Thursday, March 25, 2010

Delight before Desires

I like stuff.  I want stuff.  I sometimes find myself spending considerable amounts of time researching and searching for stuff to buy and own and use.  And then there's the important stuff that I spend my time do-ing.  Stuff like family I want to see healthy, or ministry that's meant to be fruitful.  So much of this stuff is good stuff, but as I spend my time buying, using or doing it all, I find that every bit of it has potential to distract me from, rather than draw me to, what matters most:  my relationship with God.  All the stuff around me -- even the good stuff -- constantly pulls at my heart, demanding both my attention and my affections.  And everyday I need to choose the place I'm going to give it in my life.

That's why the simple instructions provided in Psalm 37:4 are so helpful:  "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  That's the order of life -- my delight in God is meant to come before my desire for stuff.  But given the way my life often looks, I'd be tempted to say that I thought this said:  "Delight yourself in the desires of your heart."  Nope, that's not it.  God wants to be the delight of my heart, and to come before any other desires.

Yet in the midst of those instructions, it's encouraging to see that God's desire to beat any competitors in our hearts is not a dismissal of the many good things we're involved in and surrounded by.  God is no kill-joy!  This psalm goes on to unpack the many ways God provides for those who depend on Him.  And as we delight ourselves in God, trusting Him and relying on Him (Psalm 37:3, 5-9), He promises to give us the desires of our heart!  Does that mean anything I ask for?  I don't think so.  But I do think it means that as we delight in Him, He will bless us -- and our families and our ministries -- and our weekends and our weekdays -- in ways that reflect the extravagant love of His Father's heart for us!  I just need to keep those wonderful gifts in their place as I delight in Him above anything else I desire.

© 2010 by Ken Peters

No comments: