Sunday, October 26, 2014

Our heart's desire...

There have certainly been times when I have questioned God about why it is I don't have my "heart's desire" - how about you?  Try as we might, we just cannot figure out why there is a delay in seeing the desire of our hearts come to fulfillment.  We question the delay, doubt our faithfulness, and begin to worry they might never be fulfilled.  If we just hold onto the one passage of scripture which says all we need to do is to do what the Lord wants and he will give us the desires of our heart, then we wonder if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.  Before long, we begin to wonder if we have some kind of "barrier" to seeing our heart's desire fulfilled - like sin hidden deep within our hearts, wrong motives, or the like.  If we really want to discover the truth about the "long wait", we have to take it to God and trust him to reveal the purpose.

Trust the Lord and live right!  The land will be yours, and you will be safe. Do what the Lord wants, and he will give you your heart’s desire.  Let the Lord lead you and trust him to help.  Then it will be as clear as the noonday sun that you were right.  (Psalm 37:3-6 CEV)

Some of us want to "cherry pick" the portions of scripture we will "hold onto" and then forget all was written in some type of "context".  Looking again at our psalm, it starts with the idea of not being annoyed with those who do wrong, but seem to prosper.  Admit it, we have all been there at one time or another, wondering why the guy or gal who seems to live so far from what is right actually is enjoying blessings beyond measure.  It is easy to drift into the dangerous ground of envy - the very thing this psalm warns against!  The rest of the psalm reminds us of the "fleeting nature" of the blessings of those who don't have their hearts and minds "fixed" on doing the things God would desire. They might have "temporary blessing" beyond our understanding, but they won't retain those blessings - nor will their hearts and spirits be as full as those who have their focus fully fixed on Jesus!

The "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say becomes quite plain as we read on in our psalm.  Those who live by the sword will be destroyed by the sword.  Those who rise to power outside of the security of being part of God's family will soon lose their power - and living powerless is no living at all.  As it is aptly put, "Their time is coming..."  But...see the flip-side of the coin, my friends.  Those who put their trust in the Lord, living by the plans he ordains, shall enjoy living daily in his care.  What God gives each of us is ours forever - no one can take away grace, or his love, or even his presence!  It is ours forever.  Additionally, when the lean times come, we have "reserves" upon which we shall draw which the wicked have no access to.

The crux of the psalm is found in verses 23-24, where our psalmist outlines our assurance pretty succinctly:  "If you do what the Lord wants, he will make certain each step you take is sure.  The Lord will hold your hand, and if you stumble, you still won't fall."   Our focus is not on what we don't have, but on what we already enjoy.  The condition of our enjoyment - "doing" what the Lord wants.  In other words, set about to live obediently and let the rest fall into place in your life.  Stop worrying about what it is you "don't have" and focus instead on what you do possess.  What we are doing then is allowing God to be the center of our choices and decisions will be made in a much better manner than if we are always bemoaning what we "don't have" yet.

The Lord protects and provides for his people - this is something we can stand on when times of doubt or frustration with God's timing come into play.  We can "talk back" to our doubts and "put away" our frustrations when we remember God is there for us whenever we need him.  Those we envy because they seem to "have it all" are not so privileged, my friends.  They have no "recourse" in their time of need.  They have no protection when times are hard, or doubt is creeping in.  Our mission is to live as the Lord wants.  Our practice is to be engaged in doing what he directs us to do.  This is the crux of obedience.  Then, in the course of doing as we should, we realize the blessings God intends for our lives.  Our heart's desire may actually change in the course of time, but if not, the time it takes to see the fulfillment of that desire will be time well spent in the presence of a caring and loving God who is readying us to receive that blessing!  Just sayin!

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