"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
All around us we find distractions that vie for our attention all day long. Cell phones, social media, friends, school, work, relationships... It's crazy to think that we have time for anything else! However, at the end of the day, anything short of the God we believe in will leave us empty and searching for something more. One of the richest and most privileged men of all time, the human author of Ecclesiastes, searched and searched for anything that would satisfy him and bring meaning to his life. He had money, he had work, he had physical pleasures, but he came to the conclusion near the end of his life that nothing satisfied him but God (Ecclesiastes 2:11). If one of the wealthiest, most hard working men in all of time couldn't find satisfaction in anything but God, we should expect the same result.
It's very easy to get caught up in the things around us. Without even knowing it, we create idols from these things, and they end up defining who we are. The second commandment found in Exodus 20 warns us of making idols out of things (v. 4-5). An idol is anything that we put above God. Things we often put above God include sports, school, relationships, work, time with our cell phones, or anything else that fights for our attention.
David tells us in Psalm 37:4 to "take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Let's break it down.
God wants us to delight in Him. This means to take pleasure in God. God wants a relationship with you as a father has with his child or like a relationship with your best friend. When you get to school, the first thing that you do when you get there is probably look for your friends. When we get up in the morning, God wants us to look to Him too. He wants to be first in our lives—not because we have to put Him first (though that is still a commandment) but because we want to. To take delight in the Lord means to be satisfied in who He is, but more on that later.
Once you take delight in God, once you want Him above everything else and put Him first, then He will give you what your heart desires. Maybe that means getting into the college that you've been working so hard to get in to. Or maybe that means making the varsity sports team. Or maybe it might mean getting a promotion at work or starting new relationships with those around you.
The bottom line is this: Once you put God first, He will work out everything else going on around you. Once He has the rightful place in your heart, everything else will fall into place according to His timing and His will. If you have Him as the king of your heart and things seem to be out of whack, or you still don't have what you think you want, there's a good chance that it's because God sees the big picture and you can't. Because He has this perspective, He can see who and what is best at this point in your life. You just have to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
At the end of the day, I want my heart to be so satisfied in God that everything and anything else pales in comparison to knowing Him and being found in Him. My prayer is that no person or thing could ever take God's place in my heart, but that I would be totally satisfied in Him. That no matter what comes, what storm may hit, or what thing may seem better than God, my heart will stand firm in what I know to be true. That nothing can take God's place in my life, and that if my heart is deeply rooted in Him and the Bible, life will be better than anything I could ever ask for.
I don't desire these things because I have everything that could possibly make me happy, but because I have the One who is unshakeable and is able to work out any circumstance, any longing I may have, or give me peace about any frustration that may occur. Once your heart is fully satisfied in Him, things can only go up—no matter what else is happening around you—because every need will be met, and every longing will be fulfilled in Him.
Stephanie is a 21-year old with a passion to see believers grow and become passionate in their relationship with the Lord. She is a lover of sweat tea, sunshine, and the freedom that comes from Christ. In her free time, she can be found singing, playing guitar, writing or jamming out to Hawk Nelson, Phil Wickham, and worship music. Her dreams are to become a worship leader and a published author, while living a life full of fun and joy that comes from the Lord.