June 11, 2014

Affections & Desires

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4 ESV
Many of us know that verse too well. It's slapped on coffee mugs, journals, and t-shirts sold to the masses.

For the whole of my life I had mainly heard this verse presented in one of two ways: We're Christians, so God will just give us what we want, or God will give us certain desires and bring them to fruition. The first I have a hard time swallowing--it's simply not true, with little from the Bible that would back it up. Just because I call myself a Christian doesn't mean God is going to give me what I want. The second is the idea though is allowing God's desires to become our desires. Now, yes, I do think God gives us desires, that in His timing He fulfills, but I actually think this verse goes even deeper than that. 

I think it's calling us to recognize and search out what those deep longing and needs really are first: Not the need for clear directions on which career path to take, not the desire of our dream job, not the longing for a husband and children, not the goal of attaining the adorable house with the little white picket fence. As awesome and wonderful as all those things are, they are not the deepest yearnings of our hearts. They merely point to them. I believe that in the deep crevices of our hearts what we truly desire is to be fully known, fully love, fully cared for, and fully accepted, without the hindrances of our fears, anxieties, or shame roadblocking such fulfillment. 
So let's look at that verse again… 

Delight yourself in the Lord…

To 'delight' in something means to get as much pleasure or joy out of whatever or whoever it may be. It's as if the Psalmist is saying, "Drink in as much joy and as much pleasure as you possible can in God! Stir up your affections towards Him!"

…and He will give you the desire of your heart.

When our ultimate joy and pleasure is to be found in delighting in Christ, then the deepest desires of the heart will indeed be met, for we will be fully known (Psalm 139:1), fully loved (Romans 8:38&39), fully cared for (Luke 12:22-30), and fully accepted (Romans 8:1) by the Lord of heaven and of earth. This may very well be the secret to knowing contentment in the heart. Our most genuine desires can be met right here, right now in this moment and every moment. All we need do is delight ourselves in the abundant, steadfast love of Jesus Christ for us.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. -Psalm 36:7&8


  1. Do you know what, Natalie? The first time I had ever heard this verse interpreted this way was through you a few months back. Ever since, it has stuck with me, and I just believe there is so much truth to it. It makes my heart rejoice knowing that I don't have to strive for things to have my deepest desires fulfilled - they can be fulfilled right here and now, in this moment. I don't have to wait...except wait on the Lord. And He won't leave me hanging long before He pours out His love and goodness and joy on me in complete abundance :) Stop striving, start delighting! Thank you so much again, Natalie, for this wonderful insight. The best thing I have ever read on a blog and one of the simplest things to remember!

    1. I wish I could take all the credit, but when I first heard it taught more like this, it blew my mind and heart (in a really good way). And as always you're the sweetest Laura =)

  2. Thank you, Natalie. I needed to hear this simple truth once again. I was just meditating on those verses a few days ago actually. :) Hope you are enjoying your summer!

    1. So far summer has been a restful and enjoyable one... but my stats class starts next week along with a heat wave (ha!)


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