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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The author is you

With every breath, the pen moves across the paper. Another word that is etched on the pages of eternity. Sentences are formed within milliseconds, these become paragraphs which become chapters which continue on and on. Your life is being written. This is your story.

Once a word is written, it cannot be unwritten. No matter what you do you cannot take away a single sentence, nor can you replace it. Once it is marked on the pages of eternity, it is there forever. Each and every person has their story. Each and every person has their book. You will never have another story to tell, this is yours. For all eternity. You only get the one life. The one story.

Psalm 90 speaks of the shortness of our lives and how they appear to be useless since they are so short compared to God’s eternality. In verse 9 it says, “we spend our years as a tale that is told.”

Our years are spent. They are traded. Never to be redeemed. Never to be bought back. There are no refunds. You can’t take you memories back to God and trade them in to live again. This is it. Every action. Every attitude. Every encounter. Every moment you lived is preserved just as it was. What did you do with your time?

I ask you now? What will you do with your story?

How will your story end?

Will it be a tale of foreboding and warning? Will it be uplifting and inspiring?

No matter how you have lived, or what kind of story you have told with your years, it isn’t too late to turn it around. You may even be on your last chapter- it’s not too late to finish with a perfect ending!

I entreat you, tell your story well. Live your life with meaning, purpose, and with a destiny in mind. You aren’t living just for yourself, but as a testament for all eternity.

When God appoints you for slaughter . . .

What if God was against you? Pause and think about that for a moment. If God didn’t love you and He desired your destruction. What an utterly horrible thought. We know that while we serve God, He will never be against us, but from a flawed human perspective, the writers of Psalm 44 may have had “legitimate” reason to think that God was against them. There were many ways that God was not “with” them.

This post cannot bring the psalm justice. I invite you to simply read it for yourself. As you read, watch the structure of the psalm. The psalmists (1) Praises God for past deliverance (2) Declares their faith in God (3) Tells of how God has cast them off (4) Tells of how they still have faith in God (5) Calls unto God to deliver them.

While the psalmists tells how God has, “given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.” They also say, “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” It has other passages like, “Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.”

It really does not sound like God is on their side. He’s deliberately giving them to the heathen. He’s allowing them to be overcome. In the words of the Psalmist, “But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.” What is going on? Doesn’t God love them? Why is God allowing this?

Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t understand why. Some of these things we will not understand until eternity. We can know however, that God is always just. And God always rewards those obedient to Him.

But let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to remember that in the moment. To be honest, I have to say that I’m not sure how faithful I would be in such a situation. I hope I’d be faithful. The Psalmists’ reaction to all this is something we can truly learn from. The psalmists say, “All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way.”

These men found the strength to praise God and faithfully seek His face while all their situations looked as if God Himself was against them. I challenge you with this statement: Faith is not faith that sees. If you can “see” God’s goodness in your life, you don’t need “faith” in God’s goodness. But when times like Psalm 44 come, it’s a true test of what you believe about the God of the universe.

Do you believe that God is good? Do you believe the promises that He has given? No matter what the situations look like, you can have faith in God’s promises like these men did.

Proverbs tells us, that If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. These men had great strength. When adversity came, they still boasted in God.

In all their hardship, they said, “In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.” Let us strengthen ourselves in the Lord, so if such hardships come to us, we may do the same.

 

Who reads Leviticus?

When was the last time you were reading through Leviticus and you got passionate about God? Or Deuteronomy? Do you spend all your time thinking about the burnt offerings or the sacrifices that Israel had to make? Maybe you do, but if you are like most Christians I know, you’re probably thinking, Are you kidding me? Those are the boring books. Who does their devotions in Leviticus?

Honestly, that’s been my attitude for the majority of my life. And I’m ashamed of how I’ve despised the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that, all scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness; that every part of the Bible is useful for the maturing of the man of God. But, most of us would have to admit that our actions and attitudes toward some parts of the Bible declare our scorn for God’s Word.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He pursued God. He loved God. He wanted to serve Him. In the Psalms, David wrote, O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97

You might object that he liked it because He was under the law and we aren’t. But realize, David understood that the law was only a shadow. In Psalm 51 he wrote, For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. David knew that the law was not an end in of itself. He understood that the heart of God was more than regulations, yet he loved God’s regulations just the same.

One more thought, if we think that some parts of the Bible are boring, do we meditate on the parts of the Bible we think are more interesting? I know I don’t. I fail every day.

Do you spend time meditating on the Word of God? Do you love the Word of God? Do you spend time in the Old Testament? God tells us that the people in the Old Testament were recorded so that we could learn from them. I challenge you, as I challenge myself, take the time to meditate on Scripture today. Maybe even flip back to the Pentatuch or one of those weirdly named prophets. Take a chance, read through an Old Testament book. Ask God to teach you something through His Word. Ask God to help you love His Word more.

Try it and you won’t regret it, I have no doubt.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:65

What’s besetting you?

Have you ever had difficulty in your spiritual life? When you went to fight the good fight of faith, you felt like something was weighing you down. Your struggle with sin was getting hard but above all, your fellowship with God seemed hindered. I would like to share one possible cause for such setbacks, and what we can do to overcome them.

Hebrews 12:1 challenges us, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," The Christian life has often been compared to a race such as the Olympics. Olympians train tirelessly for their competition. Their one focus is the prize. On the day of the race, they wear light clothing and leave behind anything that would slow them down. As Christians, we are to do the same. We must spend our lives focused on living for Christ and remove anything that would slow us down.

So, is there something hindering you in your spiritual life? Is there a sin that is acting as a weight in your race? Just like that athlete removes anything from his person so he can fulfill his purpose, we must remove anything that hinders ours.

Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" When we knowingly allow sin in our life we are breaking fellowship with God. I would like to challenge you. Don’t allow sin to keep you from having fellowship with your Creator and living a victorious life. Lay aside every weight, and any sin that besets you. Ask God to help you, I know He will.

"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." – Philippians 2:16

God is obsessed, with us?

Have you ever been in love? Ever have the emotional high where you simply cannot get someone out of your mind? You want to think about them all the time and know every thing about them. You want to know all the insignificant details of they’re life and be with them every moment. God’s love for us is like that. Except His love is real, and it’s eternal.

If we look at Psalm 139 we find David describing how much God has shown Him love. He says, "Thou has searched me and known me." In the passage we find that God knows when we stand and sit, and when we go in and out. He knows our thoughts and our words before we say them. Wherever we go, He is there. He saw us in the womb and knew our substance before we existed. God loves us so much He is watching us all the time. He wants to know everything about us. He wants to spend every moment with us. God is obsessed with us. He gave ultimate expression of His love when He died for us on the cross.

"What shall we then say to these things?" What can we say? Why would God love us? How can He love us so much? I can’t understand how He loves us. David had the same reaction in Psalm 139:6. He says, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high I cannot attain unto it."

I don’t really have a specific challenge except, remember God’s love. When you are tempted to sin, remember God’s love. Would you reject the one who died for you? When you find your problems too hard to bear, remember God’s love. He loves you so much He wants to take your burdens. When you are discouraged and dejected, remember God’s love. When everyone rejects you, remember God’s love. Almighty God cares for you, what other love can you need?

God’s love gives us value, it gives us purpose, it gives us motivation, it gives us direction. His love is the only thing truly worth living for.

Let us live for Him, because He died for us.

"We love him, because he first loved us." – 1 John 4:19