Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, January 24th. God is just as interested in how we think as He is in the decisions we make. Learn more as today's podcast explores the desires of your heart. Psalm 37, a passage scripture that oftentimes people quote and they very zealously and joyously and happily quote it. And then I wonder sometimes if they really and truly understand exactly what it means because oftentimes it's quoted and those desires never become a reality. So let's begin, if you will, in this first verse of the thirty-seventh Psalm. Do not fret because of evildoers. Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord.
Trust also in Him and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noon day. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of Him who prospers in His way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath.
Do not fret. It leads only to evildoing. Now listen to that awesome promise. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. So first of all, you have to decide what these desires are.
But I want us to think about something for a moment. Let's think about the reality of this whole idea of desire. Because the truth is our desires reveal who we are. For example, your desires reveal your character. Your desires reveal your motivations in life. Your purpose in life.
Your plans for your life. They reveal how we think. They reveal the things that motivate us in life. They reveal the direction of our life. And they also reveal the degree of purity in our life. Either these thoughts are pure thoughts or they're impure thoughts. Either they're godly thoughts or ungodly thoughts. Either they are desires that fit the will and plan and purpose of God for our life or they don't.
And so the truth is our desires tell a lot about us. So what I want us to look at for a moment is this. What is it that God has really promised us in this passage? Is this really what it looks like it is?
It is exactly what it looks like it is. It is a divine promise, listen, that has along with it human responsibilities. It is a divine promise you and I can bet our life on this with human responsibilities. What's the first human responsibility?
Here it is. Here is the way that you and I can obtain the desires of our heart. Now I'm not going to tell you something I read in the book. I'm going to tell you what I know the Scripture says and I'm going to tell you what I know works in life.
Not what I think will work, but what I know will work by experience. Now watch this first requirement for getting the desires of your heart. Listen to what He says. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Now when most people read that passage this is their emphasis. Delight yourself in your desires. That's not what He says. He says delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.
Now here's the question. How do you delight yourself in the Lord? To delight myself in the Lord means that I take pleasure in Him. I take pleasure in knowing Him. I take pleasure in talking to Him. I take pleasure in being aware of His presence. You and I take pleasure in praying to Him. We take pleasure in worshiping Him. We take pleasure in serving Him. He's the most delightful person I know.
The most satisfying. He is the most fulfilling person I know. I delight myself in Him. That's what it means to delight yourself in the Lord.
Now that being the case, watch this carefully. You cannot live a carnal life that is half-hearted Christian living and delight yourself in the Lord. The two don't go together. And people say, well you know what, I have desires and I bring them to God and I pray and I tell Him all about them and nothing's going on.
You know why? Because requirement number one is to delight yourself in Him. Where in the world we got the idea that all you, the Bible says ask and it shall be given.
You seek and you shall find. You see people take that passage, hold it up before God and say, God this is what you said. Yeah, He sure did, but He said a lot of other things. Like this is the confidence that we have in Him. That if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, then we know that we have the petition to be desired of Him.
So God doesn't hand me out, God. And this passage of Scripture should say something to us very clearly. What God is interested in most is not giving me the desires of my heart because that's simple. Listen, He doesn't even have to blank His eye to make any single desire of our heart that fits His will and purpose and plan for our life to become a living reality. Listen, we are no challenge to God. You're not on challenge, God.
We can't challenge God. Our desires could never be so big to cause Him to wring His hands one single time. He is this awesome, all-powerful, omnipotent God who desires to give us the best.
What is it that He wants? He wants us to delight ourselves in Him. Now listen, if you're honest, you'll have to ask yourself the question, God, have I really been delighting myself in You or have I been delighting myself in my desires and in myself? Lord, am I preoccupied with self or am I wonderfully occupied with You? Now I know how people answer sometimes.
You'll say, well look, now look, let me tell you something. I work eight, ten, twelve hours a day and I've got a family and all the affairs of life that I have to take care of. You telling me I ought to be preoccupied with God?
Yes, absolutely. How can you be preoccupied with God when there's so much going on? Because He lives on the inside of every single believer. And as you and I are thinking about whatever we are doing in life, whether it is in our family, our finances, our relationships, the work that you do eight hours a day, it may be a monotonous thing as far as the world is concerned, but you know what? You and I can be thinking about the Lord.
