Heart to Heart Series
Hello, my friends! I am so eager to share with you this topic that God has placed on my heart. As I’ve been reading in my quiet time and intently looking at the life of Jesus, I see how much he cares about the hearts of man. At the root of every command, teaching, and action of Christ was the heart. His ministry aimed at getting to the heart of the matter. It is no surprise that when a person is radically changed by the Gospel and surrenders their life to Jesus, the first change to occur is in the heart. So first I want to dive into a question that all of us may have had at one point or another.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Ahhh so beautiful, so hopeful are these words, I thought to myself as I stared at the cover of a notebook given to me by my aunt and uncle for Christmas. As an avid reader and writer, all I wanted for Christmas that year was a journal so I could pretend to be like the writer of the novel that I couldn’t peel my eyelids from. On the cover of this journal was the scene of a tiny coffee shop with a young woman sitting at an outdoor table sipping on her coffee, book open, and a sweet puppy at her feet.
Over time in writing in this journal I grappled with really believing that God would give me my heart’s desire. I didn’t understand how this verse actually applied to real life. Knowing that He wasn’t some genie in a bottle. Also knowing that what He says is true. I just didn’t know how these worked together.
Does God really give me the desires of my heart?
That was years ago and now I still wrestle with this question from time to time but in a different way. The missing link to connecting God’s truth to life that I couldn’t understand then was the OBJECT of my heart’s desire. It is easy to look at this verse and think I want things like a new job, or a baby, a spouse, or a car so God will just give it to me! Or even other things like love, respect, recognition, or success. These are all good things that God does give generously and are not bad things to desire. However, focusing only on our desires is not a trustworthy thing to do.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his way, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Trusting in the desires of our hearts to guide us is not wise. Just take a look at the book of Proverbs. It tells us exactly where trusting in yourself leads. The human heart is the control center of the body. It pumps blood through the body to keep the body alive. If the heart is sick the body will show symptoms of sickness. Because sin entered the world and we are human, without even realizing it our flesh can get the best of us. God tells us that our hearts are sick and it will deceive us. We cannot understand it. The Lord has unsearchable knowledge. Nothing is hidden from the Lord. He alone knows what is in the crevices of every person’s heart and He alone can truly know the heart’s intent of our actions.
How does God give me the desires of my heart?
This leads to why we cannot ignore the first part of Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord. There is a way that He gives us the desires of our hearts: Jesus Christ must be on the throne of the heart. He must be the object of the heart’s desire. That is our first order of business. When that is true of a person, then and only then will transformation take place. That is when Christ changes you from the inside out. New desires that please God replace old desires of sinful man.
How can I trust God with the desires of my heart?
It’s exhausting when we try to take on the role of God. When we try to conjure up the desires that we think will bring us the most joy. Experiencing disappointment after disappointment, all you feel is tired, fustrated, and drained. This is when the words of our heavenly Father are so satisfying when He says :
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
These sweet words of Jesus are so refreshing for the tired heart. To sit and let them wash over you, again and again, is reviving. Here we are gently reminded of the freedom that the gospel offers. Our job is to delight ourselves in the Lord. That is all. How freeing is that! Sometimes it is the thing we think we want the most that God reveals to us is not what He knows we truly long for. Other times what we desire is indeed what he has for us. However, we try to hijack the process of getting it in a way that he did not intend.
No matter the case, His job is to give us the desire. He will do so in whatever way He wills because His way is perfect. Since He knows us intimately and loves us relentlessly, we can trust that He will fulfill every true desire. If we humble ourselves and give our burdens to God, His promise is that He will give us rest. So let us continue in doing good, Trust the Lord, and constantly remember His faithfulness.