No Desires, No Delighting

Have you ever felt like you didn’t care about anything. You were tired, exhuasted, and you feel like you are just on the neverending hamster wheel of life. At it’s very core, you don’t want anything. You have no desire for anything in particular.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there. I’ve been to the place when I find delight in absolutely nothing. Food is bland, activities are boring, successes are empty, and I’m just  . . .  existing.

I read a verse yesterday that impressed on me in a new way. Psalm 37:4-5 has always been a favorite passage of mine, but this time it helped me with a whole ‘nother perspective.

Verse 4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

Notice it does not say He will fulfill the desires of your heart, but that He will give them to you. Later on the passage tells us God brings those desires to pass after you trust and commit to Him.

This verse communiates so strongly- God doesn’t want you to be apathetic. He doesn’t want you to go through life not caring about anything. I would pose the idea to you that He wants you to enjoy life, enjoy His blessings, have hobbies and interests.

The latest idea i took away from this verse was that, If you find yourself not caring about anything, then you most likely have not been delighting in God. When you delight in God, He gives you the desire for things. And He does this so He can show His goodness and glorify Himself, by fulfilling them for His faithful servants.

So have you felt lethargic and uncaring for the things in life lately?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how much you’ve been delighting in God.

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If you hunger, you will be filled

I can recollect times in Sunday School when we would recite portions of the Bible in a happy sing-songy voice. Sometimes we paid attention to what we were saying, and sometimes reciting scripture was just a group activity like any other. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5) I can recall specifically. I remember always pronouncing, “Bles-sed” instead of “Blessed” for some odd reason and wondering what it meant to inherit the earth. The teacher usually made  big deal out of being a peacemaker. And usually there was a comment about persecution and how we were actually blessed when persecuted.

These verses hold so much truth. And somehow, knowing them from a young age, I seemed to underestimate their significance. I was reminded of one in particular recently.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

God didn’t say, “Blessed are those that go to church every Sunday and try really hard, for they will be righteous.”

God didn’t say, “Blessed are those who were born in a Christian family for they will be righteous.”

God didn’t say, “Blessed are those who have a large portion of Scripture memorized for they will be righteous”

No.

He said,

Blessed are they who hunger to be righteous

Blessed are they who thirst to be righteous

God’s not interested in performance, talent, skill, or even your “Christian heritage” as much as He is interested in the condition of your heart right now. What do you hunger for?

Do you hunger for status? A job promotion? A six figure salary?

Hanging with the cool kids, or having that person like you back? Maybe it’s becoming famous or having your amazing talent recognized. Maybe you just want to sleep most of the day and binge watch tv shows for the rest of it.

What do you hunger for?

I challenge you, hunger to stand righteous before God. Hunger to know His pleasure. Hunger to have his approval.

Hunger to stand before Him and hear Him say, “Well done.”

God doesn’t want your leftovers, or trophies that you gained from meaningless ambitions. He wants all of you. He wants to be first. He wants you to hunger to stand rightly before Him.

And the amazing thing is, if you do desire righteousness, He will bring it to pass in your life. Your desire will be met, you will be filled, and you will know what it means to be righteousness.

I challenge you, Desire God’s pleasure – there’s no higher ambition.

 

Is there a necessity?

You’ve probably heard the phrase before, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And it’s true, there are countless stories of someone in need who found a way to get something done. They needed to. So they found a way. It’s true of people in the Bible also, when then needed something, they found a way to get it. Take the story in Mark 2 for instance:

Jesus is inside a house teaching, and the house is full, and there are people outside the house. And people outside those people- everyone wants to hear Jesus. Now, one man is sick of a debilitating disease. His friends want to get him to Jesus. What do they do? The place is crowded, there’s too many people. No one wants to step aside so they can see Jesus, Jesus is busy teaching anyway, their friend is getting to heavy to carry now, might as well go home right? Wrong.

One of their ingenious party gets the bright idea to go through the roof. They make their way (probably around a multitude of people) to the roof of the house, and they start tearing it up. Eventually there is enough space to lower their friend. They lower their friend down to Jesus and Jesus not only heals him, but forgives his sin. Mission accomplished.

But that’s not the only story where people overcame “impossible” situations to get to Christ. Remember Zacchaeus who was so short that he decided to climb a tree so he could see Jesus when He passed by? Jesus understood his heart and decided to visit his house that night. How about the blind man who couldn’t even see Jesus? He yelled and yelled and wouldn’t stop ’till Jesus came to him. He received his sight.

