Definitions of Desires

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 NKJV

Okay, I was an English teacher and some of the English language quirks still can affect me. Currently, I am thinking of definitions of words. My Reader, please bear with me as I share some teaching techniques with you today. Let me ask: How would you define the word “desires” – specifically in the context of Psalm 37:4? What are your personal desires?

heart-irridescent-mfThe desires of your heart” – Definition #1
What I want!

Psalm 37:4 became special to me many years ago when an eye disease caused me to lose a significant amount of my vision. One of the things I missed most was the ability to play praise songs on the piano. As a result, the Lord gave me the ability to write and play short choruses that essentially were words of encouragement to me from the Lord. This verse was the basis of the first song the Lord placed in my heart that transpired into a piano tune with words. That day, my interpretation of the phrase “the desires of my heart” was that if I delighted in, or found joy in, the Lord, He would then give me what I desired or wanted. My foremost wish at that time was for the restoration of my vision. James 4:2 says, “you do not have because you do not ask,” so I asked the Lord for healing while praising Him with my personal little song I played and sang at the piano. I experienced joy in my heart while praising God and I also knew He found joy in my melody of praise. However, I must admit there was an ulterior motive in my delighting in the Lord because I had a specific need at that time.

heart-irridescent-mfThe desires of your heart” – Definition #2
What God wants.

As time went on, my interpretation of “desires” in Psalm 34:7 took on a more inclusive meaning. Maybe the desires of my heart were not just what I wanted but what God wanted for me. In Isaiah 55:8, the Lord says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” Perhaps my hopes and desires were too short-sighted and God had greater things in store for how He was going to use my limitations. My comprehension of this verse now was that as I delighted in, found pleasure in, the Lord for who He was, He would change my desires into His desires. The closer I got to the Lord through praise, the more He was able to reveal His desires to me. I now wanted to please Him more than I wanted my own pleasure. My desires became God’s desires for me even though I did not fully understand what that might entail. I now prayed as Jesus did in Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup (for me at this time it was the cup of lack of vision) away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” “The desires of my heart” now were to surrender to the will of God whether this meant restoration of my full sight or not.

heart-irridescent-mfThe desires of your heart” – Definition #3
God Himself!

As time has elapsed and I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, a new interpretation has evolved for me. We used to live near a place called Donuts Delight where we would occasionally get doughnuts. (our son used to call them “don’ters”) In a limited way, we delighted in these doughnuts, but today my greater delight is Divine. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts.” Wow! God has placed within my heart the desire to spend eternity with Him! My desires are not fulfilled with stuff or status or strength, but with my Savior! The desires of my heart” are no longer defined in relation to things, but now are defined by my relationship with God Himself. If I delight in, or find contentment in, the Lord by lining up my life with God’s will, then my delight is more on giving pleasure to God than receiving what pleases me. The best way I can please God is to glorify Him with my praises. Awhile back, I remember singing a song in church that included the words, “The more I seek You (Jesus), the more I find You. The more I find You, the more I love You.” It is not so much that I desire my circumstances to change as I desire to simply love the Lord. There is no longer an ulterior motive to get what I want regarding my vision or any other need. My physical vision is much better than it was years ago but it has not been fully restored. However, my spiritual vision has become much clearer. Zephaniah 3:17 is a scripture that blow my mind! It says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Not only am I to delight in the Lord according to Psalm 37:4, but Zephaniah tells me that the Lord delights in me. Also, just as I sing songs of praise to Him, God sings over me. For me, this makes a complete circle of the significance of my delighting in the Lord and the interpretation of the phrase “the desires of my heart.”

My Reader, will you join me in fulfilling Psalm 37:4?

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

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