by Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday May 16, 2005
The Desires of Your Heart
When people speak about their desires, this is the passage they often mention with zeal but not much genuine understanding. We love the idea that God will give us the desires of our heart. Unfortunately, when we focus only on receiving good things, we miss the Psalm’s context, which is a divine promise with human obligations.
God’s greatest interest is not giving us a hand-out, but rather giving us more of Himself. Our self-indulgent prayers overlook the first requirement the promise’s fulfilllment: delight in the Lord. We are to take pleasure in time spent communing with Him or serving Him. As we read Scripture and share our heart with God in prayer, we will experience His work in our life and our trust in Him will deepen.
Over time, our growing confidence in God means that we begin to appropriate His ways of thinking. Commiting to God’s plan, which is the second requirement, reforms our heart’s desires until they look like His own wishes for us. Even so, sometimes what God provides appears very different from what we requested. But when He hears our short-sighted appeals, He answers based on His infinite knowledge and great love—instead of giving us what we think we want, He bestows the perfect answer to our prayer.
God derives enjoyment from responding to our requests, but His greatest joy is hearing us express an earnest desire to know Him better. The by-product of delighting in God and commiting to His way is receiving our heart’s wishes. Our primary reward is a relationship with the God who offers to share Himself with humanity.
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