Delight before Desire
Years ago someone had come to me with a word that they felt God had laid on their heart for me. “I was praying for you and I felt God tell me that He will give you the desires of your heart.” Well, isn’t that nice? It sounds like God is all out to spoil me rotten and drop gift bombs from the sky all my life. So I walked around with this bubble of hope and expectation for all the desires in my heart because God had told someone that this is what He would do, give them to me.
Fast forward a good many years later and I sit with a popped bubble and quite a few dings and little hope left. My heart is tired of hoping. My head is tired of dreaming up big desires. And that word from a friend is nothing but tainted. What went wrong?
So that word from God given by a friend is actually very much in the Bible. Let’s flip the pages of the Psalms to number 37 vs 4, “…And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Well, there it is. First, the initial ellipses and then the big fat ‘AND’. I missed half the message. I missed half the story.
“Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most.” – Psalm 37:4 (Passion Translation)
We’re actually called to delight in God and find pleasure in Him FIRST. I currently sit bruised and battered from all the failed expectations, unmet desires and challenges to get what I want. What has this done to my soul? It’s pretty hard. It’s kinda wrapped in a stone wall of defense. I’ve been told “don’t get your hopes up” too many times that I laid brick upon brick to stop hope from finding a way in. So when it comes to asking God for the desires in my heart, I feel no sense of faith or hope to do so. Because, so many desires lying in a dead pile staring at me reminding me that He hasn’t given them to me… like was the promise.
The word ‘delight’ has an odd meaning. In part it means to be soft and tender. Hm… “So you’re saying if I had just spent these years chasing delighting in God rather than chasing desires I would be soft and tender in that delight?” Probably. I think that we can even extend this… He is our desire. So if I find myself in delight of Him, He will always meet the desire of my heart with His joy, love and hope.
In the past few months it has been the scripture that Lee and I have felt called to think about, pray about and act out. Obviously I have history with this scripture and when Lee brought it up I was actually amazed to rethink it and learn all of the above. Our desire right now would be a good, secure, spacious home for us and our growing family but this isn’t just happening right now and so I have a choice… get hard and angry that again, unmet desire OR delight in the God who has blessed me enough to have a place to live in the most beautiful city, a community around to support our new family and enough bedrooms for us to have our baby Taylor Nova here. I choose to change my mindset which always wanted more and delight in the God who has been faithful in my whole life. I have never wanted. I have always had enough. He is enough. And because of that I choose to delight.
This has had a physical outworking… we’re currently in our same flatlet but things are moving forward, there is hope about how to make it work for our growing family and things are changing. So not my dream home (yet – I still believe in that), but it is in progress and it’ll be a space of fruit and life and delighting (and less stress at an already overwhelming time)!
I challenge you, if there’s an area you’re just pursuing a desire… think about taking some of that time to just gaze on God and ‘feast on His faithfulness’ (Psalm 37) and you may find yourself full of courage and hope again.