Your Heart's Desire
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 NIV
Can you imagine what your life would be like if it were completely stress-free and perfect in every way? But living in this world, true perfection is impossible for us to envision. There is always something to worry about, even for the most blessed person on earth. That wasn’t the case for Adam and Eve, though. They lived with perfection every day, and God, himself, supplied everything they could need or want. Do you think they took it for granted? Not ever having known want or imperfection, how could they possibly appreciate what they had? Unimaginable beauty, flowers of every kind, perfectly ripe, delectable fruit hanging on the trees; the most perfectly lavish abundance - beyond anything we could ever know. A custom-designed atmosphere so perfect they did not even need to wear clothes. (Life would so much better without tight waistbands and mirrors!) Shame, rejection and regret were foreign concepts to them. God was their friend. He spoke with them face-to-face and walked with them every day. They were fully known, accepted and loved. He only asked one small thing: don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge. But they chose to disobey him and the rest is history. In their case, what they didn't know really wouldn't have hurt them.
I am pretty sure that one of God’s most heartbreaking days was the day they hid because they were suddenly afraid of him - their creator, father, and best friend! To prevent them from eating from the tree of Eternal Life, God had to cast them out of Eden and they were left to struggle on their own in an imperfect world full of pain and suffering, forever separated from the One who loved them beyond imagination. For them, NOT feeling His love was inconceivable. With one small but extremely fateful act of disobedience, they lost it all, just to taste that one forbidden fruit. Talk about regret!
How often do we give away our joy because we can’t stop longing for that one thing we don’t - or can’t - have? Instead of appreciating all of the blessings God has given us, all we can think about is that one thing. We spend time, energy and prayers trying to get it, only to have it lose its luster when we finally get it; and then we are off to find something else.
Psalm 37:4 is probably one of the more misunderstood verses in the Bible. People quote that verse as saying that if you just love God, He will give you anything your heart desires. That is partially true, but the first half is the qualifier, “Take delight in the Lord.” If your heart’s greatest delight is God, and you seek him more diligently than anything else, he will reveal his love to you and teach you how to have a deep, satisfying and rewarding relationship with him. Please make no mistake; God's love is no mere consolation prize. A deeply meaningful, personal relationship with the Creator of all that exists is the ultimate gift; far better than any earthly treasure, honor or pleasure you might long for. It is worth giving up everything you have in order to get it; it is worth your very life. I can promise you that if Adam and Eve could do it all over again, their choice would be different the next time.
Prayer: Father God, you are truly my greatest delight. Walking with you daily, talking with you, receiving answers to my prayers and being used in your service has brought me joy beyond anything I could have hoped or imagined, even in the midst of tough times. As this new year begins, take me deeper in my walk with you and let your will be done in my life, whatever that might mean for me. Draw me to you and help me love you more with each passing day. You are an amazing God, a good father, and my closest, dearest and best friend. I love you and thank you with all of my heart for loving me, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45