Delight yourself in The LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NASB)
Spend any amount of time around church attending folks (and even some who do not), and you will likely hear this verse tossed freely around like dust.
In the last year, I went through a tremendous financial hardship. Without going into a lot of details, I found myself unsure of how I would have groceries for the week ahead. Don’t panic- GOD has more than supplied for my needs since and continues to do so.
But I became tremendously frustrated with how many times I would hear people quote Psalm 37:4 as part of their reply to my situation.
Psalm 37 speaks on dealing with those who do us wrong, our adversaries. When dealing with our enemies, we need to trust GOD for the battle and the outcome
GOD is not a genie
Too often, I’ll hear this verse quoted when someone wants something that they do not have yet. Recently a woman told me “I don’t have a nice house, but I’m trusting GOD. He will give me the desires of my heart. That’s what His word says.”
Um, nope. That isn’t how it works. GOD isn’t santa or a genie. Yes, we can come to GOD and ask anything of HIM. That is true. And GOD is abundantly able to give us anything HE wants, that is also true.
But notice I say anything HE wants.
Psalm 37:4 starts with “Delight yourself in the LORD…”
Delight here is ʻânag, meaning to be pliable (source: delight). So if we are pliable, if we are bending ourselves to GOD, HE will give us the desires of our heart.
Shape me, Lord
I love older art forms, such as pottery or weaving. One of my favorite older art forms is that of caning a chair. To weave the beautiful intricate seats, the cane must be soaked and made pliable.
For our hearts to be pliable, we need to also be soaked. We don’t need to just be dipped in scriptures, but we need to soaked in them- pulling their lessons and wisdom and correction into our hearts.
So what about the desires of our heart?
When we are soaked and made pliable through GOD’s HOLY and PERFECT WORD, our heart essentially becomes like HIS. We might lay aside our selfish desires for a big home, and instead have the desire to be a better steward of the home we have.
Yes, GOD hears our prayers and HE does sometimes give us the very things we ask for. But we must be cautious to not think of GOD as our genie that will give us all we want.