Santino came home from work this week after listening to a sermon from his favorite pastor John MacArthur. The sermon was on Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He asked me to tell him what I thought this scripture meant. I said “if we are delighting in the LORD, our desires will be His desires. If we are seeking and following Him, our hearts will want what He wants for us.” Then I thought . . . hmm . . . what is he getting at here?
We were talking about how often this scripture is quoted and even misquoted. It is almost as if we just use that second part to confirm our desires, as a guarantee to get what we want. We miss the whole first part of this scripture. “Delight in the LORD”. Santino was saying how if we delight in God, He will give us our desires. Not meaning he will grant what we want (whether it is or is not a desire from the LORD) but that the LORD will give us desires. We will desire the right things; we will want what God wants because we are delighting in Him. If we find our joy in the LORD, He will put things on our heart. We can pray confidently for those things because they are from Him!
I think the question becomes . . . are we truly “delighting in the LORD”? We don’t have to ask if God can and will give us the desires of our heart, He can and will. The question is . . . are we only thinking on the second part of this scripture? The part we can “claim” without pursuing and delighting in Him?
What does it mean to “delight” in the LORD? How do you find joy in the LORD? John Piper says in his book Desiring God, if we can think of Heaven as streets of gold, reuniting with our loved ones, enjoying blessings, no more crying and suffering, etc. without Christ, we’ve missed the point. He reminds us that the joy of Heaven is Christ! When you think of Heaven, do you think of his blessing or do you think of Him? Are you thinking of the gifts, or the Giver? Do you find joy in the LORD; joy in knowing that He is your Creator/Sustainer . . . Savior . . . Redeemer? He is the one in whom we delight! How do you delight in the LORD?