So how about you in your life? The question is not whether or not you “have time for God,” or if you are “too busy,” or “not getting anything out of your devotions.” The question is, “Is there a necessity?” Do you NEED to get to Jesus. Because if you don’t, you can always find an excuse not to, but if you do you can always find a way to make yourself available to hear from Him.

I challenge you to search your heart on this matter. Is there a necessity to seek God, or is knowing God just an option in your mentality? Only you can answer that. But you can be sure, if you make God a priority and seek Him with a pure heart, He will not be hard to find.

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” – Psalm 34:15

Remember, it does not matter who you are, if you cry out to God for fellowship with Him, He will not be far away.

What would fulfill your joy?

As we go through this life, many times we envision what would make us happy. We want a new car, a better house, a pay raise, nice vacation . . . But should any of these things qualify for things that would satisfy us? When our perspective is put in it’s proper place, we realize that all these things are nothing. Their lack of eternal value is glaringly apparent, and we find desire for more permanent and lasting endeavors.

Paul shares his heart with us in Philippians 2. He’s talking to believers when he pleads with them to be unified. Not only does unity bring of an atmosphere of Christlike love, but it presents a more protective barrier against Satan’s devices. Paul pleads from the depths of his heart,

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love,being of one accord, of one mind.”

Notice that Paul says that such unity in the church would “fulfill his joy.” It would please him completely, it would “fill his happiness to the brim” if the church would dwell in unity.

So here’s my humble challenge to you. Examine your desires. What do you believe would fulfill you. Is it some material thing that you have seen advertised? Is it some lifestyle you desire to attain? Or is it deeper or more meaningful?

If you find yourself desiring carnal things there is a simple solution. Ask God to help you delight in Him. For He tells us, in Psalm 37:4-5, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

God will give us proper and meaningful desires when we delight in Him. And when we continue to focus on Him, He brings them to pass.

I challenge you, let’s have meaningful desires, and focus on that which is eternal instead of physical pleasures. Let something meaningful fulfill our joy.

Bein’ real, with God.

You ever have that person that you could tell anything to? It may have been your mom, dad, grandmother, best friend, counselor, or pastor. Whoever they were they were close to you. No matter what was going on, you could talk to them. You found rest knowing that they understood. You found relief being able to unload when they were around. Our relationship to God should be like that, and so much more!

You see, many times when Christians pray to God, they veil their true feelings. They think, "Oh, I’m talking to God." And they try to be all holy, when in fact, all their doing is keeping themselves from true fellowship with their Creator.

David, a man after God’s own heart wrote, "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." Psalm 62:8. I want you to notice that middle clause, "pour out your heart before him." Pour out your heart before Him. Think on that for a moment.

Our heart is the seat of emotions. All our feelings are associated with our heart. Do you tell God how you feel? Think of that wording, "Pour out." David is saying, when you go before God, tell Him everything. Vent. Pour out. Don’t hold back. Let God know exactly how you feel.

If we read through the Psalms, we will find that that is exactly how David lived. Whenever He had a trial, or a trouble, or persecution, or victory, or accomplishment, or blessing, or whatever happened, David told God about it. You know, when we share our heart with someone, we become closer to them. And when we become closer to them, we are more likely to share our heart with them again.

I would encourage you, share your heart with God. Not everything you feel is Holy and pious. Not every desire or want is going to be in God’s will, but He already knows how you are. God doesn’t want a bunch of people who come before Him and pretend. God wants you, He wants you to be real, with Him. When you share all your heart with Him, then you open yourself up. You give Him an opportunity to help you, and you allow Him to give you some relief from your troubles. Be real, with God.

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." – 1 Peter 5:7

Better than the fat of rams . . .

In the Old testament, God gave a command to Saul. He told Him to destroy a certain group of wicked people. God also wanted their animals destroyed also. When Saul went up to battle, he did not obey what God had commanded. Saul saved the king and some of the animals. When Samuel challenged king Saul, Saul said that he had saved the animals for sacrifices.

"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22. Saul was in the wrong, because he had disobeyed.

We may look at Saul and be like, well obviously you shouldn’t have done that. I mean, how would Saul think that God would be happy with his disobedience, but sometimes in our Christian life, many of us do the same thing.

