Faith Column: Take your delight only in the Lord
How many times have you secretly wished for an 'Aladdin's lamp,' complete with a magic genie who could make your every wish come true?
He could fill your pockets to overflowing with money, your treasure chest with jewels. He could park luxurious automobiles in the garage of your dream home that has been furnished with expensive furniture. There would be nothing that you could not have - because as everyone knows, storybook genies have unlimited power to grant wishes of men.
All too often men look to Jesus with the same sense of longing, not unlike many of whom we read in the Scriptures. These were emotional followers of Christ, who followed for the many things they hoped to receive from Him.
They were drawn by the miracles of healing and by the feeding of the multitudes, for they saw Jesus to be One who could heal every hurt and be an endless supply of bread. To some, Jesus had become a god of utility, a kind of Aladdin's lamp to perform miracles on behalf of anyone who should desire to summon Him.
Many people today see Christ in much the same way! They know in their hearts that He is God, and as God, He has unlimited power. There is nothing He cannot do, yet they are disappointed in Him when they do not receive the many things for which they ask.
Why shouldn't we, as followers of Christ, realize the fulfillment of our desires? After all, do we not pray?
Yes, but we must clearly understand that answered prayer is not according to our dictates, but according to the will and the purpose of God.
One of the most abused, misinterpreted, and wrongly claimed passages of Scripture is found in the book of Psalms. The psalmist David wrote: "Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord: trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalms 37:4-5)
The obvious secret to receiving the desires of one's heart (which is actually no secret at all) is to delight yourself in the Lord. The word "delight" clearly means to make God the focus and joy of your life. Meditate upon Him; commune with Him; walk with Him; talk with Him; and make Him a vital part of everything you do!
After all, as a believer, you are indwelt by God's Holy Spirit, and that makes you inseparable from Him.
Without question, God is a generous God who bestows gifts upon men. He delights in giving to those who delight themselves in Him. However, may I also suggest that when we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, the desires of our heart will be different than when we do not! For when our hearts and minds are fixed upon Him, our desire will not be for the temporal things of this world, but rather for the spiritual things of God.
As we delight ourselves in Him and come to know Him in the fullness of His power, we will surely want to know Him more.
As we experience the joy of spiritual cups filled to overflowing, we will not be satisfied with anything less.
So today, may your desire not be just for the material blessings, the tangible things that rust, wear out, fade away and lose their appeal, but may your desire be for the fullness of the knowledge of Him who loves you and desires to delight you with His Divine presence.