Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Desire to Delight in God


 
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalm 37:4-5

There was a time in my youth when I claimed these verses for myself.  I would pray them to God, reminding Him of His great promise to me to give me the desires of my heart.  At the time I was not petitioning Him, but rather demanding Him to give me the desires of my heart!   And He did.

What I most desired at the time was not what God wanted for me.  What I most desired at the time eventually brought me extreme pain and misery.  God knew that to begin with. What's worse is that I knew that God knew that, because He had told me so! But I was too stubborn, selfish, and prideful to admit it.  I wanted it, and God's Word said that He would give it to me (at least the way I was reading it), so that was that!

Later, after licking my wounds, drying my tears and wiping my nose, I went back and read these verses again.  This time, however, I actually saw them.  The very first part of the Scripture instructs me to "delight yourself in the LORD".  That's the part I skipped over!  I neglected to keep my end of the bargain.  If I had delighted in the LORD, then I would have listened to Him and realized that the thing I wanted was not right for me.  He had something much better in mind. I also obviously neglected to "commit" my way to Him as well.  I wanted my way - plain and simple.  But again, His way was so much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9), but I was not willing to believe it, which means I didn't really trust Him.


How often do we see what we want to see in God's Word?  How often to we take a part of Scripture here, but leave others?  How often do we lay hold of God's promises, yet refuse to see our responsibility?  How often do we take advantage of the grace of God because we are ignoring His holiness and the command that He has given to us to "be holy as I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16)? I would like to say that I learned my lesson the first time, but like so many others, I'm a slow learner!  I hate to admit that off and on throughout the years of my life, I have gone back to claiming parts of Scripture for myself without fulling acknowledging that there is an act of obedience that precedes God's blessings.  Just as with a parent/child relationship - if a child wants to experience freedom and rewards, they must prove they are responsible and obedient (honestly, I hesitate using such simplistic analogies because our Heavenly Father is so much greater than any earthly model).

My point is this: Picking and choosing the parts of Scripture that make us feel good while leaving out the parts that hold us accountable to Almighty God, will only hurt us in the long run.  We are short-changing ourselves when we try to manipulate Him!  There is a reason that God has commanded His children to walk in obedience, to delight in Him, to trust Him, and that reason is because He is God and He knows what is best for us.  Yes - it is that simple.

Not only are we short-changing ourselves, but we are grieving our Heavenly Father, Who is holy, righteous and just!  When we walk in partial obedience, we are actually walking in complete disobedience.  And the results will always be pain and disappointment.  

So, I exhort you to read through the Scriptures slowly and intentionally.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13, Psalm 25:5), to show you wondrous things in God's Torah (instructions) (Psalm 119:18), to help you to trust Him with all your heart & to lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Ask the Holy Spirit to help you walk in obedience and keep His commandments (2 John 1:6).

Delight yourself in the LORD, and (then) He will give you the desires of your heart.  You know why?  Because then your desires will be HIS desires, and He desires His best for you!