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Transformed Desires

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? When my son Jackson was little, he really wanted to be a cowboy. He wore guns and a cowboy hat everywhere, and he constantly talked about “when I get older, and I have my own ranch…” When I was young, I always wanted to be a pilot. I was enamored with flight, especially with the supersonic jets that were flown by the military. I read any book that related to flying that I could get my hands on. I even took flying lessons in single-engine planes when I was in high school. I worked all summer, every summer, just to get enough money to pay for the lessons, which were very expensive. I had flown about five solo hours before I finally had to stop when I got into college and couldn’t pay for both lessons and college. Much like flying, there were many other things along the way to adulthood that I really thought I would like to do or be some day.

There is nothing wrong with having plans and dreams. In fact, there may be something wrong with you if you have no desires to make something of yourself. However, when you begin to move from dreams and desires to what God’s will is for your life, some things change. Many interpret Psalm 37:4 to mean that when you delight yourself in God, He gives you all the things you desire. “I desire a million dollars, a fast car, a great career doing the things I have always wanted to do. I’m delighting myself in God; I’m following Him, so now I expect Him to keep His end of the bargain and give me what I want.” But I don’t think that is what this verse means at all. Surely God wants to give us good things that we can enjoy, but there is a different interpretation of this verse, that, based on my own experience, I think this verse is trying to tell us. When you begin to follow God with your life – seeking His will, living His purpose for your life – He begins to change your desires. He will literally give you the desires that you should have.

When I gave my life over to God to serve in full-time ministry, I didn’t stop liking airplanes; but my desire changed from wanting a career in flying to wanting to serve the Lord in whatever capacity He had for me. There is a great benefit to delighting in God. Along the way, as I have picked up other things that interest me, God has allowed me to do above and beyond what I thought I would do when I gave my life to Him. Yes, He changed my desires, but He has more than compensated me for the ones He took away.

Read also: Psalm 37:1-8

Quote of the day: “Sometimes God does not change the situation because He is trying to change your heart.”

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