Heart Desires

A lot of life is feeling oriented. For example, if I’m walking past the flower section at the grocery store, I might buy my wife some flowers. God likely didn’t command me to buy them in such a circumstance, although he may have given me the leading to do so, through a feeling. In that case, it would have been something that was on his heart, and, because I was open to hearing from him, he was able to put that desire right into my heart. Hence, in light of this “way” in which God often works, Psalm 37:4 makes more sense. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

In short, if we make it our aim to please God in every way, rejoicing in him daily, and serving him with gladness and reverence, then he will grant us the desires of our heart. I do not think it is only a case that because we have godly desires he will grant us the desires of our heart — although this is certainly true. No, but rather, it is actually his desires working in us! That, I think, is what it really means to serve Christ. It means to come to the point where we have yielded ourselves completely to his desires – such that he can easily flow through us.

To serve Christ is not simply to do godly things. That is a serious mistake. Many people do godly things — and yet God has not asked them to persevere in them. A man may feel burdened to feed the poor, and yet it is a yoke of slavery tied around his neck! That yoke may have been put there by someone who always said to that person, “You ought to, you ought to, you ought to … or God won’t love you!” Hence, the “thing” to do (feeding the poor) may be, in and of itself, a godly thing. And yet the motivation behind it may be entirely corrupt, born of the devil, born of a wicked spirit of slavery and bondage! Such a spirit will actually prevent you from entering into God’s will for you life, such that you may be fruitful, with joy! Don’t let it happen!

I am convinced that William and Catherine Booth’s desire to feed the hungry and clothe the naked was born out of a genuine compassion for these people and a real, heart-felt desire to do the work (William and Catherine Booth were the founders of the Salvation Army). But if you do not share in this conviction to do the same type of work to the same extent as they did, as long as you do care about the poor and the suffering and are willing to help them as God leads you, then don’t let it bother you. Perhaps God has called you to be an expert scientist – top notch in your field, the best that can be. Then do it! And he will surely cause his name to be glorified through that thing that you are pursuing.

Are you seeking to please God in every way? Then praise God! Today’s verse if for you. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4) That may indeed be feeling oriented some times. Don’t let it bother you! God works through feelings, and those who are used most of all by God are always passionate about what they do.