Dr. Mel Tavares
The Desires of Your Heart
(C) 2021 Mel Tavares
Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Does that mean God will give me the red convertible sports car I've wanted? God knows I want one, and He knows I find my delight in Him, so shouldn't I expect a delivery truck at my front door soon, bringing me the desire of my
heart-the nice sports car I've coveted for years? Isn't that what Psalm 37:4 means?
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but that is not what the verse means. In the Hebrew language the verse was written in, delight means pleasure or enjoyment. Delighting in the Lord means to fully enjoy the blessings of knowing the Lord, His character, His creation, and His plans for you.
David penned Psalm 37 in response to the plight of his day and the evil that was creeping in to the lives of people. Reading through the Old Testament, it is clear people dealt with the same issues as we deal with today. Evil sometimes seemingly prospers and the righteous people seemingly do not. In Psalm 37:4, David was encouraging people to find their delight in the things of God, not what the world has to offer (houses, cars, land, jewels...)
The Desires of Your Heart
What about the desires of your heart being given? Contextually, this verse is referring to those who are living a righteous life and have holy and righteous desires of the heart. Does that mean it is evil to want a sports car? Not at all! Most people turn their heads when a nice sports car goes by, and desiring to have one isn't wrong, in and of itself. Just don't expect that God is going to give it to you, based on Psalm 37:4.
Deep Desires of the Heart Some Bible commentators say that when we delight ourselves in the Lord as defined above, we begin to want what God wants. His desires become our desires. Those desires go deeper than wanting a red sports car.
The deepest desires of every human is to know God and know the purposes of their life, whether they recognize it or not. Some would describe it as a 'God-shaped hole'. Others say things like "I feel so empty. I have a great career, nice home, all that money can buy. Yet, I feel empty." The emptiness is there because things cannot fill the deepest desires and longings of the heart.
God created you with a unique purpose in mind, using your gifts and talents and personality. Your purpose (from God) will always align with His ultimate purposes. As you delight in Him and learn His Heart, you will discover that your gifts and talents fit perfectly with the overall purposes in the Kingdom of God. For example, if a deep desire of yours is to be sure that no one goes to sleep hungry at night, chances are that you are filled with mercy and compassion. Since God is deeply concerned about the well-being of people, your desire to feed the hungry would match His. (Matthew 25:31-40) Another example might be that you have the talent to work on car engines. As you continue to delight yourself in the Lord, your desire to help the widows (for example) by doing work on their vehicles may grow. 1 Timothy 5 speaks to God's directives on caring for the widows. Do you see how deep desires of the heart, that you may not know are lying there dormant and waiting to be activated? Delighting yourself in the Lord is the key to activating the desires.
Love The Lord God With All Your Heart When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, His response was this: (Matthew 22:37 NIV) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind." Loving the Lord wholeheartedly will result in delighting in Him. Delighting in Him will result in Him giving you the desires of your heart. And, who knows? You might even be given a 'bonus' and get that sports car you've been wanting!