God promises that if we delight in him, he will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4). In Psalm 37:4, the word “desire” means ‘to petition and request’ something. Additionally, whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, God will give. If we ask, it will be given to us; if we knock, the door will be opened. If we seek, we will find. God directs these promises specifically to the desires of our heart. However, there is a stipulation that is tied to this promise – the source.
Psalm 37:4 begins with “Delight yourself in the LORD…” and God will give you the desires of your heart. To delight is to pamper oneself in the Lord; to literally make God the One we indulge in. Making God our cocoon allows us to want the right things – his things. To desire from God’s perspective allows us to be successful in his plan. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn…” (Psalm 37:5-6). This type of desire is given to us… but there is another desire that we are given over to.
The more a person watches T.V. they will desire what is commercialized. Ever notice that when you begin watching a movie, you are not hungry, but then after seeing commercial after a commercial about eating, your stomach begins to ache for food. This is called craving. This is the lust of the flesh at work. Before you know it, you are eating food you originally didn’t want, you weigh ten pounds heavier and live in regret. This same craving can be seen in our finances, our belongings, our sexual lusts, etc. The more we saturate ourselves with the world, the more our source of longings becomes what the world wants.
The definition of this kind of desire is to long for what is forbidden. We might mistakenly see the word “forbidden” as something good that is being withheld from us, but the word actually means to prevent. When we are forbidden to do something, we are being prevented from what hinders us from God’s success.
Repeated cravings for the things of this world put bigger barriers between the good that God wants to give us and the bad that the world uses to destroy us. It’s important to notice the difference between these two meanings of desire. One stems from God’s heart, the second stems from man’s. God is good, but man is not. Therefore, if our desires are rooted from the wrong source, we can expect a curse not blessing.
Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. Over time God will answer our desires. He will either give to us (blessing) or give us over to (curse). To give one over to is a sentencing phrase used in a court of law. In Romans 1:24 we see God speaking to the second definition of desire: “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies…” Paul is saying that God sentenced those to the very desires they wanted; they were inwardly focused and longed for the things of the flesh, therefore, they would suffer the consequences of their wishes.
How do you know if your desire is God’s or an evil one? Our best test is the word of God! Saturating ourselves in God’s heart and steering away from evil lust helps us develop God’s desires. Many people claim to be wise, but they are really fools. The test is whose truth they listen to. Fools exchange the glory of the immortal God for desires that serve man. Is the desire you have serving your flesh or making God great? Is it man’s appeal that you are after or is God’s heart? The difference between the two is one is temporary, while the other is satisfying; one brings pain, while the other brings joy; one tears down, while the other builds up.
When our children were young and Christmas time came around, we cut the T.V. off unless it was a Christmas special. Why? We wanted to prevent (protect) our children from the materialism of Christmas and keep Christ in the season. We focused on Christ as the reason for Christmas and we planted the desire to give to others instead of getting for self. Did we give gifts to our children? Yes, we did. But the best gift we gave them was God’s desires not the world’s. This one little change in saturation turned our children into thankful children (adults now) where otherwise, I believe we would have created a monster difference.
If you are unsure whether your desire is holy or evil, ask the Lord to help you discern if there is any hurtful way in you, and ask him to lead you in the everlasting way. Look at what you are saturating yourself with. Is it God’s truth or the world’s wants? It’s important to answer this, because whatever it is, you just might get what you ask for.