Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
This week, we are learning practical principles for using our desires to determine God’s will. How do we know whether our desires are trustworthy indicators of God’s will? The reliability of our desires is proportionate to our spiritual health.
Let me illustrate that for you. Before I have blood drawn for my annual physical, the nurse asks, “Do you have a fever?” She knows the results may be skewed if I’m sick. It’s the same way in our spiritual lives. Whether our desires are trustworthy indicators of God’s will depends on whether we’re spiritually well or spiritually sick. Godly desires do not flow out of an ungodly heart. Jesus said something similar in Matthew 12:34–35: “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” An evil heart produces evil words. In the same way, an ungodly heart generates ungodly desires.
Many years ago, my ministry was outwardly successful, but inside I was deteriorating spiritually. My relationship with God was not what it should have been. I wasn’t reading my Bible; I wasn’t praying. During that time, I got a desire to pursue another vocation part-time, and I even began to experience some success in that area. But that desire was flowing out of a spiritually sick heart. When my relationship with the Lord became what it should be, that desire evaporated. Godly desires come from a heart that is spiritually well.
How do we make sure that our hearts are spiritually in tune with God? Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” The Greek word translated as “at work” is energon, meaning “energize.” It is God who is energizing us, giving us the power and desire to accomplish His purpose.
One of the conduits through which God’s power and desires flow into our lives is God’s Word. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “The word of God . . . also performs its work in you who believe.” When we read the Bible, it does a work in our hearts. Another conduit through which we receive God’s power and desires is prayer. That’s why it’s important to set aside time for praying and reading God’s Word.
As God’s power flows into our lives, His desires become our desires. David wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Love God. Allow Him to transform your heart, and He will make His desires your desires.
Today’s devotion is adapted from “Knowing God’s Will by Knowing Yours” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.