Delight Yourself in the Lord
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:4-6
How can we tell if the desires of our hearts are our own, or inspired by the Lord? After all, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer.17:9) These two passages in Psalm 37 and Jeremiah 17 reveal the balance and the answer to this question and give us a key in determining the will of God and His direction for our lives.
Many have read this and only heard the “he will give you the desires of your heart” part of this passage. The prerequisite for this is that we must first delight ourselves in the Lord. A person that delights themselves in the Lord is someone who enjoys the things that God enjoys. This also includes disliking the things that God hates. These things are plainly laid out in the God’s Word. If you have or even want to have a heart that delights in the Lord, you will make an effort to find out what those things are. If you delight in someone you are not going to knowingly continue to do things that are offensive to them.
The second part of this passage says that we are to “commit our way to him.” This refers to surrendering the direction you desire to go as well as the manner in which you pursue that direction. The end result is not justified by the means. Someone who delights in the Lord must commit to not only pursuing God’s will but commit to pursuing it God’s way.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end leads to death” (Prov.14:12, 16:25).
This happens when we try to fulfill God’s purposes in our lives in our own strength. Decisions made based and worldly reasoning and human wisdom lead to death and destruction in our lives. Moses found this out when he slew the Egyptian even though God had placed the desire in his heart to see the children of Israel delivered.
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD . He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD , whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
A heart that delights in the Lord is one that makes decisions based on the foundation of God’s Word. By doing so we trust in God’s ways instead of our own strength and wisdom. God’s Word also deals with the motive of our hearts. The “why” you are doing something is just as important as the “what” you are doing. You can do something that is good and do it for the wrong reason and still miss the mark of God’s will. The Holy Spirit lives in us, applying the Word and sifting out our selfish motives.
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword,penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (Amplified Bible)
If we ignore this prompting in our heart, we set ourselves up to be deceived by the very mechanism that God uses to lead us. True we are lead by the Spirit, but His Spirit bears witness with our spirit leading and guiding us into His perfect will.