Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
You mean I can get anything I want?
Like a kid in a candy store?
Or like the old Janis Joplin song: Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
Yes and no.
First, we need to consider a warning from the book of James.
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you
quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)
Wow, what James says here sounds so negative. Does this mean I should never ask for something for myself? That anything I ask for myself is automatically selfish? I need a way out of this trap!
Thankfully, God has made a way—it’s shown by what the prophet Ezekiel says.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Good news: The Lord in whom we delight, is a Lord who loves us and loves to change us.
So, as I take delight in the Lord, the very things I desire begin to change. As I delight in the Lord he changes the desires of my heart to align with what he wants…then I ask for them…and then he gives them to me.
It’s this new heart, that is not filled with envy and quarreling and fighting, that does ask for the right things with the right motives!
So back to the original question—does God like to give us stuff? Yes, you can see him liking to give a good vacation. Or to provide a runner like me with some injury-free running. Definitely it is more likely to be a yes if we ask from soft heart… the Lord may yet say no, but…our new heart knows we are on the right track walking with him as we ask. We delight when the answer is “yes” and are content if it’s “no”.
Today’s takeaway: Our new heart of flesh asks for the right things and our new heart is at peace with God’s answer.