A change of heart

The Bible doesn’t usually dole out “if, then” statements but it does have a lot to say about living life. If you do BLANK, then BLANK will happen. When you BLANK, God will BLANK. Don’t BLANK or God will BLANK. Statements about how to live life. Warnings about what not to do and how not to do it.

One has a promise associated with it. Honor your mother and father, and your days will be long.

One has God daring us to test Him. Trust Him with your finances and He will give you more back than you have room to store.

But what about this one? Psalm 37:4.

4 Take delight in the Lord,
      and he will give you your heart’s desires.

To take delight in something is to find joy in it. Dictionary.com says that delight means “a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment.” How many times have you taken a “a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment” in God this week? How many times have I?

I delight in Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes (ironic because according to the word history of delight, it shares a root with the same word for delicious). I delight in a really good story. I delight in sunrises and sun sets on my farm.  But delighting in God? That seems more difficult to do because in a strict sense, He isn’t something our senses can experience. We can’t see Him. We can’t touch Him. Or smell Him. Or taste Him. Or feel Him.

I’ve heard it said before, though, that we can’t see the wind either. But we can see the effects of the wind. It’s the same with God. We can’t see Him but we can seen what He’s been up to. And I’m telling you, if there were ever someone to take delight in, it’s God. There’s no one more worthy of it. Because there’s no one like Him.

And when we finally convince ourselves that God is worth delighting in, something pretty spectacular happens. When He is all that matters, our lives take a sudden turn. And suddenly, we have everything we ever wanted.

Now, does God wait for us to turn to Him before He starts giving us everything we want? No. Not really. Because honestly, even if you turn to Him, there may be some things He holds back. They may not be good for you to begin with.

What happens instead is that when you turn to God and delight yourself in Him and in the things that He is doing, your heart changes. And when your heart changes to love the things He loves, your desires change too.

It’s funny. Because when I got my perspective right and started delighting in God and living the way God wanted me to, I realized that I already had everything my heart desired. And then I was overwhelmed when God gave me more, beyond the things that I had desired, over and above.

And that’s because He’s good. He’s so good to us, especially when we aren’t good to Him.

So whenever I feel myself unsatisfied with my life or my accomplishments or the things I have, I just remind myself that I need to take joy in God and what God is doing in my life and in the lives of others. And when I do that, suddenly the things that I wanted don’t seem to matter so much. They seem temporal and fleeting because I can see how silly they are in comparison to what God is doing in the world. And when I start wanting the same things that God wants, He answers . . . and most of the time, He gives me the other things I wanted too.