“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…” (Psalm 42:1–2a, ESV)
I wonder how many of us can speak of our desire for a deeper intimacy with God in terms like these. The psalmist longs for God's presence just like a parched animal so desperately needs to stumble upon a cool brook. There are lots of things that we long for -- things we think we need, but too often God is not on top of the list. As I looked through the Black Friday ads, I found things that I wanted…really badly. Gadgets, books and tools. It's easy for me to daydream what it would be like to have the latest Apple device or a discounted set of Bible commentaries, but how often do I set my mind upon the One who can truly fill all the longings I have?
You see, our hearts were made for worship -- made to worship God and God alone. But sin constantly drives our hearts toward substitutes. So much so that the apostle Paul wrote that we exchange God's glory for that of lesser things (Romans 1:23). Those things could be money, food, sex, status, drugs, alcohol, people -- anything that takes priority over God. But the point is that they truly are lesser things. When we get a glimpse of the beauty of God's greatness and glory, we realize what a paltry substitute a new car or a few minutes of fame is. Nothing can compare to the joy, satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from a life fully immersed in Him -- not even a good Black Friday sale! Truly, there is no one like our God.