Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4. NIV)
Julie Kellen, a long-time (and now happily retired) KJLY ministry worker, had that verse on her desk for many years. It was even on her retirement cake and Julie truly is a person who takes delight in the Lord.
When I first started thinking about what it meant, I thought to myself, “What? Is God some big bubble-gum machine where you can get whatever you want just by thinking He is wonderful?”
I mean, come on. There are lots of people who don’t have all the desires of their heart. Come to think of it, nobody I know--no matter what they have-- has all the desires of their heart. If that verse were true, wouldn’t every Christian alive be a multi-billionaire? Is this some kind of “Prosperity Gospel” teaching?
And, what about alcoholics? Isn’t the desire of their heart just one more drink, even though it’s bad for them?
It didn’t make sense to me, so I did some looking into it.
The line of reasoning goes like this: To truly take delight in the LORD and all He is and was and always will be is to align our will with his. The more we get to know who God really is, the easier it is to see the incredible mercy, grace, and love that He is. We begin to see that not only does he love us in ways beyond our limited comprehension, but that he was willing to die in our place to save our souls.
And there’s the real deal. It’s about our souls.
In the verse above, the word translated “heart” is the Hebrew word for “inner man.” So do our souls really need a billion dollars? Do our souls really need another drink?
But, if our soul takes delight in the LORD, it will lack for nothing because He is the God of Abundance. There is nothing good that exists that did not come from Him and still belongs to Him.
It’s like when the prodigal son’s brother complained that his father never threw him an amazing party and, "His father said to him, 'Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. (Luke 15:31, NLT) (Emphasis added.)
Again and again, the Bible tells us we are children of God and His kingdom is our inheritance.
Now, I know that when you’re late for work and the car is making a weird noise and the dog chewed up your favorite shoes and the guy in front of you is driving like a complete…
Suddenly, that delight seems very, very far away. And the enemy of your soul is whispering those killing lies in your ear that your life is just the worst and you really shouldn’t have to put up with all of this and you deserve soooo much better.
But, the fact is that you have a job , and you have a car, and you have a dog who bounces around with crazy joy just because you came home, and you have shoes, and you have a God who loves your soul enough to put a guy in front of you who is only driving 56 miles an hour so that maybe your soul can learn some patience and love for your fellow man because even if you don’t pass him, the convenience store is probably still going to have that chocolate donut your flesh just has to have!
Yes, perspective is a humbling thing.
So, child of the One True King, heir to all that belongs to the God of the Universe-- does your Father lack for anything? Is God poor?
And will He withhold any good and perfect gift from the souls of those who love Him?
Have a delightful day.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.