Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. ~ Psalm 37:4 (NLT)
Growing up, unfortunately, I was taught some bad theology by some of my earliest Sabbath School teachers. They taught me falsehoods like, “If you’re bad, Jesus won’t like you. And, if He doesn’t like you, He won’t save you.” To that I say “HOOEY!” (See Ephesians 2:8, or Romans or Galatians for truth.) They also taught me that if I pray to God, He will give me what I want. I don’t know what you’ve prayed for that you’re still waiting on, but my Lamborghini, Ferrari, and F-18 fighter jet should be arriving any time now! Yeah, no. That’s not how prayer works. I’m guessing that you might be able to relate to this false concept. It’s pretty common.
So, how does prayer work, then? Well, it’s actually a lot simpler to understand, and way better for our health and maturity. When our desires and mind are aligned with God’s, we will feel compelled to pray for something by the Holy Spirit. God is basically saying, “Ask me for this.” If God’s convicting you to ask, He’s prepared to answer.
King David, whom Jesus said had a heart like His, was no stranger to prayer. The book of Psalms is full of them. Indeed, our verse today is a truth about this concept. David wrote, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Though many of us were only taught the last part of the sentence, notice the context at the beginning. If we “take delight in the Lord.” So, what does this mean?
In our English language, taking delight in something may mean that we feel good about it. We can take delight in a movie or song. But, that’s not what David is talking about. The delight he is focusing on is that we are meshing with God. He is our favorite thing in the whole world. We love spending time with Him, talking with Him, getting to know Him better. In modern terms, David is saying “Make Jesus your everything.”
When Jesus is the focus of our life, His Spirit works powerfully in ours. Our thoughts become more like His thoughts. We learn to clearly hear His voice. We begin to see the world as He sees it. We love others as He loves them. So, when He asks us to pray for something, it’s because we are doing it for unselfish, pure, godly reasons.
So, today, and every day, take delight in the Lord. Make Him your everything.