Psalm 37: 4 says, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." I was taught growing up that if you had God as your greatest delight, he would change your desires so they would be in line with what God wanted. and then those desires would be granted. This meant that our desires would become things like having bigger ministries, or other things that meant we were becoming better Christians. Another interpretation is that if we really delight in God, all of our wishes will be granted, even if those include a luxury car, a nicer house, and plenty of money.
Both of these interpretations have one thing in common. They both treat God as a kind of divine vending machine. If you put something in, you get something out. Usually the way you prove your delight in God is by doing more Bible reading and praying, by going to church more often, or by doing any number of practices. Any of these things are fine in and of themselves. The problem comes when we do them thinking that it will obligate God to do certain things for us. It doesn't matter if those things are material or not, if we see them as payment for the things we do, we are wrong.
We were talking about this in our gathering on Sunday, and I got to thinking. What if delighting in God is the desire? God doesn't put the priority on what we do, but rather on being in relationship with him. Jesus said that eternal life is knowing the Father, and knowing the Son. We are given life not just to live a moral life and then go to heaven when we die. We are given life in order to intimately know the Father and the Son. Everything we do comes out of that relationship.
When a married couple love each other, they each take delight in the other. That delight does bring about certain actions, but it is not the actions that bring about the delight, rather it is the other way around. The goal of the delight is not to get things from the other. Instead it is delight that is rewarded with greater intimacy, which brings greater delight, which brings...you get the picture.
I believe that it is that way in our relationship with our Father. When we delight in him, when our beings are wrapped up in getting to know him better and living in his love, God gives us the thing we desire, more intimacy with him. That causes more desire, which brings about more delight, and so on. As I look at Psalm 37, I see God blessing his people in ways that go beyond just material and physical.
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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