Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Recently, I talked to a sweet Christian woman of the Philippines named Heather. I asked her about her dreams and goals for her life. She said she has two great dreams: to be a majorette (a lighthearted dream), and to be a housewife (a serious dream and desire). Since Heather is 30 years old, she may never realize the majorette dream, but her desire for a godly husband is surely one that God wants to fulfill.
I asked Heather if she knew Psalm 37:4. She quoted it from memory. Obviously, that verse was one she was claiming as she prayed for God’s man for her. Without a doubt, Psalm 37:4 is a great promise, but it is a CONDITIONAL promise. There is something you must do (“delight yourself in the Lord”) in order to see God give you the desires of your heart. If you fail to do your part, if you fail to meet the conditions, the promise is null and void. So here is the key question: what exactly does it mean to “delight yourself in the Lord?”
The Hebrew word translated “delight” is anog. It literally means to be soft and pliable. In the PJV (Pastor Jeff Version), Psalm 37:4 reads, “Make yourself soft and pliable in the hands of the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Are you doing your part of Psalm 37:4? Are you making yourself soft and pliable in the skillful hands of the Potter?
Some years ago, I was given a pottery lesson by a dear friend and master potter. She showed me the tricks of the trade with regard to working on the wheel. It was GREAT fun. I will never forget one of the key things she told me, “For a skilled potter to be able to make a great piece, the clay has to be soft. If the clay is hard, stubborn, and non-pliable, the best of potters won’t be able to make what they truly desire to make.”
God is the Potter. You and I are the clay. Our only job as clay is to be soft and pliable in the hands of the Master. Our only job is to be yielded to Him and choose His will over our will.
JESUS IN THE GARDEN
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, facing the cross and the sin of the world being placed on Him, He prayed three times that this cup of suffering, condemnation and judgment might pass from Him. And all three times, He ended His prayer with these words, “Yet not My will, but Thine be done.” He chose to trust the will of the Father over anything and everything else. He knew His Father was/is full of love, and His will was/is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). He yielded just like soft, pliable clay is supposed to do. And He was GREATLY rewarded for His obedience and faith.
The other day, I watched a wonderful movie. In the story, the coach and his wife were trying unsuccessfully to have children. Brokenheartedly, the coach asked his wife this penetrating question, “If God never gives us children, will you still love Him?” After honest soul-searching, her answer was YES! As a result, God gave her the desires of her heart, and she got pregnant.
Perhaps you are facing what appears to be the death of your dream. Perhaps the husband/wife you are longing for and praying for does not seem to be anywhere on the radar screen. Will you choose to love God and trust Him EVEN if your dream never materializes? That, my friend, is delighting yourself in the Lord. That gets God’s attention. That causes God to fulfill His conditional promise.
Never forget that the Potter loves you and wants what is best for you. Let Him have His way and you will be thrilled and amazed at what is produced on the potter’s wheel as He makes something stunningly beautiful of your life.
by Pastor Jeff Schreve