

you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.

But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

that I may tell of all your works.” ~ Psalm 73:25-28

March 26, 2022 update to the August 6, 2012 article on Psalm 73


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