“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Hooray! A verse that says God will give me what I want, right?
Not quite. The second part of the verse is dependent on the first part: we must delight in the Lord before He gives us the desires of our hearts. This isn’t a magic formula to get what we want.
When we choose to follow the instruction of the first part of the verse, it will change the desires of our heart.
What does delight mean? When I think of defining this word, I picture the chortle of glee that comes from my one year old nephew when his mommy walks in the room with his beloved stuffed Tiger. The baby has so much joy in the presence of his mother. There is unrestrained merriment.
This is how we should be with our Heavenly Father. We should have much joy in His presence and take pleasure in being His.
As daughters of the King, we can delight in Him; we can rejoice in Him! God gives life and freedom to those who trust Him. If we have surrendered ourselves to Him, then our goal should be to glorify Him. If that is our goal, then He will be our passion and pursuit. He will be the desire of our heart.
Did you notice that change? We stopped focusing on us and instead joyfully focused on – delighted in – God. This is a natural result of salvation, of laying ourselves down before Christ. The desires of our heart stop being for things for ourselves, but become for the things of God.
Practically, how do we delight in God in our everyday lives? How do I let God change my desires into His desires?
First, we must spend time with Him. My nephew is not nearly as excited when I come in the room as when his mom comes in. Why? Because he doesn’t know me or love me as well since he doesn’t see me very often.
The same principle applies to our excitement or delight in God. Without regular quiet times of prayer and Bible reading to point our minds and hearts to Him, we don’t get to know Him. Without knowing Him, we’re not so excited about excites Him.
We must make quiet times with God a priority. When we read the Bible, we find out who God is, what He has done, and what He desires. When we pray, we worship Him and talk with Him. We allow Him – we invite Him – to work in our lives.
For me, prayer journals are helpful when I pray. Writing my prayers down helps me to focus (which is important at 6am!) and it creates record of what God has done in my life and what He has taught me. Countless times, I have gone back to prayers I’ve written down weeks, months, or even years before and have been able to praise God for the ways He faithfully answered those prayers.
Quiet time with God allows Him to change the daily habits of our lives so that we reflect Him better. Does your life reflect a joy in the Lord that changes what your heart desires? I hope so.