31 July 2009

Whose Desire Is It Anyway?

While I was at work today, I was thinking about this lovely lady who attended one of the churches I pastored. She was going through a really hard time in finding employment as a full time Christian worker. I remember her saying “I pray and pray and it seems nothing is happening...” and I remember her quoting this portion of scripture to me “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” Ps 37:4. She said that this was her desire, her passion; to be a Christian School teacher was all she could think about. So she said to me, why hasn’t the Lord allowed this to happen in my life? That’s a tough question to answer because only God knows why He allows certain disappointments in our lives. But I also can relate to this lady’s pleading heart, as I wait upon the Lord for that church to shepherd. As I was thinking about this lady’s situation and her burden a year and a half ago, that portion of scripture stood out to me again today! I can remember what I said to her that night as if it was yesterday. We sometimes read the Word of God and make it what we want it to mean, and that’s bad hermeneutics. David said “He shall give you the desires...” God does the giving, not us. God puts into our hearts His passion for our lives. I told this lady that it’s not about what I want or you want, it’s all about what God wants! He wants me [all Christians] to have His passion and desire to be obedient as David says in verse 3, and He wants us to delight in Him as our greatest treasure as David said at the beginning of verse 4. Then, the rest of the verse follows saying, “He shall give you the desires of your heart”. Why do we assume sometimes that God should give or allow us anything? What gives me [Mike Andrews] the right to come to an infinite God who is sovereign and supremely glorious and ask the question ‘Why Lord? Why have I not been given this request? You said in Your word, You would give me the desires of my heart! Isn’t this what David wrote?’ But we need to understand the whole text. This Psalm is about why the ungodly prosper and the righteous suffer and struggle. Not about what I can get from God or how to have a more fulfilled life. David said in all our struggles and confusion its God’s desire that we be faithful, obedient, persevere and patiently wait on Him above all else, as it says in verse 7. He wants ALL the desires of our heart to be focused on Him; He wants our complete attention. You see, I want to be the pastor of a church so bad it’s all I think about, just like that lovely lady I spoke about earlier who had that same passion to teach children full-time. Is that God’s desire for us? Or is it our desire? Think about that before you answer. Is it God’s desire that I pastor a church? Yes! There is no doubt in my mind. Is it to be now, at this moment in my life? That still needs to be determined. But is it God’s desire for me? That same question goes for that lady and everyone else. We always need to be mindful and patiently waiting upon God as He leads us down His path of righteousness. Again, I say I have no right to demand anything from a holy God [it is selfish and arrogant to think I deserve anything] other than praise and adoration for His love and mercy toward a sinner such as me! My heart’s desire should be first and foremost to be in complete love with the Savior. That’s what He desires and deserves from my heart because it’s only through Him I can wait patiently as He performs His perfect work in my life. Only six months after my conversation with this woman, He did give her the desire of her heart. She is now teaching in a God fearing, God honouring Christian school and loving every minute, as she teaches the little ones about Jesus and His love for sinners. I know too, He will do the same for me and my family. Why? Because of what David writes in verse 23-25 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken...” If you are saved, you are going to spend all eternity with the One who loved us first [isn’t that enough of a desire for my heart?]
Whether I pastor a church or never pastor a church, it is His business. One thing I do know for certain is that He loves me! Why? Because He put that desire [Jesus Christ] in my heart nine years ago. The bible says He will never cast us out; He will uphold us with His hand. All He asks of us is to be patient and trust in His providence and provision for our lives. He knows my passion and where we want to be [full-time ministry]. He also knows my heartache and sorrow better than anyone else; and He knows where I’m going to be 6 months, 6 years, and 60 years from now - and when He is ready to reveal that to me, He will put His desire in my heart.

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