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Your heart’s desire.

I’m sure you’ve been making lists, praying about goals, wanting to do better this new year. A time when you feel an opportunity to start fresh. A new day with no mistakes. 365 of them.

I must confess. I don’t follow the instructions of motivational speakers. I don’t write down my goals. Yes, everyone tells me that’s the way to make things happen. The secret to living your deepest longings. To get it done.

{Something inside me just can’t bring myself to write or type them out. Maybe I don’t have a specific list. Maybe it’s so permanent once it’s on paper. Maybe my goals don’t seem big enough.}

Honest? I’d rather sit with a good friend over a chai latte and converse about the stirrings that are deep within my soul. The kind that only start to make sense when I feel like I’m fumbling for the right words, but say it out loud anyway. To whisper a thought that has been noodling around in my mind but sounds even crazy to me. The kind of heart dreams that only God can accomplish.

Lately when talking with other women along my path, I’ve realized that few live the dream God has for them. It seems like I’m in the minority of those who’ve said ‘Yes!’  It seems the yearly written resolutions to do more just don’t work.

The other morning, I was reading my YouVersion Bible app daily reading. This verse has stayed with me for a week. Yes, I’ve read it, heard it and seen it on plaques in homes before. But when the Holy Spirit is about to teach me something, it lingers.

“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire.” – Psalm 37:3-4

Seems like an equation worth pursuing. An easy one at that. Be happy in God and He will give you everything you want.

{Or maybe not.}

Before this verse, King David tells us not to envy others and their success, even those that are evil. Then, he tells us to trust in God and do good. And finally, he gives us a command to find joy and pure delight in our God, to experience great pleasure in His presence.

I think about who I experience great joy with and it hits me. I really know those people. I’ve shared my life with them. I love and adore them. I can tell you memorable stories about our lives together. Some that will make you giggle, while others may bring a tear.  And they know me just as well.

I’m also committed to each, whether as a wife, daughter or friend. I entrust myself to them and know they each care for me deeply. I trust them with my well being, my body, my possessions and my heart’s desire. I know they each want the best for me.

So, why do we think God won’t do the same in an unattainable-by-us, perfect way? He waits for us to make Him the desire of our heart. Then our desires change to His will and He freely gives us the desires of our heart. {which are now His. . . and ours’.}

It’s a beautiful exchange that creates close love with the Father, makes us more like Jesus and enables us to finally ‘live’ for the Lord. He will give you the desires of your heart.

Take delight. It’s not an ‘if you feel like it.’ But a command to take joy in our Lord. To find Him at work. Thank Him for all our moments. To be the bright joy in the dark that only comes from The Light.

When we take delight we gain the very thing that was our goal all along {whether we wrote it down or not}. To draw close to God and truly know Him. We have joy once again. And something wonderful happens. . .

King David tells us to ‘Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and He will help you… Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:4-5

Then God will act. He will achieve His goals that are now yours’. Your heart’s desire is filled. . . with Him.

___________________________
In this New Year, what is your heart’s desire that can only be accomplished if you ‘Take delight. . . and commit everything you do to the Lord’? Won’t you share it with us?
I love how Francis Chan encourages us: “I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through. That if He doesn’t come through, I am screwed.”
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  1. 1

    My hearts desire is to remain peaceful and confident in God’s plan and purpose while my daughter is undergoing lots of genetic and neurological testing. I know the only way to achieve this true peace is my remaining in daily communication with the Lord. He will equip me, day after day, with the strength and peace that I need, to remain strong for her and my little family.

  2. 3

    Love this Stephanie! And that quote by Francis Chan is amazing.

    Thanks for reminding me today my ultimate joy is found in delighting in Him.

    Happy 2013 friend! What a sweet year this will be!

  3. 4

    I seem to be the opposite, I am too goal driven and need to chillax and enjoy life a little. I love that Francis Chan quote too – so true. I fully intend to let the Holy Spirit be in the drivers seat this year. Anyway, in my endeavor to enjoy life I blogged some funnies today – come over for a visit and a good laugh if you like – http://kingsdaughters21.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/church-chuckles.html

  4. 5

    My heart’s desire is to be content in how God leads me in those times I just can’t see or understand, but that in trusting Him and desiring more of Him, I will have peace and joy in every aspect of my walk with Him. And when that joy isn’t tangible, it is still a steadying anchor because He is my strength.

  5. 7

    I spent most of last year thinking about that verse. And now, this year? I have some God implanted dreams that I am asking for his perspective on, and for his enabling to get them done. These are the big ones, the ones you dare not even whisper out loud because of their size. My year will be pursuing God in those dreams, knowing that if he has given them to me he will be the one empowering me to achieve them.

