“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This verse from Psalms is possibly the most misunderstood verse of Scripture. I have heard many believers using this verse as a kind of magic formula to get whatever they want, be it health, wealth, a new car, a nicer house, whatever. But note that it doesn’t say, “He will give you what you desire,” it says, that “he will give you the desires of your heart.” From my understanding, based on both other scriptures and my own experience as a believer, if I delight in the Lord, – if He is my focus, my source, my life, my everything – then he changes my desires. If I am focused on Him, I no longer crave the temporary things that I chased after before. As I delight myself in Jesus, He gives me a divine perspective. (See how everything keeps coming back to that?) I begin to desire things like more intimacy with Him, to know His will and to do it. To walk with Him – to run with Him, to make Him smile, to make Him laugh with sheer pleasure. I find I want to be the child He delights in, not a child that tries His patience or grieves His heart.
This became very clear to me one day as I was sitting by the lake at our house in Port Huron. It was a beautiful morning, and I was enjoying the sunshine, the water, and the light breeze that caressed my cheek. I was praying through the “Temple Prayer,” that is, the system of approaching God as His people did in Old Testament times. I had recognized the sacrifice at the “brazen altar” that was required in order for me to enter God’s presence – the sacrifice that Jesus provided when He died on the cross. I had stopped at the “laver” to “wash” – confessed my sins and accepted the cleansing from His blood. I had taken in the light from the candelabra – the Holy Spirit – and asked Him to fill me. I had eaten the “shewbread,” that is, read the Scriptures and taken in their spiritual nourishment. And finally, I was coming to the “altar of incense” and offering my sacrifice, via playing my harp and singing His praises from the depths of my heart – offering the worship that is like incense to Him.
As I finished one of the most passionate, intimate love songs to the Lord, I closed my eyes and visualized stepping into the Holy of Holies – the most sacred place. As I did so, something happened that I will never forget.
The wind picked up, and as I felt it blowing through my hair, I heard all the strings of my harp vibrating at the same time, some louder than others, then fading as other notes were highlighted. This music was more than beautiful. It had an other-worldly quality that I can’t describe. I thought, I really am in the Holy of Holies!
I was afraid to open my eyes, partly because I wasn’t sure what I would see, but mostly because whatever was happening, I didn’t want it to stop. As the strange melodies continued, I could easily imagine them to be the fluttering of angels’ wings.
Then the thought occurred to me: If I’m really in the Holy of Holies, I can ask God anything I want, and He will give it to me! What an opportunity! I could pull out my prayer list (my wish list) and start asking.
But at that moment I couldn’t remember a single thing on the list! I began to pray, but all I found myself saying was, Lord, please … please, make me what You want me to be! That’s all I want. And that really was all I wanted at that moment!
Now I’ve thought of a lot of things since then that I could have asked for, and many of them are really good things. But I know that at that moment, when I was unmistakably in His presence, I was praying the ultimate prayer. He had given me the desire of my heart, and I have been asking Him for that ever since.
Prayer: Lord, as I delight in You, give me the desires of my heart – the desires You want me to have. Help me to stop wasting my time and my prayers on lesser things. I want to be all that You created me to be, and I want my life to be lived for You, in Jesus’ name. Amen