Desires of the Heart

“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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Victory through praise

victory thru praiseOften times it is we who hinder God’s solution to our problems through disobedience to God and unbelief.   So what then can we do to release God’s power over our circumstances?   Merlin Carothers is a well know Christian author who has written numerous books on praise.  He shared in his book “Prison to Praise” that he believes that the very act of praise to God releases God’s power to have sway over our circumstances and allows Him to change the circumstances should it be His will.  He believes praise is the highest form of communion with God.  Further, I believe also that when we pray fervently and we submit to God and obey His will, it is the act of obedience and faith in God that permits God to bring victory over our circumstances.

Attitude is everything!  It is up to us to be victorious.  Should I grumble and complain, or should I fail to seek God morning, noontime and evening, it would be easy for me to lose sight of what God has for me and for His victory in my life.  In Psalm 55:17 it says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  God hears our cries, although we may not think so sometimes.  There are times when I wake up in the morning and I just don’t feel like praying or thanking God.  It is a struggle for me to focus on anything but my daily activities or my circumstances.  God, however, sees my heart and reminds me that He is the one who needs to control my life, every situation and activity that confronts me.  Some would believe that it is the power within us alone to be victorious, but on the contrary, it must be God’s Holy Spirit that works within us to bring victory over our circumstances, our feelings and emotions.  I have tried too many times to go it alone, and have too many times failed.  This is where the power of praise and thanksgiving, and prayer are so important to the victory.

God commands us to always love and obey Him, and always rejoice in and praise Him.  I might also add that the Bible says to “always pray”.   Therefore, we can assume that if we are praying always and giving thanks always to God, then the two are married to each other and it is in combination that the two will see results.  Did you know that the word “always” is mentioned 75 times in the Bible?  Many of those times it is used in the context of obedience or in giving thanks.   In Ephesians 5:20 it says to “always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It doesn’t say sometimes, it says always.  But you say, “Why should I thank Him when I am struggling or down and out”?   Simple, God commands it.  It does not say that I should praise Him and thank Him only when I feel like it.  It does not say that I should give thanks only when I am cheerful or happy.  It does not say that I should give thanks only when I am high and lifted up.  It does not say that I should give thanks only when things are going my way.   It says “always give thanks for everything”.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Merlin Carothers in his book “Prison to Praise” said “Often the prayer of praise is done in sheer teeth-gritting willpower; yet when we persist in it, somehow the power of God is released into us and into the situation.  At first in a trickle perhaps, but later in a growing stream that finally floods us and washes away the old hurts and scars.”   This is our recipe for victory over our circumstances for “if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. “ (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).

Copyright 2013 by Bill Hutzel

RELATED VERSES IN THE BIBLE

I Thessalonians 5:16-18  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

Ephesians 5:20 “always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Colossians 4:2  continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”

 Philippians 4:6 but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

 Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Ephesians 6:18  “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”