New International Version (NIV)
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I’ve often heard this verse quoted as evidence that God will just give us whatever we want. I remember, even as a teenager, hearing this verse as a reason to expect desires to be fulfilled.
“But scripture says He’ll give us the desires of our hearts!”
Do you desire a stronger marriage? For your children to be better behaved? For you income to be more? What are the desires of your heart?
More importantly, though… have you ever stopped to really read that full verse. The first part is often overlooked, unfortunately.
“Take delight in the Lord.”
What does that mean, exactly?
1. Great pleasure; joy.
2. Something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment.
v. de·light·ed, de·light·ing, de·lights
1. To take great pleasure or joy: delights in taking long walks.
2. To give great pleasure or joy: an old movie that still delights.
To please greatly. See Synonyms at please.
[Middle English delit, from Old French, a pleasure, from delitier, to please, charm, from Latin dlectre : d-, intensive pref.; see de- + lactre, frequentative of lacere, to entice.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Take great pleasure or joy in the Lord.
We can’t take great pleasure in anything if we don’t give it our full attention, can we? We can’t fully enjoy a long walk if we’re too busy focusing on the stresses of life, or on the stopwatch, or… you get the idea.
To take great pleasure or joy in the Lord, He has to be our first priority. We have to be able to stop and listen to Him.. allow Him to guide our steps. We have to seek a deeper understanding of who He is and really focus on building a relationship with Him.
The amazing part is – when we begin to do just that, the desires of our hearts begin to shift. Our desires are more in tune with His will. As we focus on our relationship with Him, we have a stronger desire to love our families as He loves us. We have a stronger desire to be the spouse He models to us.
THAT is how it really works. If you want to elevate your marriage, delight yourself in the Lord. Build that relationship first and the rest falls into place.
After all, remember Matthew 6:33?
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Seek Him first. Delight in Him. The things you worry about will start to make more sense.
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, author of Love Isn’t Selfish, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com