Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4When I initially came across this verse, I rejoiced in knowing that God would fulfill my every longing. Through my walk in faith, I have had the honor of witnessing God work wonders so I can't deny that He really does hear our prayers. But out of the million requests I have made, I can't say that every single one has been addressed. If I'm a firm believer of the Lord, why doesn't He answer all of my prayers? Upon dissecting the Psalm, I realized that we can get so focused on picking out the best Bible verse to justify our thirst that we sometimes miss the fine print that was intended to be acknowledged. It isn't as simple as having a need, asking God for it, and then receiving it. Too often, our prayers can hold onto our fleshy desires so badly that we fail to recognize where God's heart stands. For us to fully understand why God responds or doesn't respond, the way He does, we have to ensure that our hearts are aligned with His. To start, we have to get to know who God is. One of the best things about the Bible is that it is alive. It speaks true in whatever season or state we may find our self in- today, tomorrow and forevermore. It provides us with Heavenly answers and spiritual guidance that we could never produce through our own human efforts. However, simply because the Bible is alive and true, doesn't mean it will move for us unless we move towards it. When we enrich our souls with the word, we get a deeper insight into God's identity, character, and purpose. This knowledge solidifies a stronger faith that moves our prayers to better reflect who God is and what he wants from us. As we begin to see God on an intimate level, we are able to grasp more of an understanding of where He wants our hearts to be versus where we think it should be. When we study the Bible, we see that God's plan never contradicts His word so we can rest in knowing that He is a promise keeper. Once we know who God is, we have to submit ourselves to Him just as Jesus did. After the Last Supper, Jesus knew that His time of suffering and redemption was near. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane where he cried out, "Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42) I have no doubt that Jesus was afraid but even stronger than his fear was his trust in God. In Jesus' moment of weakness, he still wanted to carry out God's will instead of his own. Many times when we pray to God, we ask him to change our circumstances, deliver us from evil, or give us the desire we currently hold. But, how often are we asking God if the suffering we are in is exactly where He wants us to be? When we fully surrender, we release control of our own desires and give God the reins to guide our hearts. We no longer skim our toes above the water, hesitant to take a dip in uncharted territory. Instead, we submerge ourselves not knowing how shallow or how deep Jesus is taking us, but trust that He will be with us the entire way. Our purpose becomes His as His plans become ours. The ability to differentiate between fleshy desires versus spiritual ambitions will be apparent as our hearts are unified with the Lord's. With Jesus at the forefront of our lives, our prayers will yearn to glorify the Kingdom. As we serve in God's kingdom, we must look to establish relationships in the church that support and guide our spiritual walk. God says in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." We were not made to do life alone. God calls us to serve one another until He returns for us. The sisterhood we surround ourselves in provides us with the mentorship and friendship that we need. Spending all of our time studying the Bible, listening to sermons, or praying with righteous minds would do us no good if we never shared our faith. Growth happens most when we recognize each other's weaknesses, but use the same moment to inspire one another. With the help of our church family, we can be held accountable in keeping the position of our hearts in Jesus rather than ourselves.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:4When we commit ourselves to Jesus through studying, submitting, and serving, our hearts become one with His. It is then that we are able to pray in a way that glorifies Him and pleases us. Let your heart and desires beat in unity with God so that you are delighted in every way, in all of your days.