  6. 8

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe that our desires could actually be what God wants. The flesh likes to tell us that he doesn’t want us to be fulfilled and enjoy what he’s given us.

    Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus said that he wanted us to have an abundant life. What better way to have it than by desiring what God desires?

  7. 9

    What a great post! I feel a bit like you wrote what’s been on my heart lately. I have the exact friends you described; the closest and greatest relationships that I never imagined I’d have. Mirroring that in my relationship with The Lord is the challenging part sometimes. Thank you for your encouragement!

  8. 10

    Thank you for this open and wise blog! Its for me an encouragement. I’ve dreams, yes. But I am not blogging about my dreams. Only about Hope, this time. Because Hope is the word I cherish this year.

    Blessings to you Stephanie.

  9. 11

    My heart’s desire this year is…well, it’s just to be me! :-) I feel deeply, my soul is fed by beauty, worship is like oxygen to me, I have a unique childlike aspect to my faith, and once someone matters to me they will always matter. That is me. God wired me this way, and He did it for a reason. So instead of letting others run me over and tell me how to be, I’m just going to smile and think “God, you made me this way. It’s all good.”

  10. 12
    Marina Bromley says:

    Amen! I so agree with you! No written big goals here either.
    I’ve done “one word”, Spirit led areas of growth for a long (long) time. This year, for the first time, it’s BRAVE. This scares the pe* out of me! ;)
    I’m reading Holley Gerth’s book and I had to make a small, realistic, goal. I chose eating Cheerios daily for breakfast, IN THE MORNING! My dr said I had to/should, and I don’t normally eat breakfast, so it was double motivation. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? So far I’m doing great, but I put on the 5 lbs I thought I lost. :( doc wont be happy with that…oh well…I’m keeping my goal! :)
    Thanks for sharing with us…it’s great!

  11. 13

    I am blessed and encouraged by your words Stephanie. My desire is more of Him; then my agenda becomes His agenda because my desire is to serve Him and love Him more and more. It is my delight to do the will of my Father. Now, to cling to that desire in my weakness…if I can put touch the hem of His garment…thank God His strength is made perfect in weakness. http://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com

  12. 14

    My goal is Philippians 3:10a The Amplified Bible
    My determined purpose is that I may know Him,
    that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person
    more strongly and more clearly

  13. 15

    I loved hearing you talk about a verse lingering. And how that’s when He talks.

    Francis Chan is right. It’s wrong for my life to be “natural.” It should be supernatural. What’s in my life that God did and God alone?

  14. 16

    I do like your take on that passage. For a number of years I have believed that it is more about God weaving His desires with ours longings and then giving us that which we desire (His will). I did not make a list of goals or resolutions for the year, but I have a growing longing to be more aware of how I experience God in everything. I want to be more attuned to Him.

  15. 17

    Church planting. What a timely witness to the words God has used to comfort me during the process.

  16. 18

    Church planting.

  17. 19
    Joanna T says:

    It’s an interesting question to ponder…in my heart, my head, my soul. In one sense, I have come to have everything my heart ever desired. A husband who is my partner, my soul mate – etc etc…2 children who bring me joy, when we aren’t antagonizing each other; the farm I always dreamed of owning, (although I should have been more clear about it not needing so much restoration work); and on and on. These things were all the dreams of my childhood although in retrospect, they aren’t actually goals…they were/are desires. Who wouldn’t desire a loving spouse, children to be proud of, realizing one’s dreams? But there were other things I desired, things I wanted, if not needed, things I still want or want to do and how will these things come about in the second half of my life? I did say “yes” to God at age 16. It’s played out in some interesting ways through the years and continues to do so.
    The piece about sitting with a good friend, mulling these things together really resonated with me. Although I don’t DECLARE any resolutions at the dawning of the new year, I find myself trying to start over, again and again bring good intentions to fruition (as recommended by the “success instructors) but it rarely if ever pans out. So now I think as I continue to weave my heart’s desires with the One who created me, I’ll be more open to accepting that with God as my ultimate leader, partner, co-creator, life will continue to unfold just fine thank you.

  18. 20

    These words from your post, Stephanie, encapsulate four goals that resonate in my heart:”Take delight. It’s not an ‘if you feel like it.’ But a command to take joy in our Lord. To find Him at work. Thank Him for all our moments. To be the bright joy in the dark that only comes from The Light.”

    1) Delight in who God is. 2) Delight in what God is doing. Keep your eyes open to see the evidence of His power and presence. 3) Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes. 5:18), and 4) Radiate God’s light wherever He takes me.

    Thank you for leading us to goals that are worthy of our devotion.

