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Desire of My Heart

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Desires of Your Heart

Hide ‘em in Your Heart – pt 2

Sept 14, 2008

Dr. Rick Isbell  -  New Church Memphis

Psalm 37:1-8

4Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Do you have an special desires?

-      Is it okay to have desires or should we just be satisfied with who we are and what we have?

There was a frog that desired to be a prince.  He absolutely knew his destiny was to turn in to a handsome young prince. But for confirmation, he decided to visit a fortuneteller. The fortuneteller gazed into her crystal ball and said, “Oh, I see something. You are close to a beautiful young woman.” The frog gets very antsy, “Yes, I knew I’m going to become a prince.” The fortuneteller continues, “I see her radiant face coming close to you as she desires to know everything about you." The frog, very excited, asks the fortuneteller, “Where am I?  On a date, in a club?” The fortuneteller answers, “No, Biology class.”

We all have desires, don’t we?

-          Without desires, we wouldn’t accomplish much in life.

-          Our desires determine the direction of our lives

-          they  can reveal our motivations

-          they can reveal our priorities.

In the warm Caribbean waters there was a prawn (shrimp) named Joe and one named Christian who were best buddies.  The two prawns had a good, easy life but were always in fear for their lives because sharks were always looking for prawns to eat.  Joe became more and more frustrated with his life as a prawn and wished that he could become a shark.  Suddenly a mysterious, wise old Cod swam up and said, “Your wish is granted” and instantly Joe became a shark.  The problem was, now Christian, his best friend, was afraid of him and quickly swam away.  Joe then headed off to sea to experience life as a shark.  Several times Joe approached Christian to talk and Christian would always run away in fear.  Feeling very lonely and sad, Joe now desired to be a prawn again.  To his surprise, the wise old Cod came around turned Joe back into a prawn.  Joe immediately went to Christian’s house and banged on his door saying “Let me in, I’ve changed.  “No,” came the voice from inside, you are an enemy.”  “No I’m not,” said Joe, “I’ve changed, I’m different.  I found Cod and now I’m a prawn again Christian!”

Desires… desires… everyone has desires at some level.

Even God has desires

-          Example:  He desires that all men be saved 1 TIM 2

-          He wants all people to come to the full knowledge of Him

If something is God’s desire for me, it must be the best… right?

-          What if God allows me to go through some terrible pain and suffering to bring me back into a right relationship with Him, is it still a good thing?

-          Or now is God’s desires all of a sudden a bad thing?

The last half of Psalm 37:4 says that, “God will give me the desires of my heart.”

Great, I desire a new Harley, I expect delivery of that this week.

This is a mis-used scripture, isn’t it?

Does God give me or IS God obligated to give me EVERY desire of my heart… after all, His Word says it clearly?

-          What if my desire is to cheat on my wife?

-          What if my desire is to embezzle today’s offering?

-          If it is my desire, shouldn’t God make good on His word?

One of the first things we have to understand about this promise in God’s Word and how it applies to our lives is that

I.  We can have wrong desires

If we have wrong desires and those are met, will we feel fulfilled?

-          How many adulterers have you ever known that have acted on their lustful desires that felt fulfilled a short time into it?

-          How many crooks, thieves, have you ever known that when the lights are out and they are alone, really feel good about who they are and what they do?

We can even work hard, honest and maybe make enough money to accomplish some desires whether they are good for us or not.

-          We can manipulate situations and people and accomplish some desires.

-          I could take my family’s offering today and make my first Harley payment if I wanted to.

-          Do you think I am going to be ultimately fulfilled in that?

-          Have you ever known someone that wanted a certain job so bad and when they got it they were miserable?

-          Have you ever known someone that wanted to move to a certain house or a certain neighborhood and when they got it, it just wasn’t all that great?

Ask yourself in advance… If I get what I desire, am I truly going to be fulfilled? 

-          Will it really make me happy? 

-          For how long?

-          Or is there something else missing in the equation?

God’s Word asks us, “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?”

-          Paraphrase:  What will you gain if you get what you want but loose your joy in the process?

We can have wrong desires and even if we get those desires, we will not be ultimately fulfilled.

Let’s look at the whole passage surrounding this concept of desires and try to figure out what God is saying to us today with this promise.

Psalm 37:1-8

1A Psalm of David.

Do not fret because of evildoers,

Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,

And wither as the green herb.

3Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

6He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your justice as the noonday.

7Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.

II.  The “do not’s” of desires

1. Do not fret

Prov 24

19Do not fret because of evildoers…

The righteous (the Christian) should not fret when the wicked succeed.

-          Fretting leads only to evil, including anger




1.   to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent, or the like: Fretting about the lost ring isn't going to help.

2.   to cause corrosion; gnaw into something: certain acids fret at the strongest metals.


Has fretting about anything in the past ever made it better for you? Of course not.

When you fret about something, you are NOT in agreement with God.

2. Do not be envious

The wisdom of Solomon says:

Prov 24

19Do not fret because of evildoers,

Nor be envious of the wicked;

David, in today’s Psalm, warned against being agitated or anxious about God’s apparent inconsistency in letting evildoers triumph, for their prosperity is short-lived

-          You should not be envious of sinful people and their prosperity because they will wither like the grass and will soon die.

III.  The “Do’s” of Desires

1.  Trust

v.3  Trust in the Lord

Trust in the One Who can answer your prayers.

-          Unless you trust Him, you won’t commit your life to Him.

-          Unless you trust God, you will not obey Him.

If it seems that God is not answering your prayers, trust that He has a good reason.

-          Trust that whatever the circumstance, He is aware that you are there!

2.  Delight

v.4 Delight yourself also in the Lord…

The word “delight” speaks of “exquisite” joy.

-          is the Hebrew word oneg, which means "to treat as a delicacy."

-          There are very few places in the Scriptures were the word oneg is used.

I think that a very practical way for us to ‘delight in the Lord’ is to praise Him.

-          It is natural for human beings to praise the things they delight in.

-          We praise our children,

-          we praise our favourite sports team,

-          we praise a good meal,

-          human beings naturally praise the things that bring us delight.

When believers delight in the Lord, his desires become their desires.

-          Then their prayers are answered as they do his will.

-          The very things that we desire change as we delight ourselves in the Lord

3.  Commit

v. 5 Commit your way to the Lord.


Acknowledge His authority over your life.

-          He IS in control.

-          No matter what you may think or even do, God is sovereign and even though YOU might lose control of your life, God never will.

-          His plan for your life will be the best.

-          Commit your life to Him and obey the plans He has made for you!

4.  Rest

V. 7 …rest in the Lord…

Resting is the opposite of fretting.

-          Jesus said, “If you are tired of fretting, come to me and I will give you rest.”

-          “You can cast this burden on me because I care about you.”

-          Fully depend on Him.

Understand this...resting or waiting doesn’t necessarily mean just sitting there twiddling your thumbs.

-          You still need to do your part, but the difference is you are relying on God’s sovereignty, not your ability.

5.  Wait

v.7 …and wait patiently for Him.

IS 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Waiting says, "I’m trusting You, God."

-          God’s timing is perfect

-          If God created time and existed before time, wouldn’t you think His handling of time would be pretty solid?

-          In a very simplistic way of thinking, maybe God would withhold the Harley from me today, because perhaps He knows that I would be killed on it tomorrow.

-          He’s an on-time God, every time, all the time

Waiting for God’s response to our prayers is the hardest part of our Christian walk.

-          Yet the Bible says that if we can persevere and wait, the rewards are awesome.

-          He will renew our strength

-          He will give us eagle wings to soar!

Ask yourself, do I want plan, manipulate and strategize to get something good, or do I want to wait and get the best?

-          Be wise enough to let God give you what He wants you to have, because His gifts are ALWAYS the best.

What God will do:

1.  He shall give you

4… He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Junior Hill tells the story of his mother being placed in a nursing home much to her and their dismay.  On the first day, she lay on the bed and died.  This home-going was not what they wanted… but what they desired?

2.  He shall bring it to pass

5…He shall bring it to pass.

Just like your salvation, there is nothing that will stand in the way of God bringing His will to pass.

-          God knew that you needed a savior and He gave up His only son to make it happen

-          No expense spared

-          No heartache spared

-          No short cuts

-          No what-if’s

He simply and firmly brought it to pass

-          He’ll do that for you too.

3.  He shall bring forth your righteousness & justice

6He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

I can’t be righteous, in and of myself… He can.

I can’t dispense justice upon myself… He can

-          Mercy

-          Grace

-          Pardon

-          Redemption

-          Healing

-          Hope

-          Help

-          HE CAN

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