Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord. And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
For years my mother has been pleading with me to have a daily quiet time with God. Many times, I shrugged off her requests in irritation. I would get extremely annoyed at her insistence that my walk with the Lord needed to be deeper than church on Sundays. Carving out twenty, thirty or forty minutes of my precious time each day just didn’t seem worth it to me. I was doing alright. I was saved wasn’t I? Why didn’t she just let me be?
In my dozen years as an “adult”, I have learned lessons the hard way. Without a real relationship with God, decisions have been consistently made based on what I thought, felt or desired at any given moment. Raised in the church, I prayed for things often, but only lately have I realized that I couldn’t possibly have actually heard God when waiting for direction. I mean, I had no idea what His voice sounded like. I’d never spent any time with Him, so how could I possibly expect to discern His prompting apart from my own ideas about things? Ultimately, I’m pretty sure it’s been my way, not God’s that my life has been lived.
I have regrets. Lots of them. I look back at some of the choices I’ve made and still wonder if they were the “right” ones. Major life decisions that were made thinking I’d heard God – now seem like hopeful shots in the dark. Because, since dedicating myself to a regular quiet time a the beginning of the year, I’ve come to understand what real communion with the Lord is like. Each day (mostly) as I dig into His word, I feel Him calling me, coaching me, correcting me. He meets me exactly where I am, with all the baggage I’m dragging in with me that day. There’s a continual renewing of my thoughts and heart as I turn my troubles over to Jesus and ask Him to guide me through them. And I am experiencing the wonderful peace of God even in the areas where I feel totally out of control. It’s the first time I can honestly say that God is my friend. It is wonderful.
Many times I’ve read the above scripture in from Psalm 37 and wondered why I didn’t have (insert childish, selfish or unrealistic desire here). If God was going to grant me the desires of my heart, why wasn’t I set up with all the things I wanted? As I draw closer to my Lord, I have realized (upcoming “duh” moment for many of you) that when I’m delighting in Him, my desires change. What is really important to me no longer costs money. It doesn’t come from a store. You can’t wrap it in a box. The things of God are so much more valuable than any materialistic prize. Oh, sometimes I still have “things” I want – stuff that really entices me. I’ve just started turning them over to the Lord. The amazing thing is watching God take those desires and morph them into character qualities that benefit my soul.
The more intimate my times with my Savior, the greater my desire is to be like Him. To radiate his love and mercy to those around me. I am not naturally, nor have I ever before really wanted to be a gracious gentle person. I’m a little rough around the edges. I say stupid things because my mouth has the ability to process speech faster than my brain can sort through thoughts. I used to take great pride in my quick wit and knack for “zingers”. But lately, my pleasure comes from being soft and pliable in the hands of the Potter. I want to bless the lives of everyone around me as I rejoice in the calm sense of purpose I now feel. It’s an incredible feeling to actually hear Him and know I’m not the one calling the shots anymore. Suddenly, after 12 years, the great desire of my heart is to be exactly what God wants of me.