  19. 21

    My (desperate) desire this year is to walk with Him more closely. I want to be in a closer relationship and obey Him. I have one toddler at home, and we are talking about another baby. I am very scared of this due to the tough time I had early on transitioning to motherhood (loneliness, fear, etc) with my first. I have been avoiding another pregnancy because of this. However, I have been really trying to press in and spend more time with God lately, asking Him His will for me. I can’t seem to shake this new feeling like now IS the time and that we SHOULD try again. Funny how that wasn’t MY plan a few weeks ago, but now it just feels impressed upon me that it IS the plan. I just want to obey and walk in faith. I know God has this one.

  20. 22

    I love reading everyone’s ‘take’ on the verse and how it applies to their own lives, it really shows just how challenging this passage is!!
    For me, I’ve been on an ongoing journey in this piece of scripture for the last 4 years, when God changed my heart so radically to desire something that to me was completely unfathomable, and yet He has patiently carried me through the process, even though in my earthly, human sight I cannot see that desire ever being fulfilled – a desire I didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t want. I struggle with the ‘Take delight. It’s not an ‘if you feel like it” part of the equation, but I’ve learned that that is a choice. I can delight in how He has made my heart to feel, even when that brings pain, or I can turn away from what He has done for me and feel nothing. I’m just coming out of a ‘phase’ of that choice now, and the pain and flood of feeling again can be breathtaking.
    We so desperately want God to give us what we want, what we think we need, and we struggle when His will doesn’t align with ours. But understanding this passage, and the promises that come with it, make that transition, that letting go and giving in so much easier. Less of me and soooo much more of Him is my ‘goal’ for now, I ahve no idea how to put that on paper and break it down into a step-by-step. Decluttering my entire house suddenly looks so much more appealing!!!

  21. 23

    Stephanie,

    When my feet waded into the lake at 12 years old, ready to be baptized, to be renewed in Chirst a clear voice from the crowd read this verse, Psalm 37:4 and told me Tonya… This is what The Lord wants you to know.
    Words cannot express how mush this post has meant to me. While focusing on the desires I forgot the joy, the delight… Another gentle reminder (God has been reminding me all week) that His purpose is the desire of my heart… And that through His son, Jesus and his sacrifice I am able to intimately and relationally share those desires with Him… My first priority, my first desire must be to DELIGHT!

  22. 24

    my “life” verses for almost 10 years now have been Psalm 37:4-6 – when I delight myself in Him – He gives, He does – each year I go deeper and understand more – my hunger and thirst for Him and His ways – invade, consume, take over my thoughts, my life! And each year I can say that Matthew 6:33 is very true – which ties right back into Psalm 37!
    I’d say that Francis Chan said it very well and I thank her for expressing it!

  23. 25

    Yes and Amen! This is so great and i love knowing i’m not the only one who doesn’t make notes/lists. :) Thanks for sharing and for reminding us that God gives us the desires of our hearts, that is so TRUE.

  24. 26
    lil_lyndie says:

    God is a great connector of ideas and hearts–this post steps right in line with what He has been challenging my heart to change for this year. I had never written a resolution–the word itself has become empty–but this year I wanted that to be different. So I challenged my “Facebook” to write me a handwritten letter that had their dreams written down and mail it to me. It’s been amazing! I have been led to ponder the trust it takes, the vulnerability–and I am writing them each back and praying over the letters that God would fulfill His purpose in their lives and loves. It’s only been 13 days…but I can see a deeper plan at work

  25. 27
    Beth Williams says:

    Wow what interesting comments here on this very basic scripture! My ultimate goal this year is to know Him more initmately and joy in His leading–even if it is right where I am at (work wise).

    I want to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” at the end of time. Want more of His leading, and delight in being with Him at all times!

    God Bless Everyone!

  26. 28
    Rebecca says:

    How Beautiful, I just went to a dreamwheel class and put together a pitcure of what I am striving for. I just place the verse in front of it , to confirm my beliefs. Thank you for these encoraging words

  27. 29

    Thank you for your words. They were written for me as I was pondering my goals for this year. I started of the year with 5 day devotional by John Piper. His topic was the the Glory of God. He said that we reflects God’s glory the most when we are satisfied in HIM. That thought really lingered in my spirit. So when I read your post it just confirm in my Spirit that God wants to give me the desires of my heart by first I must truly be satisfied in Him. The goals and plans will be taken care of. The quote by Francis Chan was is so insightful. I had to write it down.

  28. 30

    I desire to really enjoy God more; I see how wonderful 2012 was and I want to enjoy him even more; rest in him and let him handle everything…this post really speaks to me.
    Thank you.