You see, God has given very specific commands. He wants us to do certain things. But sometimes, we think, "Well, if I told the truth, then something bad would happen." So we tell a lie, in order to do "right." Or, we may intentionally do something wrong, so something "good" can com out of it. God isn’t interested in his children offering Him things out of disobedience. God wants our love, respect, and obedience.

I would challenge you, obey God no matter what. Don’t try to serve God by disobeying Him. God isn’t interested in disobedience. God wants His servants obey. Have faith that God had some wisdom when He gave His commands, and obey them. When you do, you will please God.

"Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: " – Jeremiah 11:4b

Are you satisfied?

Have you ever noticed how sin does not satisfy you? Your sin has a pleasure for a season, but when that season is over you need something else. Something more. Your sin doesn’t bring you any lasting pleasure. It gives no satisfaction. God wants us to be satisfied.

Psalms 103:5 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:" Look at verse 5 and the benefit listed, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s." God’s blessing or benefit is satisfaction.

Let us consider a different perspective. 1 Timothy 6:8 says, "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." It is a command to be content. We know that God does not command us to do things that He cannot empower us to do.

God wants us to be content with what we have. He’s willing to empower us to be content. Do you find yourself running after a next high or wanting excitement all the time? Do you find yourself needing a break from it all? Whatever your situation, if you are not content with it, you must go to God. Ask Him to give you contentment. You can never satisfy yourself with sin or any other entity that exists. Only God can give you contentment and satisfaction. Won’t you go to Him?

"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." – Isaiah 55:2

Thirsty?

Have you ever heard those commercials about water? They begin to show water that is being poured out and they amplify the sound and try to get you to be thirsty. Then they begin to talk about how much of the human body is water, the percentage is never the same, but it is always a large percentage. The simple fact is, water is necessary for life. If you have ever exerted a lot of energy on a hot day Im sure you became acutely aware of that fact. Just like you thirsted for a drink on that hot day, we as Christians are supposed to thirst after God.

Psalm 63:1 says, O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Think about a desert, and how much you would want water if you were stranded out there for a while. Have you ever desired God like you would have craved that life giving water? Just like our physical beings need water to survive, our spirit being needs Christ in order to live unto righteousness.

I would like to encourage you, seek after God. Ask Him to give you a sincere desire to know Him. God promises to be found by those who seek Him. Those who truly want a close relationship with Him, He will come close to. It is a good thing to obtain salvation from the Lord, but it is far better to know Him and to seek after Him. Let us seek God. Let us recognize Him as the true giver of life and the sustainer of our souls.

I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. – Psalm 143:6

Delight, Commit, Trust

In this post I would like to share with you a passage of scripture which God has used in my life tremendously. In these verses, the psalmist describes a process by which God works in us and blesses us. The verses are found in Psalm 37:4-5, "Delight thyself 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." In this post I would like to share a quick overview of these verses. This is by now means an extensive study, in fact, I would like to encourage you to study and meditate on these verses for a few days. You will be surprised how much God can use them to transform your thinking.

This passage tells us that we must delight in the Lord. He must be our first pursuit. We must make Him the purpose in our life. He alone should be what we find our joy in. When we get to know Him more, we will see how worthy He is.

If we make Christ our delight, he will give us the desires of our heart. The scripture does not say that God will give us whatever we want, but instead, that God will give us the desires He wants us to have. God will transform our value system so that we place value on and desire the proper things.

The second thing this passage tells us to do is to commit our way. Christ wants us to give ourselves completely to Him. We must make a commitment to walk in His precepts and follow His will. We must be dedicated to the things of God. Our path should not stray from His will.

Third, we must trust Him. God tells us that without faith it is impossible to please Him. If we truly want to please our Father we must commit ourselves to Him and ask Him to teach us to put our faith in Him. This is a work that He alone can do, but we must ask Him to do it.

So in conclusion, I would like to challenge you, Delight in God. Make Him your first pursuit. Ask God to teach you to be faithful to Him. And lastly, endeavor to trust Him. What will happen as a result? God will make all those desires He gave us come to pass. I have seen God use this passage again and again in my life and I’m sure if you dedicate yourself to living our the principles found here, you will find yourself a most contented Christian!

Look at the desire God placed into the heart of the psalmist. I’m sure God brought it to past.

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. – Psalm 27:4