Psalm 37:4–5 (NIV)
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
Let’s be honest, when we see verses like this our flesh lights up, does it not? Before we really examine Scripture like this deeply, our flesh would tell us that God promises us whatever we desire in our hearts. Oh, how a verse like this can be manipulated. As a young believer, I would often earnestly go to the Lord with the desires of my heart… the keywords being my heart. I would pray and pray until I would give up, thinking the Lord did not hear my request or flat out denied them. But, when we really examine these verses, it is not giving a free ticket to the wishes of our hearts.
The first part of this Scripture says take delight in the Lord, then verse six says commit your ways to the Lord. That is actually the key part of this portion of Scripture. I would often ask for a number of different things, money, material possessions, I probably even threw in some sports requests along the way… “God, if you would only let the Red Sox win this one game.” I really did not understand how prayer worked. Instead of seeking the Lord’s will through prayer, I was requesting what was essentially a blank check to do with as I please. I probably have not been as wrong about anything in my life.
Are we believers that take delight in the Lord? What does that even mean? Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us take delight in the “stuff” of this world. This is not a condemnation to everyone as I can be that way too, we all can. But, the question remains, where does our delight come from? Sure, we can all tend to fixate on that one thing we want, but, where is our heart for the most part? Do you take delight in godly things? Do you seek understanding in Scripture to emulate the Savior? If we delight in the Lord, that is where our heart will be also.
Committing our “way” to the Lord is even a little tougher, it takes a little more dedication. We can believe and never fully surrender. That is a tough walk to walk, to know the will of the Lord and continue down your path leads to tremendous struggle. It is a lot like sailing against the wind instead of succumbing to the wind’s direction. The wind knows which way it wants to blow, just as our Lord knows the way in which our path should go. We can either commit our way completely in surrender or we can fight against it. If things seem to always be a fight, maybe you have not committed your way to the Lord as much as you may think.
Trust Him and He will do this… I have seen and experienced the direction of my flesh enough to know that the Lord has a far better plan for me. He has also never let me down, nor will He ever forsake you. Trust the Lord enough with your life that you are delighted in the path He chooses and then commit your way to Him completely!
When we pray, we can do so with selfish ambition, or we can pray according to His will. One prayer is promised to be answered, while the other is unlikely to be heard. If we are walking in His delight down a path He has provided, our prayer should naturally align with His will.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
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