Monday, April 19, 2010

The Desires of Your Heart

The Desires of Your Heart
April 19, 2010
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Wow, even just the sound of that verse is so appealing. "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." What I wouldn't give to have all the desires of my heart right now. Surely, you could use a few of those desires, too. I think every Christian has quoted this scripture once or twice, using it in a prayer. I know I have. So why, then, are so many of us lacking what we consider the desires of our hearts? Are we not delighting ourselves in the Lord? Surely, the Lord cannot expect us to be perfect, thereby giving us the promise of this scripture, knowing He would never have to honor it. It has to be attainable at some level for everyone; otherwise it is a sick and twisted joke, giving false hope. Since God is not like that, a jokester enjoying the emotional torture of His children, this scripture must apply to every Christian out there. So how, then, do we get those desires of our hearts? How do we read this scripture and believe it to be true?

This scripture cannot be read alone, taken out of context. In order to get the desires of your heart, you must first understand what it means to delight yourself in the Lord. If you read the other scripture verses surrounding this one, the Bible uses words like: trust, righteousness, justice, patience, commit.... There is an attitude of submission to God, His ways, and His sovereignty. Delighting yourself in the Lord has to be understood with this same attitude. Looking throughout the Bible, you'll find the word delight occurring in other verses as well. In fact, it occurs over 100 times. To better grasp what this means, read the other 100 instances of it. King David understood this when he wrote Psalm 37:4. Actually, when David wrote the verse, he was quoting a concept and promise that was understood for hundreds of years before his time on the earth. The desires of the heart were and are the earthly blessings that come from just being God's children, promised to us by the Father.

The Lord gave Moses the first of these promises when He set up the original laws, read aloud before the whole nation of God's Children. It is found in Deuteronomy 26 & 28. Then God even advises on how to get the blessing of the Father back, in case we lose it as a result of disobedience; found in Deuteronomy 30:8-10, "You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul." Notice God used the words "delight in you."

The Lord is clear about what it takes to delight yourself in Him (more correctly understood, for Him to take delight over your life); it is obedience to Him and His ways. This is the same attitude of David's Psalm 37, being that of submission to God, His ways, and His sovereignty. Examine God's instructions given through Moses, though, "turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." This is why we are lacking in the desires of our hearts. We have desires for blessings that are born of our heart and soul turned inward, onto ourselves. If we were truly submitted to God and His ways, our hearts would be on Him, correcting the desires of our hearts, submitting to God, His ways, and His sovereignty. Looking back at David's verse, remember the air is one of trust, righteousness, justice, patience, and commitment. This means we must trust the Lord in all that we do, being righteous in His eyes, allowing Him to bring justice to our cause, being patient for Him to deliver the desires of our hearts, and being committed to Him, even if we don't see those desires fulfilled in the manner we demand.

I leave you with this. To delight yourself in the Lord, start by reading two other verses, one written in the Old Testament and then reaffirmed in the New Testament. Read them for yourself: Psalm 40:8 and Romans 7:32. You must be delighted to serve and obey the Lord before you will find delight in His eyes. By the way, no matter what someone tells you, you don't have to believe for or pray for the desires of your heart. Scripture says He WILL GIVE them to you. You do your part, and He'll do His.

1. How can you make sure you have the correct understanding of Psalm 37:4?
2. How can you delight to obey His commands with an attitude of submission to Him, His ways, and His sovereignty?
3. How can you be patient in waiting for the Lord to deliver the desires of your heart when HE deems appropriate?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Deut 26, 28, & 30, Psalm 37, Psalm 40, Roman 7, James 1:4

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