We should sift all of our thinking through Him. How are we doing our job? Are we doing our best? Are you pleased with this, Lord? Is this the best I can do? Thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you for the help. Listen, our whole life should center around not ourselves but the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not His desire to withhold anything. Remember, He's not a stingy, tight God. He is a generous God ready and willing to give us the desires of our heart. Step number one, delight ourselves in Him. Look at the next thing He says.
And they all run together. Commit your way to the Lord. Second step, commit your way to the Lord. Now what does that mean? Well, the Hebrew word means this.
Watch this. The Hebrew word means to roll it over. That is, what I'm doing is here's the desire of my heart and I'm just, I'm giving it to God. I'm entrusting it to Him.
I'm transferring it to Him. It means that I'm willing for Him to scrutinize, to examine, to carefully examine and to tweak my desire if it's a little bit off, if it's a little bit under His expectation for me, if it's more than what He knows that is best for me at this moment. In other words, if I commit it to Him, I roll it over to Him, I have Him to evaluate that desire and He can change it any way He wants to because I know He's a good God and He's only going to change it for the best. So ask yourself this question.
Do you have any desire? Do you have any strong desires of your heart that when it comes right down to it, you really can't truly turn it over to Him and say, this is what I'm going to let you handle this, God. Because you know in your heart doesn't fit His plan, doesn't fit His will for your life.
That's the kind you need to lay down and say, Lord, I want you to give me the desires that you want me to have for my life. And He's willing to do that. Listen, He will change. He will alter.
He will fix anything that we give to Him. When our heart's committed to Him, listen, when He says, commit your way, that means every aspect of our life, not just our desires, but our desires are included. You commit your desire to Him.
Roll it over to Him and see what He does. Then look at the next part of that verse. This is the third step, very important.
And it's all in one verse. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He will do it.
Notice what He says. He will give you the desires of your heart. He will do it. Now, if I really and truly trust Him, I'll roll it over to Him. If I don't trust Him, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to hold on to it in case He doesn't do it exactly like I think of the time. And I want to hold on to my desire or what I'm going to do is I'm going to say, Lord, here's the desire of my heart and then I'm going to work to manipulate my circumstances so that I will be sure in case He forgets, in case He doesn't come up on time, that I get what I want.
And you know what happens? You make a mess of it every time. When you and I go after the desires of our life apart from God, we make a mess of them. And so this is why this verse is so powerful and so simple and so helpful. He said, delight yourself in Me.
If I'm taking pleasure in Him, the things that we've discussed, and I have rolled it over to Him, what am I doing? I'm trusting Him. I believe in His faithfulness, in His devotion. I believe in His commitment so strongly I will trust Him with it.
I'll believe Him for it. I know that I'm trusting it in the hands. Listen, that are awesome and omnipotent. He has the power.
I'm trusting it to a will. Listen, that is all wise. This all wise God can take the desires of my heart and He can adjust them in such a way that they perfectly fit me.
They perfectly fit you. When I think about some of these simple principles and awesome principles they are, we should teach our children very early in life. And if I should ask you what's the desire of your heart for your children?
So I'm saying, get an education, do this, do that. And oftentimes parents never mention to become godly men and women. If that's not the first desire of your heart for your children, you've missed it somewhere along the way. To become godly men and women.
You know what? If they're godly men and women, you don't have to worry about what they accomplish and achieve in life. They're going to accomplish and achieve what the will of God's plan. Trust Him. I can trust Him to do it. He says, trust Me and He will do it.
Look at that next phrase. He says, we are to commit ourselves to Him, having delighted ourselves in Him, trusting in Him. He said, He'll bring forth your righteousness as a light, your judgment as the newness. He'll show that it's right.
What you've done is the right thing. Look at this. Rest in the Lord. What in the world does that mean?
To rest in Him means that having placed it in His hands, having trusted Him for it, I believe that He's going to work it out and therefore I don't have to fret and worry and become annoyed. It may look like things are falling apart. Do I have to get upset?
No. Listen carefully. If you're fretting, you're not trusting. If you're fretting, you've not committed it to Him. If you're fretting, you're not delighting yourself in Him.
You're worried about the circumstances and how things are working out. So He says, rest in Him. Now watch this next one. Last one.
This is the toughest one of all. Listen to what He says. Rest in the Lord and wait how? Patiently. Wait patiently for Him. Now watch this.
Listen to this. The stronger your desire, the shorter your waiting fuse. The stronger your desire, the shorter your waiting fuse. Now when He says wait patiently, here's what that means. Fret not, fret not, fret not. Oh, you can't be fretting and waiting patiently.
