Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Desires of the Heart

by Garth Gaddy

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

In this season of commercialized Christmas, man’s desire-based life is on full display. Television, radio, internet and newspaper are all used to stoke the fire of our fleshly desire and get us ramped up to buy the next big thing. Our fleshly response to the above verse is to focus only on the second half—getting the desires of our heart. But God is not our personal genie. Shouldn’t we rather be interested in what God desires for us? What His will is for us?

As believers our desires should be aligned with God’s desires. That is where the first half of the verse comes in—to delight ourselves in the Lord. So how do we get to the second part of the verse, God giving us the desires of our heart? First, we need a God-affected heart.

John MacArthur, in his sermon “Found: God’s Will,” gives us six steps to delighting in the Lord and aligning with His will.

  1. Salvation: This sounds obvious but must be recognized as foundational. It is impossible for an unbeliever to know God’s will because he cannot accomplish the next steps without the Spirit of God.
  2. Spirit-Filling (Eph. 5:18): We must saturate ourselves in His Word for Him to be in control.
  3. Sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3): Exercising control over our bodies. Become conformed to the image of Christ in every way.
  4. Submission (1 Pet. 2:13-17): Submit to the authorities God has placed in your life.
  5. Suffering (1 Pet. 3:17, Mt. 10:24-25): Suffer according to the will of God. Be willing to stand up and be counted for Christ. If you live a godly life in this society, you will suffer.
  6. Choose. That’s right–choose! If the above five steps are in place, God will have implanted His righteous desires in your heart and you get to choose, knowing that you will be deciding within His will.

Delight yourself in the Lord; He will then implant in you righteous desires, and you get to choose.

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