9defa3bfd35365a53a7b20d7a5f1ca46“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.” Psalms 73:25-28

No One In Heaven–

Who is in heaven besides God?  Angels – Cherubim, Seraphim – to be specific. Yes, amazing beings like Michael, the Archangel. The hosts of heaven are amazing, terrifying celestial beings. In fact…so amazingly powerful and awesome that if we had an actual encounter with one, we would be awestruck.  We would be tempted to worship them no doubt! Just take a look at the Seraphim in Isaiah 6, for example. Still, as awesome as these creatures are…they are still creatures, that is, they were created –created by the One. If they are awesome, how much more awesome is the One who made them? Hebrews 1

Nothing On Earth– 

Think of all the wonderful things that life upon earth affords us…. These too are created things, not meant to be worshipped but rather to point us to the One who made them. Let’s just name a few: The wonders of nature – The Grand Canyon, a thunderstorm, night waves lapping an ocean shore, intimacy with your spouse, the birth of your child, watching your child make a touchdown or pancake their opponent, juicy mangoes, a mug of hot coffee in a ceramic cup on a cold morning…  Even legitimate desires (some desires are outright sinful) on earth can become idols when we exchange them for the One, but properly used they can be instruments of worship. Still not a one of them can truly satisfy our deepest longings for pleasure, purpose, passion, meaning, and significance.

Nothing In Me – 

Man is truly a complex wonder, and of course he is… after all, we are made in the image of the One who made us. We are capable of amazing things (terrible things too) and yet, the answers do not lie within for we are marred by sin and have fallen short of the glory of the One. (Romans 3:23)  Think of some of the greats throughout history – Moses, Abraham, Paul the Apostle, Einstein, Wilberforce, Martin Luther, Washington and the list goes on and on…as amazing as these men and women were, the answers, the ultimate answers were not within them and they are not within us. Mankind is still in trouble and things will only get worse until the One is enthroned over us.  Our hope is not inside – not within us.

 No One but God Can Satisfy –

You see, in this passage, it says… “BUT GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” He is our strength and satisfaction. We need both! – we need to be freed from fear, and we need to be filled.  Guess what? Our God does both! His strength protects us. He is our portion foreverHE SATISFIES US.

So what happens if we do not take God as our satisfaction?  Do we just miss out on the joy of fellowship with Him?  No, we not only miss out on the joy of fellowship, we also suffer utterly severe consequences for not trusting in God.  The Psalmist says, “Behold, those who are far from you shall perish; You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You.”  If God is not our desire, our portion forever, our strength, and our refuge – if we do not consider it GOOD to be near Him, we will perish eternally.  God will put an end to us.  But this is no final end, but eternal, conscious terrifying torment. But if we take Him as our satisfaction, we will say with the Psalmist, “But for me it is GOOD to be NEAR God.  I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may declare all Your works.”

And David the Psalmist tells us that this delight never ends – “…in His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures evermore.” Psalm 16:11

Thoughts from my morning devotional~  

Matthew Ellison
President and Missions Coach

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