“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)
The following thought-provoking questions are shared from a page on Facebook called Shareable Truth (August 25, 2017). I gained a new perspective on this frequently cited and often misunderstood passage in the Bible.
- Delight yourself in the Lord, SO that he will give you the desires of your heart? NO
- Delight yourself in the Lord, IF he gives you the desires of your heart? NO
- Delight yourself in the Lord, IF he gives you the objects of your desire? NO
- Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will put HIS desires in your heart”? YES, and he will fulfill each one of them in His perfect time.
Many seem to think that Psalm 37:4 means that God will give us everything that we ask for; a job prayed for, a bigger house, a new car, or perhaps a husband or a wife. Sometimes he does give us our desires, but that is not always true. Sometimes we are sorely disappointed when God seemingly turns a silent ear. You might ponder then, if God is supposed to give me the desires of my heart, then why was I passed by for promotion, or why am I still single? We often then become very introspective and frequently find blame when things don’t turn out as expected (desired). “Have I not delighted in you Lord?” “Did I do something wrong?” The answer, however, may be simply, your longings were never His will nor His desire to start with. But that is also not to say that your longings are not His desire, or that He will not give you the desires of your heart. Your longings may just not have been fulfilled yet according to His perfect timing and perfect will. Lord, help me to accept your will.
Let’s take a closer look at this verse. First, it says that we are to delight ourselves in the Lord. Taking delight in the Lord means that we find peace and fulfillment in the Lord, and we take pleasure in Him. But it doesn’t mean that if we go to church every Sunday that God will give us that big house you’ve always dreamed of having, or that beautiful red Lamborgini.
Secondly, it says He will give you the desires of your heart. Many delight in temporal things, wealth, status, and material things of this world, but outside of God’s will, it is futile to think that we will ever achieve complete satisfaction and joy from those things. This is the bane of our worldly existence. However, when we commit our future to the Lord and trust in Him, He replaces our desires with His desires, his majesty, glory, and love so that we want nothing else. Have you first asked God what his desires are for you?
So here are some steps for satisfying every desire of your heart in Himself (not in myself).
- Confess your sins
- Turn from yourself to trusting in Him to change your heart. Your relationship is not just your knowledge of Him, but rather one of trust and intimacy.
- Pray earnestly. Colossians 4:2 says “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (NAS).
- Meditate on God’s Word so that He might be revealed through it. In other words, HEAR God. Don’t just read God’s word as a cerebral exercise to gain more head knowledge. Meditate to know Him more intimately and hear His voice. Close your mind to the incessant noise of “I want; I want; I want” reverberating through your head. Take several quiet minutes and just listen. Push all thoughts of “I want” from your mind and ask God to show you His will. In this, you will succeed in delighting in God, and you will be satisfied and filled with joy.
- Wait on the Lord. Wait patiently for God’s promises because he will not disappoint those who seek him with all their heart. “It won’t be a lie. If it’s delayed, wait for it. It will certainly happen. It won’t be late.” (Habakkuk 2:3, GOD’S WORD Translation).
- Take God at His word. In Jeremiah 29:11-14 it says that God knows the plans he has for you, plans for well-being and not calamity, plans to give you a future filled with hope. And when you call upon Him, it says that he will listen to you. And if you seek Him with all your heart, you will find him because HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAITHFUL (https://youtu.be/kmGB8568VwU).
And so, when you delight yourself in the Lord, and you own His desires as your desires, “He will give you the longings of your heart,” and you will be so satisfied in the Lord, that you will delight in nothing else, for His desires are our desires. That’s what I want. Having that translates as inexpressible and glorious joy and a life of contentment.
Copyright 2017 by Bill Hutzel
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