July 19, 2004

Our Hearts' Desires
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the 
desires of your heart" (Tehillim / Psalms 37:4).

Some weeks ago I addressed the issue of getting in 
touch with our God-given dreams. Once we discover the 
dreams God has put in our hearts, we can begin our 
journey towards realizing them. King David in the 
Psalm that we read asserts this.

The Master of the Universe cares enough about us that 
he is moved by the things that are on our hearts. God 
wants to give us what we long for. Yet according to 
King David, God doesn't respond to everyone's heart 
this way.

The person whose heart's desires God grants is the one 
who delights himself in God. God is not like a genie 
in a bottle who grants wishes to those who have 
figured out how to control him. He responds to the 
desires of those who are in a loving relationship with 
him.

Those who delight themselves in God are those who love 
God and his ways. They love what he loves and hates 
what he hates. The things that make God happy make 
them happy, and the things that give him grief, 
grieves them.

Delighting in God is not about being religious. It is 
not about fulfilling ritual obligations. It is about 
looking at life from God's perspective. It is about 
caring for our spouses and children. It's about having 
regard for the poor and needy. It is about caring 
about justice and fairness. It is about knowing and 
teaching truth. It's about being thankful for our 
provision and looking to our Creator for all our 
needs.

Those who delight in God are not selfish. They don't 
insist on their own way. They are quick to forgive and 
to ask for forgiveness when needed. They are truly 
humble. They acknowledge the work of God in history, 
in their own lives, and in the lives or others.

To delight ourselves in God is to find our greatest 
pleasure in him and in the things that matter to him.

It is these people that can have confidence that God 
will give them the desires of their hearts.

You might think that if you would truly delight in 
God, you wouldn't have any desires. Some people equate 
faith in God with absolute contentment, thinking that 
if they truly trust God, then they would have no real 
needs or wants.

But nothing could be further from the truth. When we 
delight in God, our eyes open to the reality around us 
- living in a world spinning out of control, ignoring 
God and his goodness. It is when we delight in God 
that we truly begin to get in touch with our deepest 
needs and the needs of others. When we truly delight 
in God we begin to see what life can really be. When 
we delight in God we begin to see the difference that 
God can make. So instead of being devoid of desire, 
desire begins to burn in us like nothing we have 
experienced before. At times the great gap between 
what is and what can be almost seems to crush us.

But there's good news: if we delight ourselves in the 
Lord, he will give us the desires of our hearts.

When desire begins to burn within us, and we don't see 
those desires realized quickly, we can easily be 
tempted to give up, to quit delighting in God. That's 
why we need to hear the confident words of David: God 
will come through for us. As we delight in him, he 
will not allow the fire of desire to consume us. If we 
keep on delighting in him, our hearts' desires will be 
granted.