Desires of the Heart
April 17, 2020 · by Whitney Gothra
“Delight yourself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:4-5).
What an exciting, encouraging, hope-filled promise found in the Word of God! It has always been one of my favorites. Yet, I’ve got to be honest with you all for a bit. For the majority of my life, I have had a pretty narrow, even selfish, view of this verse. I used to take it simply as an if/then verse. If I delighted in the Lord, then He would give me what I wanted.
I can’t tell you how many times I prayed this verse over my life as a teenager and young adult. Lord, I’m delighting in You! So, please let me get accepted into the college I want. Lord, I’ve given my life to You! You know the desires of my heart, so please give me a husband. And a family. And a fulfilling career. And, and, and .... The prayers went on and on.
But I have come to find that this verse is so much more than that. I was speaking it over my life in a way that I don’t believe God intended.
The word give here is a pretty amazing verb in the original Hebrew. It not only means to give. It means to put or to set. It means to appoint, assign, ascribe, and designate.
This verse isn’t saying that God will grant us our deepest desires and wishes like some mythical genie if we just prove ourselves worthy. I believe this verse is saying that if we make Him our number one priority, He will reform, reshape, and mold our deepest desires into the ones that He has destined for us.
He doesn’t want to just give us what we want. He wants to make what we want be what is best for us.
I have two little girls. One of which would eat cheese for every meal. And snack. Just cheese all the time. If I gave her the delight of her heart -- if I gave her a plate of cheese -- she would be so happy. However, she eventually would start having some health problems. She wouldn’t get the proper nutrients. So I am less concerned with what she wants and more concerned with what she needs. So I try to reshape her desires by giving her other foods.
That’s the same with God. He is more concerned with what we need. He can see it more clearly than we ever could. But instead of just giving us a plate of broccoli ... if we delight ourselves in Him, He starts to form a love and desire in our hearts for what is good for us. For what He wants to give us.
How do we delight ourselves in the Lord? We crown Him the King of our hearts, not our own longings or our temptations. We make Him our biggest priority in our schedule. We trust in Him for every need, not our own understanding or family members or stimulus checks. We turn to Him to fulfill and validate us, not our friends and family or own achievements.
We make Him first in everything, and then He forms the desires of our hearts. He will reshape our hearts into wanting what He has designed for us. He will define our desires, appoint our ambitions, and create our cravings. He will make us want what He wants. He will give us His heart.
This same word give is also used in Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
God had ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet. He set him, ascribed him, and positioned him as His prophet. Before we were even formed, God ordained a role and ascribed a calling for each of us that only we could fulfill.
It can be so tempting to hold on to our deepest dreams with clenched fists. It can be so frightening to hand them over to God and say, Not mine, but Thy will be done. Yet, that is the key to unlocking His purpose for us.
If you are breathing, He has a purpose for you.
If you feel like you have no purpose or plan, just turn to Him. Ask Him to refresh the calling in your life. Ask Him to remind you what He ordained you for, what role He saw for you when He formed you. Roles and callings and plans can change throughout our lives. Maybe this is a new season for you and you need a fresh vision for what God wants to do through you now. Maybe it looks a bit different during this pandemic of COVID-19. His purpose for you during this season may not be what you are expecting, but I can promise you that He has something that only you can fulfill. He has a specific piece of the puzzle for you to contribute. Just ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him to reveal Himself. He is here and He is waiting. He has plans beyond our comprehension. And His delight is to work through us.
The One Who planned where each star in every galaxy was going to shine is the One Who lovingly thought of us before we were born and planned what magnificent roles we were going to play in His Kingdom. The One Who tells the ocean how far to flow onto the sand is the One Who longs to tell us His dreams and purpose and calling for us.
As we delight in the Lord and allow Him to work in our hearts, He will place desires in us that will guide us to His will for our lives. We won’t want what this world has to offer. We will want Him.
And then the Word says, "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5).
Give it all to Him. Dedicate it to Him. Trust also in Him. The word for trust here means to have confidence, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe, and to be careless.
I adore that last part! We can be so secure in His safekeeping over us that we have no care in the world. Nothing else matters but Him.
God is giving us an unfailable, unstoppable, error-proof formula. Not only for our joy, but for His will to be done in our lives.
Delight in Him. Make Him the focus.
Then He will give us our desires. He will set our desires. He will form our heart to long after what His longs after.
Then we commit our way unto Him. Dedicate it to Him. Do it all as unto Him.
Trust in Him. Be bold, confident, and secure in His Word and provision.
Then, HE SHALL BRING IT TO PASS.
He will accomplish what He started in you. He will finish it. You’re not alone in this. He gives God-sized dreams and vision and callings and then steps in the gap to complete them. Nothing can hinder the plans that He has for you if you follow after Him with all your heart. COVID-19 is no match for Him. Your perceived inadequacies are no match for Him. Your lack of resources is no match for Him. He will bring it to pass.
When we reach the point where we want only what God wants for our lives, nothing can get in our way. Worldly aspirations and goals pale in comparison to the mind-blowing plans and dreams that God has created for us. His desires for us will always be one hundred percent more fulfilling than any we could dream for ourselves.
Lord, give us the desires of our heart!