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  • Writer's picturePaper Paladin

The Desires of Our Heart

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4)

In the last post, I talked about how if we seek God, we'll find Him, and He will be good to us. Our hearts and souls are satisfied with God. We can enjoy knowing Him, His character, and His story.

How often do we feel the opposite?

Have you ever yelled at God, "If you really loved me, you'd give me what I want!" And if you haven't yelled it, are you willing to admit that you've thought it?

How quickly we can go from hearing about God's goodness to seeing what we don't have.

It reminds me of the Israelites shortly after being rescued from Egypt. They accused God of bringing them out of Egypt to be killed, first by Pharoah's army chasing them, then when they were hungry, and also when they were thirsty (Exodus 14:11-12, Exodus 16:3, Exodus 17:2-3). Each time, the Israelites looked at what they didn't have and held tightly to their fear. And each time, Moses had to remind them to trust that God would continue to rescue them.

Like the Israelites, we often get things backward.

We start with "me" and not "Him." We believe the lie that "if I get this, then I'll be happy." It's the same lie that Adam and Eve believed. We forget the truth that "if I have God, then I'll be content." It only works this way because we are His handiwork, His creation. When we direct our attention to our circumstances (what we desire, what we think we cannot live without, what we think we deserve to have), it clouds our perspective of our Father. We can't see who God is, His character, and the promises He has made to us. We don't "count our blessings one by one." We end up settling for less than what God intends for us.

God allows us to choose "second best."

In Ezekiel 14:1-5, Ezekiel talked about this with the elders of Israel. God clearly stated that He would give them what they wanted in order to "recapture the hearts of the people."

We also saw this play out when the people of Israel asked for a king. God said to Samuel,

"Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them." (1 Samuel 8:1-9, ESV)

God didn't end Israel's story there, though. God raised up David to be Saul's replacement and, through David's descendants, ultimately redeemed the flawed kingship through Jesus. This speaks to what author Brad Jersak refers to as the pattern of repentance and relationship with God. Because God can use everything for His purposes (which are good), we can trust that He will recapture our hearts (and those we love) even when we/they choose the "not best".

Praise God for His long-suffering love towards us!

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