Reading: Psalm 37:1-6
Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun (NIV). *
What are the desires of your heart? What do you want more than anything else? Wealth? Fame? Power and influence? Is this what you want? We all have desires. Some are noble some are not. How we manage and direct our desires fundamentally determines the direction of our lives.
Here in Psalm 37, David compares and contrasts the life of the evil person with the life of the individual who does right in God’s eyes. The differences are stark; this is a night and day comparison. But at its core, everything in life centers on the desires of our heart and how we handle them.
There is a promise embedded in this psalm: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. It’s a promise that is well worth pondering.
Will the LORD grant us our desires if our desires are evil? Most certainly not! In Psalm 34 we read, “The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth” (Psalm 34:16).
God’s promises are conditional. There is something required of us before the promise can take effect. In this case we are to “Take delight in the LORD.” What does that really mean?
If I take delight in someone, my wife for example, I enjoy being around her. It’s a delight to spend time with her. I take pleasure in the sound of her voice. I pay careful attention to her wishes and desires. Ah, there’s that word again, desires. If I take delight in the LORD, then my desires will align themselves with the LORD’s desires. I’ll be concerned about what He wants. My selfish desires will be tempered by my love for Him. He in turn will grant the desires of my heart because I love Him and want the best for Him and His eternal Kingdom.
It’s easy to get the desires of your heart if your desires are His desires.
Response: LORD God, help me to delight myself in you. May I love what you love. Help me to recognize when my desires are right and wholesome, and when they are misdirected. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Your Turn: How do you keep your desires in check and in line with God?
* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA
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I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me any unrighteousness that is in my heart that I might confess them and when those are confessed and forgiven, I ask Him to fill my heart with Himself so there is no room left for unrighteousness. It must be a moment by moment request throughout the day because the fleshly desires are strong.
Lord, keep us clean through your shed blood.