Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sirens, Cisterns, and Superior Satisfaction

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

How easy it is for our hearts to desire something other than the Lord. Calvin rightly said that our hearts are perpetual idol factories. When we begin to long for something more than God we are entering very dangerous territory. When the affections of our hearts long after another more than after God we have made an idol.

There remains a contrast to our idolatry prone hearts:

I believe the psalmist when he said, "on earth there is nothing that I desire besides you." I believe it is possible to have the affections of your heart laser focused upon God and Him alone. (I'm not saying that I'm doing this, but rather that I want to do this.)

When is the last time you evaluated your life and considered, "What is it that I desire that either competes with my desires for God or comes close to doing so?" (I'm asking myself this question too.)

There are an overabundance of siren songs luring us into deep danger. There are songs which are less subtle than others. There are also siren songs which are so entirely subtle that we can hardly even notice them. It seems to me that these are the ones which will claim the most victims.

These subtle songs lure their victim's into ineffectiveness, complacency, apathy, misguided contentment, and ultimately to a life lived in service of self. Siren songs such as these steal our time. They will convince you to lay down your cross because it is simply too heavy. All this in efforts to undo Jesus' instruction to take up your cross and follow Him. Almost in a perfect parallel to the deceit which took place in Eden, "Did He really say that? Is that really necessary?"

When your heart, or the sirens, are telling you something is to be desired more than He is, danger is near. This is a significant warning flag waving like crazy in the wind of your heart. Do not fall for these siren songs...

They are only illusions, only broken cisterns.

Rather combat these adulterous desires with the most powerful weapon against them: the most satisfying pleasure - God, whom the Scriptures refer to as the Fountain of Living Waters. Life is war and the battle is for the affections of your heart (and mine).


John said...


It's posts like these that are making this one of my favorite blogs.

Who really knows how many idols we have in our hearts? Even things that are good compete with Christ for our affections.

Keep up the good fight, and keep encouraging others.

mwh said...

I've been trying to answer this question of priorities and true vs. competing desires recently. I feel like my life needs such a radical and constant evaluation. Wrong priorities creep up in all my relationships: with God, with my wife, with friends, with the church, etc...

I get tired of perpetually drinking this unsatisfying sludge.

Unbreakable Joy said...


What is your email address? I checked your blog but didn't find it. Maybe I missed it.

Feel free to send it to my e-mail: