"Delight yourself in The Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4
Recently, my grandfather sent me a text message first thing in the morning saying that I was precious and that he prayed that God would give me the desires of my heart. First, I'd like to point out that getting a message saying you're precious and that someone is praying that God gives you the desires of your heart is one of the best ways to start your day.
Initially, it put a smile on my face. And I am I very thankful to have someone who prays that prayer for me. But then the message changed from an encouragement to a mirror. What are my desires anyway? Are they the ones God wants me to have? Hmmm, I don't desire inherently bad things like ultimate power or taking over the world. But let's be honest, I wouldn't mind some shallow things. Like a wardrobe containing everything I've lusted over on Modcloth's website. Or to be graduating college debt free. Or to be in shape without working out. Although I'd settle for being in shape because I love working out and being outdoorsy.
Of course, not all my desires are shallow. I want to use words to show love and change the world or at least a few people. I want to be healthy. I want to get a fabulous job where I can help make the world a better place. I want to marry a man who will romance me like my dad does my mom and Jesus does the church and who helps me show the gospel to a lost and hurting world. I want to have children who love history and knowledge and reading. I want to live in a place with arts.
But ultimately, I want my desires to be what God desires for me. Because that's what Psalm 37:4 is about. When you are delighting in The Lord, your desires will be his desires. So for now, my ultimate desire is to delight in The Lord more. I know I'm not where I need to be.
C. S. Lewis once said, "I pray because I need God. The need flows out of me, waking and sleeping. Prayer doesn't change God. It changes me."
I've been praying a lot this past week about the future and my vision of what I want it to be. I committed to praying about this issue every day for a week. At first, my prayer was, "God I really want this." Then my prayers changed to: "I really want this but I understand if it's not your will. But I really want this." Then the prayer changed to: "God, right now I want this. But I don't want you to give it to me because I keep asking. I want your best for me. I want this to be the best but I understand it might not be. And that's ok because I want your will in this."
My prayers don't need to change God. They need to change me. My heart needs to be calibrated back to God's best. Maybe after a few more days of praying, I'll be ok with saying completely "Thy will be done Lord." When I delight in The Lord, my desires change to his and during the process while I still have my selfish desires, I begin to become aware that they aren't God's best for me. Psalm 37:4 is so much more than God giving you want you want. It's about reading on to Psalm 37:5: "commit your way to The Lord and do good; trust in him and he will do this." It's about aligning your desires with God's will.
I am so thankful for a God who will give me what I want when I begin to want the best for me. Just like your parents wouldn't let you play with matches as a kid, God won't give you things you want that will burn you, at least not without a purpose. I am so thankful for grandparents who are prayer warriors committed to my future and inspiring me to examine my inner self... Never a fun thing.
I hope you read this and begin to let the self-examination slowly begin. Stand in front of the mirror and honestly examine yourself. Be brave enough to admit the truth if you aren't delighting in The Lord and his best for you. Then go out and do something about it.