Brian has spent years walking with God through prayers and studying the Bible diligently. He has worked with churches & outreach ministries.
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
This opening verse is a promise from the Lord our God pertaining fulfilment of our human desires. Do you know the message that God is sending us through this verse? Put simply, if we want the Lord to fulfil the desires of our hearts, we must first take delight in Him.
Are you aware that God intends and is willing to grant you the desires of your heart and make you happy? However, did you know that God wants to be the one that influences and shapes those desires? He would like to ensure that the wishes you have are the ones that will actually bring you closer to Him as He patiently waits for you in the Heavens.
What does it take to delight in the Lord? Taking delight in the Lord indicates that our hearts truly find peace and fulfilment in Him. If we truly find contentment and worth in worshipping Christ our Saviour, the Bible says that He will give to us the longing of our hearts.
Well, you might wonder the significance of the idea behind this verse and how does the act of taking delight in God allows you to fulfil your yearnings? Seeking your happiness in Him will act as a control mechanism to regulate your desires, whereby you will be determined to ask only those things which will be proper for Him to grant. As a result, the very fact that you do find your happiness in Him gives God the reason to grant you what you have asked for.
When we achieve happiness and contentment through the act of seeking God, our desires will naturally tend to align with His plans for us. By design, God will be more than pleased to answer our prayers effortlessly. We will then no longer have to deal with unfulfilled prayers and blaming God for them.
Let us take an example to elucidate this concept and give it another perspective. Take this for instance; a child loves his father very much and finds happiness in doing what his father wills him to do. In doing so, the child will naturally regulate his own ‘wishes’ or ‘desires’ to gain his father’s favour. Consequently, the father will be prepared to comply with his obliging son’s requests versus the child who disobeys him.
Another verse in the Bible also explains this concept fairly well. In Matthew 6:33, it is mentioned that we should first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the necessities of life will be given to us as well. We do not have to worry about scarcity when we are in the Kingdom of God. Seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness here implies that holiness will make you a member of Christ's spiritual kingdom. Consequently, being in such an environment will alter your desire to fit the surroundings. People who have come into the kingdom of God should not put material things of earthly life as a priority in their lives. Instead, it will be more suited for one to strive and make the kingdom of God their primary concern.
Many of us seek wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, without putting God's interests first. When we seek what is not meant for the good of God and His kingdom, these prayers albeit being done daily will not be fulfilled. This is because such requests lack the requirements from God. The things we seek do not reflect our identity as Christians, and as such, the likelihood of them being fulfilled is quite low. And when this happens, unfulfilled desires will get us wishing and desiring them even more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure - “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is a true treasure indeed - “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
To further explain the implication of right and wrong desire and attitudes towards material things, the Bible says in Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
In this context, your eyes represent your heart. If your heart is focused on things that are good, you will be filled with goodness, but if your heart is focused on things that are evil, you will be full of darkness. The latter comes with a risk of spiritual condemnation. If you focus on heavenly treasures, your soul will be ‘enlightened’, whereas if you focus on earthly treasures and worldly things more, there is a likelihood that your soul may stray into the realm of the dark, causing you to focus on the things this world has to offer instead of what our Lord can offer.
To put things in perspective, we will never ever be deeply fulfilled or ‘happy’ with the things this world has to offer if we seek it without God’s blessings. On the other hand, if we place our joy and hope in Him first, He will see to it that all of our needs that glorify Him are met. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be on the earthly things, but eternal treasures in Christ.
Let us be frank and honest with ourselves - having everything in this world may never satisfy all of our deepest longings. We might never be able to find that out, but, if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus did say that “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
In Genesis 15:18, Abraham had delighted in God and the Lord gave Abraham and his descendant’s possession of the promised Canaan land described as ‘from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.’ As God promised Abraham, the whole world was blessed through him. In fact, Jesus Christ the Messianic Son of God, came through the lineage of Abraham to bless the whole world (Matthews 1:1-16; John 3:16).
If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ according to God’s Word, you receive God’s blessings not only as a child of Abraham but as a child of God (Galatians 3:7, 26). And He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4-5; Matthew 6:33).
In another example portrayed in the Bible about blessings that come from delighting in God is the one that dictated Moses, who ran away from Egypt, being appointed the leader to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Moses was recognized by many as the greatest Old Testament leaders, and one of the foremost prophets of the Old Testament. God gave Moses the privilege to prophesize about the coming of Jesus: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
It is evident that from the examples depicted in the Bible, Abraham and Moses are two people of the Old Testament who delighted in God and were blessed in fellowshipping with Him. As a result, they were both blessed beyond their wildest dreams and God fulfilled the desires of their hearts. Delighting in God in the New Testament begins with believing in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. As you continue to obey Him by doing the right thing, your joy and desire to please Him grows. When you delight in God with all your heart, He gives you the desires of your heart.
A Prayer for Today
Lord, we see so many things around us that we selfishly want. We lust after material things and people whom we know will not give us long-term joy. Please be with our mind and our heart as we surrender ourselves to delight in You. Holy Father, help us to keep our sights focused on what is good. We want to focus on You, Your grace, and Your Kingdom.
You alone are the key to the meaning of life. Fill us with Your light always. We thank You that You put desires in our hearts. Thank You that You are calling us to our destiny and telling us what we can become as long as we keep Your best interest at heart.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 23, 2021:
I like that you stress focus on God, and desiring something that lasts rather than something momentary. Thanks for sharing these insights.