For the past several years, God has been cleaning my proverbial house. He has given, oh so greatly. But man, has he also taken. He took his broom and his dust pan and he shook out the old, dead ways that were cluttering up my heart and my mind.
This past year, in particular, as I’ve been able to sit in the (newly) quiet, clean spaces of my heart, I’ve started to see that God wasn’t just getting rid of things for the sake of getting rid of things. As God threw out old desires, tired ideas, and unhealthy beliefs, what he gave me in return, was a new desire.
Psalm 37:3-4 New American Standard Bible
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and [a]cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
We lover to barter with God. I’ll do this for you, then you do this for me.
That sort of thing.
I’ll be delighted in you, God, then you give me x, y, & z that I really want. They are my desires, God.
But God doesn’t work tit for tat.
We are all made in the image of God. As individuals, we have this in common. What sets us apart, are the specific gifts, passions, and dreams that he places inside each of us.
God asks us to trust in him. To do good. He asks us to cultivate faithfulness. This requires a daily attentiveness to growth. A daily watchfulness. Constant adaption, thoughtfulness, and change. God asks that we be delighted in him.
Let me take you on a side note, here. In Matthew, Jesus says to come to him as a child. There are so many thoughts on this verse about childlike faith and what-not. But you know what I think? What being a mother has taught me about being childlike?
Children love to be near their parent. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. A mom who sits down is a mom who is instantly covered with kids. They flock to her. They want to be near her. They want to sit at her lap. They beg for help. They ask questions. They need consolation and kindness. They want, they need, they ask.
I think that’s what Jesus meant. He wants us to be desperate for his attention. To be desperate for his presence. He wants us to come to him for guidance, support, love, help, kindness…everything.
Circle back to Psalm 37:4. Delight in the Lord. Delight in his presence.
Interestingly, the first use of the word “delight” in the Bible is in Genesis 3:6, when Eve saw the fruit that she was forbidden to eat and was delighted by it.
There are always things catching our eye, vying for our attention, for our delight. God asks us to find that delight in him.
As we do that, He will give us the desires.
The desires, they are first and foremost from him.
But, not just any desires. They are desires specifically formulated for our heart. Remember what I said earlier? That we are all made in his image? I also said that we are given specific gifts, passions, and dreams.
I believe we have it all backwards by starting with our dreams and then asking God to bless them. I believe that we try to fool ourselves and God by deciding what our dreams are, then attempting to force his hand into giving us those desires by our human efforts at delighting in him.
What if we started by trusting. By doing good. By cultivating faithfulness. By longing for and delighting in his presence. Then coming to him with open hands, asking that he give us dreams. Ask that he give us desires specifically for our heart.
The verse doesn’t say that he will fulfill your wish. It says he will give you the desires of your heart. He will give you desires that will speak to the unique way you were created, for your unique purpose, for the unique plan that he has for your life. He will give you that desire, and then invite you to step out in faithfulness to pursue it.
The fulfillment isn’t an endgame.
It’s an invitation.