“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4
I fuss sometimes, I can admit that. Ask Maisey, my pup, who spends the day with me in the house. Fussing, trying to get my head in God’s space, with plans and purposes and His will and my will. The graphic would look like an etch-a-sketch that a toddler has been playing with and thrown on the floor. I seriously doubt that is ever His intention. This is the occupational downside to being a project manager: trying to “manage” Jesus!
Chatting with women, I often hear that the idea of “delight” seems like a luxury we can’t afford: an aloof, far off, unattainable myth of faith. There’s no time, no boundaries, too much noise, I’m too busy, too committed, it’s too complicated, just too… too… too… fill in your own blank. But, God!
God knows us so, so well. In His infinite wisdom, He knew that even noble, believing, smart, capable women would attempt to use Him as a means of getting ahead. Our motive for seeking God is often self-focused. It is hard to see that in writing, but it is often a reality. Scripture tells us that He enjoys being sought for the pleasure of His presence. He delights in allowing us to discover wonderful gains, but because He knows us so well, He has methods for redirecting us and making the most of our sometimes-questionable motives. He allows our greed to lead us on a hunt where we ultimately unearth the greatest treasure of all.
Psalm 37:4 is a classic “feel good” kind of scripture. God knew we would find rest in his promising the desires of our hearts. He also knew our self-seeking search could lead us to an incomparable sustaining treasure. The end result motivates the first approach to Psalm 37:4: “He will give you the desires of your heart.” The “end” causes us to consider the means: “Delight yourself in the Lord.” True to our human nature, we become attentive to the means so we can reach the end.
“How can I delight myself in the Lord?” We can almost hear Him whisper, “I’m so glad you asked.” As we make ourselves available to delight in God He slowly revolutionizes our approach to finding fulfillment. Those who seek to delight in the Lord will ultimately develop a delightful relationship with Him. As we ascribe worship, wonder, praise, affection, adoration and honour to him, an evolution begins.
Fussing falls off, the need for control drops away, assurance and peace rests on the heart.
It’s beautiful: as God extends Himself toward the seeker’s delight, the once self-seeking treasure-hunter is transformed.
Anyone who truly delights in the Lord will one day realize that God has become the desire of her heart. When He is our delight, we begin to want to want what He wants. We come to trust His best for us. When we struggle with self-seeking desires, we hit our knees in prayer. We become wise enough to ask Him to overrule any desire that would ultimately betray us. We no longer want anything that lacks His approval; we want to be a part of what He is a part of.
Why is the change of heart so important to the fulfillment of Psalm 37:4? Because hearts that do not delight in the Lord are destructive and deceitful. Jeremiah 7:9 reminds us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” To be safe, God must transform the heart. Until we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, we cannot trust the desires of our hearts. What our fleshly hearts want on their own can lead us to make the worst and most hurtful decisions of our lives.
As a leader, can you remember a time when your heart lead you down a destructive path? I certainly can. I want my heart’s desire to reflect His heart’s desires. I want to go where He is going.
Psalm 37:4 is a transforming scripture. We discover a new depth of relationship with God, an indescribable delight, a safety valve for our hearts no matter what our original motives may have been. When we find delight in the Lord, we have found indescribable treasure for our soul.
A few of my favourite things:
Jesus & 7 Burtons – Coffee – Strangers – Shoes