Desires of the Heart

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Empowering The New Evangelists

It never once occurred to me during those early years of waiting that God might be doing something good in withholding children from me.

That was definitely outside the realm of possibility. What was wrong was where the desire ranked on the spectrum of importance. Delight in the Lord? This will work out great for when I want to go to that one specific college or marry that guy or have this job. So a decade after my Psalm epiphany, I could be found sobbing, face down on the bathroom floor with a hundredth negative pregnancy test in my hand and a hole in my heart. Had God failed to deliver what I thought He had promised?

Could He be doing anything good in the years of fruitless waiting? The answers are obviously no and yes. He was doing something good in the years of waiting because He does not work without purpose. He is intentional and also kind. I get a similar feeling when I visit my hometown after having lived away for thirteen years.

I forget the back roads and shortcuts until I drive around for a while. The gospel is good news unto salvation. It is also nourishment for our soul and keeps us from shipwrecked faith and adopting false teaching 1 Tim. Sometimes, the Lord uses His Word to both rebuke and bind us up with healing. But my heart began to be filled. I went to the Word day after day to set my eyes on the goodness of God, and I was filled with what I found. He was good, faithful, merciful, just, wise, sovereign, present.

In dwelling on His character, I began to see that no desire, no matter how sweet or noble, could stand in the place of my Savior.

I am a slave to Christ, and therefore, no other master will do. Not motherhood, not marriage, not status, not notoriety. Even good things can become idols if they fight for center stage in our hearts. My son was born during those years. We traveled to meet him, brought him home a week later, became a legal family six months after that.

More years passed, and the joy we found in our son revived the old ache in my heart.

This time, I knew what I was missing. This time around, though, the ache drove me to the Lord immediately, and again I found that though my prayers for a child seemed to be met with silence, the ache for children was a gift. The ache was a scalpel that scraped away the surface of my desires and revealed that what my heart would always long for the most is God Himself. My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord. Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good. He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.

Psalm 37:4 NIV " Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart"

Your steadfast love, O Lord , extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me.

You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Day 12 Chapter 10 “Desires of Your Heart”

For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.

And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

Additional Resources

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. When we run up against perplexing or confusing questions like this, a good first step is to take a wider view of what the scriptures say about them.

Jesus slipped away to his favorite quiet retreat where he could without hesitation completely open his heart to his heavenly Father. But other times, he will give us new, even better, desires. These will be the very best desires of all. Because these desires will come from Jesus himself—he lives in our hearts and desires nothing but our greatest good.

Jesus knows which desires perfectly fit his plans for us to become more holy, godly people. If you read the entire Psalm 37, the psalmist looks at external measures of success and saw others flourishing while he was not. That was me.

Heart Desires Quotes (15 quotes)

Nothing that I desired—like building a big church and becoming a famous pastor who was in constant demand—came out the way that I hoped. It was a dark time. And then out of it, Jesus slowly helped me to grasp some new desires for my heart—desires that I quickly saw were far more in line with how He measured success than how I had been measuring it.

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