In Psalm 37:4 we read, ’Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ How can we do this? How do we delight ourselves in the Lord? He is truth and life. He is our Comforter and Saviour, and He is the source of all joy. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is joy’ (Galatians 5:22).
A spring comes up from the ground and trickles down the hillside. It grows, feeding and watering everything that depends on it, continuing until it becomes a river teeming with life. It has no end and is constantly flowing into the sea, merging with the vastness of the ocean. So it is with joy. As we drink from the source, and as we receive Jesus into our lives, at first, perhaps, it’s just a trickle. Then, as we begin to run and share Him with others, the joy of the Lord fills our hearts and we become part of the wider body of believers. Our delight is in Him, as His presence wells up inside. ‘For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14).
Now what might the desire of our heart be? Because this is what the Lord wants to give us. ‘Our heart,’ in this sense, is our innermost being. We’re not talking just about the things we want, or covet, or need to satisfy our ego. It’s deeper than that. A desire of the heart is a deep longing on the inside to ‘feed the hungry soul’ (Psalm 107:9 ESV), that is to fill the void in the centre of our lives which longs for true satisfaction.
When Mary and Martha welcomed Jesus into their home, Martha was the one who busied herself making sure that Jesus was well looked after, while Mary sat at His feet immersed in His teaching and feeding on His every word (Luke 10:38-42). Martha complained that she had been left to do all the work. But Jesus said, ‘only one thing is necessary’, and Mary had made that choice, to sit in the presence of Jesus and allow His words to settle and take root deep within her heart. Would this be our desire?
The psalmist David said, ‘One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple’ (Psalm 27:4).
David desired only one thing, to draw near to God and live continuously in His presence, and wonder at His majesty and glory. He longed to meet with Him in the holy place, and to remain with Him there, always. God was the centre of his life. He wrote about it in Psalm 23: ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’
Prayer: Lord, in my life I tend to hunger for many things, not all of which are edifying. Please help me to focus on the good things in life, the things that glorify You. These are the things You long to give. Your word tells me that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled. And I’m hungry Lord, for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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