Friday, October 19, 2012

A Hearts Desire

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Make A Wish!
This has turned into a better really late than never kind of posts. Please forgive my tardiness today.
Psalm 37:3-5(NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lordtrust in him and he will do this:

This is the verse of the day today at Bible Gateway. I have to admit I was in a bit of a mood this morning. So I started thinking about all the things I've desired but have not gotten. What about this promise Lord it looks all warm fuzzy and like the Geni in the bottle type of verse we all want to stand upon. Not to mention that you find it on wall decor and magnets all the time.  In thirty some years of walking with the Lord I have come to realize that His blessings sometimes come in difficult packages. There are things that I have wanted that have clearly not been God's will for me. I can stand before God holding up this verse and say yeah... what about this and what about that? If you are honest you will have some of those kind of things too. 

I think it takes our fleshly desires a long time to conform to God's desires.  Things I've wanted that I have had to work much harder to change and grow to develop than I ever expected. There have been things that I have sincerely wanted but God has said no. Sometimes the process of him changing my heart to conform with his has been long and painful. I suppose that is where trust has to come in. I'm not sure I am always really all that in touch with my hearts desires. I have to choose to trust him when I don't get the things that I think I want. I need to trust him and do good. I need to go even further and change my focus from the thing I think I want to delighting in the Lord not some day when I get my way but right now in the middle of my moodiness. 

What exactly is the desire of your heart? Is it what we wish for when we blow out our birthday candles? Or might it be a deeper longing of the heart?

Solomon upon becoming King has an opportunity to ask God for the desire of his heart. God is pleased because he does not ask for wealth, or power, but instead asks for wisdom to lead God's people. Since that was his hearts desire, God gives him that and all the other stuff he didn't ask for. Here's the story in 1Kings 3:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equalamong kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.

I can't say that God has not given me my deepest hearts desire. I came to him broken and desperate and he has allowed me to live my life very close to his altar. So my hearts desire is very close to this verses found in Psalm 84:2-4

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, 
where she may have her young— a place near your altar,

Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

I think the thing I want you to grab a hold of today is that even if things are not going well in your life or how you imagined they should be - God is still worthy of your praise.We have to trust Him when we don't understand the journey that he has us on. He knows us far better than we know our selves. He knows what things and people will bring out the best in us. He knows what situations and circumstances will cause us to stretch and grow and ultimately look to Him more fully. I like to read on in Psalm 84:5-7
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength,till each appears before God in Zion.

That part about the Valley of Baka - I translate it the Valley of tears. It is the place where Hagar and her son found themselves out of water in the desert. She sat there crying thinking she would have to watch her son die. But God sent an angel to open her eyes to a near by well that she had not noticed previously. 

We can be so troubled that we are completely blind to the solution that is right in front of our nose. What if when you were passing through the Valley of tears and trials that you decided to make it a place of springs or refreshing. In your pain you cry out to God for relief and help and like Hagar he shows you the well of his presence that has been there for you all the time.  In verse seven it say that those kind of folks will go from strength to strength. 

So anyway back to the refrigerator magnet verse that I started with. There are some conditional words that kind of jump out at me and might be standing between you and your hearts desire. They are 
Trust in the Lord....
Delight in the Lord....
Commit your way to the Lord.... 
It seems to me if you are not in a trusting relationship with the Lord you may find your self teetering on the edges of double mindedness. That person gets nothing. 

As for delighting in the Lord - that does not sound to me like a poor me pity party kind of posture. You might need to change from feeling sorry for yourself to being thankful for what the Lord has done and what he is doing. Committing your way to the Lord. I don't think that means telling God "Oh yeah, were going my way  - would you please bless it and make it all work out for your glory." I think it is more about committing to do things Gods way even when it is hard, even when it does not make sense to you. 

So I have to look at that list of things that God has not done for me. It gets tossed right back at me as I remember all the things I would of or should of or could of done for the Lord.  I stand before him humbled because he has given me far more than I deserve. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to get past our griping and complaining and on to a life that is thankful for all that you have done and all that you are yet to do for each of us. Lord you want to give us our hearts desire but so often we are clueless about what we really truly desire and what we truly need help us to become people who want your will and follow your heart. 

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