On New Year’s Eve, I was at a youth gathering. At one point, we were given papers to write out our new year’s resolutions and then pray about them. I understand the idea, which is to make positive goals for or improvements to your life. This could be a good time to make spiritual goals for yourself. For instance, maybe you’d like to pray more, reach out more, or simply live a life that is more pleasing to God. These are exceptional goals of recommitment! I would encourage you to make them. But as I thought on it, I felt rather foolish writing anything down. I will explain.
A few years ago at Brethren Bible Institute, Wilmer Horst taught a class on I Kings. Throughout the class he continually referenced the verses of Proverbs 3:5-6, which have always been familiar, but suddenly took on special significance to me. When these verses are overlaid into the stories of life, whether of success or failure, they show how critical it is to practice not one, not two, but all three things mentioned:
IF you trust in the Lord with all your heart
IF you do not lean unto your own understanding
IF you acknowledge Him in all your ways
THEN God will direct your paths
God has a way of taking anything that we come up with on our own and making it fail; God also has a way of taking anything that He comes up with for us and making it succeed.
For me, my new year’s resolution is summed up in multiple verses from Psalm 37. Read them, and be encouraged:
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
34 Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
Each of these verses is an incredible testimony to the graciousness of God and the Salvation He has brought to us. Each verse speaks powerfully, but I want to briefly comment on verse 4, as this has been on my mind for the past few months. Usually Psalm 37:4 is taken out of context, and it is implied that this verse says “if you delight in the Lord He will give you want you want.” Quite the opposite is true! The verse actually says, “If you delight in the Lord, you will desire what the Lord wants, and subsequently you will receive the desires of His heart.”
IF you delight in the Lord
THEN you will desire what the Lord wants
THEN you will receive the desires of His heart
So what does it look like to delight in the Lord? I believe this delight can only come from knowing God personally. When we know God (by experiencing Him in our lives and communicating through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and prayer), we realize God loves us and cares for us. We understand the plan for the entire world to be offered His inheritance of salvation and eternal life in glory. We become excited that God is so loving and gracious. It is a pleasure to obey every part of His Word. We are blessed by simply trying our hardest every day to serve Him faithfully, confessing and forsaking sin and striving to please Him. Delighting in the Lord is a joyful relationship!
God wants the very best for you, and wants to bless you. He wants complete control over your life for the furtherance of His kingdom. He wants you to say, “Lord, I’m yours in 2014. What do you have for me? I will follow your leading, even if it doesn’t make common sense. It is a delight to trust you for my future.”
Did that encourage you?
These posts only come every month or so. Sign up and I'll tell you when I post something!