“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” How exactly should that bible verse play out in our lives?
Sometimes this verse is translated this way – “Whatever it is your heart really wants, it will be given to you.” The emphasis here is on “us” and what our hearts desire – which is what has gotten us in trouble from day one. When we translate that verse this way doesn’t it sound a little like we are turning God into Santa Claus?
If we take Paul, for example, who wrote many of the epistles in the New Testament and whose own story is contained in the book of Acts, lived a rough live for the sake of Jesus. He didn’t live in a fancy house and have all the money in the world so why should we expect that?
Jesus, during his ministry here as fully man and fully God, asked his followers to give up everything they had to follow Him. In some cases that meant giving up massive wealth, jobs, family/friends, and other things that may not have been bad in themselves, but stood between them and the Lord. Even most of the twelves disciples, the ones closest to Jesus during his time on Earth, died very gruesome deaths because of their faith in Jesus. So why should we get everything our hearts can dream up – new cars, new houses, and all the things money can buy – when scripture gives us a vastly different perspective?
What about the first half of the verse, “Delight yourself in the Lord?” What does it mean to “delight?” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a high degree of gratification : joy; also : extreme satisfaction.” When we are totally satisfied in our relationship with the Lord the result is a transformation of the heart and this change aligns our desires with him; causing our hearts to begin to mirror His. We start to care more about what He cares about than what our selfish hearts desire.
What if we translated Psalm 37 verse 4 this way…
“When we delight in the Lord so much that our hearts are satisfied in Him and Him alone, its then God will inspire the desires of our hearts, which in turn He will give us.” Looking at the verse this way, it is God who gives us the desires of our heart because He is putting those desires there in the first place.
I am excited to do something my wife loves just because it makes her happy. It may not be my favorite thing to do, but there is so much more joy in serving my wife with something she wants to do rather than doing something I want to do for my own sake. In the same way, there is no more joy and satisfaction in life than when our hearts desire and go after what God desires for us.
Do our hearts match God’s heart? Do we really want to be satisfied with the trivial things that our hearts want or do we want to experience a life that is rich in love and in the service of our God who will give us everything we need?