You can't do it. So what does it mean? It means that I wait without murmuring. I wait without criticizing. I wait without manipulating on the, over here, while I'm trusting God over here.
I'm over here manipulating the circumstances over here just in case something doesn't happen. It means that I've rested it in Him and with peace and tranquility and contentment in my heart, I'm going to watch how He operates. This is why He says in the Word, be strong in the Lord.
Why? We have to be strong at times. He says, take courage, wait upon the Lord. Be of good courage, I say, and wait upon the Lord.
Sometimes it takes courage. It takes strength to wait, especially when we have a strong desire in which we think there is a timetable. And sometimes we put timetables on God and I want to tell you, He ignores them. He knows when you and I need what we need. He knows when the desire of our heart is the right time.
Now watch this. You may be asking God for the desire of your heart. You may have a big, strong, number one, preeminent, zenith, pinnacle desire of your heart out there. And you are delighting yourself in Him, trusting Him, committing it to Him and just waiting upon Him. There are some desires that we have of the will of God. The desire may have come from Him, but also the timing comes from Him because, listen, when you have a big desire in your life, whatever it might be, God knows when you're ready to receive that desire. He also knows when whatever the other circumstance involved in your desire, whether it's some thing or whatever it might be, He also knows when that's ready or when it's going to be ready. And when you and I push ahead of God and we must have it now, we always make a mess of things. It never, never works out to get ahead of God because He knows the perfect timing. When you're ready, when the circumstance is ready, you have the desire of your heart. That's why He says you and I to concentrate on delighting ourselves in Him, committing it to Him, trusting Him with it, resting in that, and then waiting for His timing, His timing is always perfect. And I think this is probably one of the best tests of our spiritual maturity.
Can I present a strong desire of my heart to God and commit it to Him, trust Him with it, rest in it, and then go about the business of whatever God has called me to do in life and know that in His timing it's going to come to pass. I don't have to worry about it. I don't have to fret about it. And I don't have to be trying to in some way manipulate my circumstance. I can't be manipulating and resting at the same time. To rest means I'm absolutely confident. To wait means to pause until further instruction. When you're waiting upon the Lord, you're pausing until further instruction. When you're waiting upon the Lord, doesn't mean you're doing nothing.
But in your relationship then, you're pausing at this moment until He says, now you can have the desire of your heart. I want to challenge you to do something that I've been doing long enough to know that it works before I'd ever preach it to you. I want you to think about when tomorrow morning before you even get out of the bed, so you have no excuse, you don't even have to move a single muscle.
You don't even have to open your eyes, but you do need to be awake. I want you to think about this. I can tell you what I do, and I can tell you it works, and I can tell you it can bring you through and over and under and around any kind of circumstance in life, no matter what it is.
Listen to this. You wake up tomorrow morning and you say, Father, I want to thank You that You're giving me the desires of my heart. Today I'm going to delight myself in You. Today I'm going to commit everything to You. I'm going to trust You and I'm going to rest in the fact that You're my Heavenly Father and You have everything under control. And I'm going to wait for Your perfect timing to give me the desires of my heart.
If You will start tomorrow morning, those big desires out there, you can tell him about them. And those daily desires. Today I'm focusing on You.
I'm taking pleasure in who You are in me today. And what's going to happen? If you will do that daily and you will stop at the end of the day before you go to sleep at night and think through what has God done in my life today, you know what's going to happen?
Here's what's going to happen. The desires of your heart are going to start rolling in. You're going to begin to say, God, You're blessing me so much I don't know how to handle this, Lord. God's going to begin to bless you in ways you can't figure it out.
That's why He says rest. Commit it. You can't figure it out. You're not going to be able to figure it out. I'm telling you that up front. Can't figure it out. It's a discipline.
And most people have no interest in discipline. And here's what's going to happen. You start the first day. It won't take you but a few moments. You have time to talk to your father before you get out of bed every single morning.
What a wonderful way to wake up. I can tell you I live alone, but I don't. I have this wonderful Jesus who lives within me every moment of every day and I am delighted at what He does in my heart daily. I see His awesome, wonderful hand. Is there no pain, no hurt, no difficulty?
There's not any of that in that situation. There's the fact of His contentment and joy and peace and happiness and fulfillment and the fulfillment of the desires of my heart. I'm telling you, God will do for you if you will simply follow His plan. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of The Desires of Your Heart. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia. We'll be right back.
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