“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
This is a female favorite, is it not?
Here’s the deal: I have a tendency to read this verse backwards. It looks something like this:
“…the desires of your heart.”….. yeah, what about them?
“…and He will give you….”….. Okay, now you’re talkin’…
“Delight yourself in the Lord….” …… I can swing that
Translation (SSIV): I get what I want if I ‘delight in the Lord’.
I tend to brush over the whole ‘delight in the Lord’ bit and jump right to the “desires of my heart” thing. Selfish much?
Let it be known ladies, this is not some sort of recipe or mathematical equation telling us all how to get what we want.
This verse begs two questions. The first, how do you delight yourself in the Lord? The second, what are the desires of my heart?
What does it mean to delight in the Lord?
To begin to tackle this we’ve got to identify what else we take delight in. Luckily, moving has taught me a ton about the things that delight me. Not so much because I have gotten to do a ton of delightful things, but more so because I have found myself disappointed or upset at the absence of my delights.
I’ve learned that the things I let get me down, steal my joy or really upset me—these are the things I’m probably seeking to satisfy me in some way. Let’s face it, if something is able to rob me of my joy, then there’s a
likely probable definite chance I’m delighting in it. So, the absence of things like my friends, my family, my church, my SEC football team….. you know, the things I value the most in life…. Have left me tempted to be upset.
Here’s the thing, though—God’s goodness does not change. He is neither no more nor no less good in Austin than he is in Fayetteville. He is no more or less accessible here than anywhere else. That said, I always have something to being delighting in. Seems logical to delight in the One who is unchanging, rather than the milieu of things transient, right? Now that whole ‘fix your eyes on things unseen’ thing is starting to make sense.
Identifying the desires of my heart
All too often people mistake the ‘desires of your heart’ for ‘your heart’s desires’. Very close in wording, very different in meaning. Read it one more time:
The desires of your heart vs. Your heart’s desires
Can you see it? This verse does not mean that I will get my heart’s desires. Praise God for this! This is a good thing. Can you imagine what a catastrophe that would be if we got what we thought we wanted all the time? Think really quickly back to what your heart desired circa 2001… Can I get an amen? Several verses note on the theme in Jeremiah 17:17 “The heart is deceitful above all things..” Even Mumford and Son affirms this concept—“How fickle my heart…” Amen Lord. Don’t give me what I want, but rather what I need. How rich a thought—to know that what was once a heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh! This is only because the blood of Christ. He hasn’t made me better; He has made me new.
And with a new heart comes new desires.
So the Lord will then place within my heart ‘desires’. Desires for what, though? May I have on my mind that which is on the mind of the Lord. May I get excited about that which excites him. May I grieve over what grieves the Lord. May I desire only that which he desires.
So it is– As I delight in Him, he will place within my heart desires that will be satisfied as I seek him.
So here is my prayer for myself and those I love:
Lord, Teach me to delight in you
and you alone,
and align my desires to mirror
that which you desire.
Highlight of the month:
He is good and the only one worthy of my delight.
Here’s to laughin’