Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. ~ Psalm 37:4
Will God give you everything you want when you want it? As a follower of God, I think I can safely say ‘no’ to this question. God speaks in many places in the Bible about meeting our needs (He won’t let you or your family go hungry (Psalm 37:25) and He will provide food and clothing for you (Matthew 6:33) and occasionally about meeting our wants.) He promises us that if we ask, we shall receive (and that they will be good gifts!) in Matthew 7:7-11. And in this scripture above, He promises to give us the desires of our hearts.
So what does that mean? A Bentley? House on the hill? Peace? Love? Infatuation?
It could mean all of the above and more. But we already know one important thing about God – He is not as concerned about money the way that human beings are (to put it lightly). In the same chapter that He tells us He will provide for our food and clothing, He also tells us to store up our treasures in heaven rather than on earth where it will rot and focus instead on the things of God rather than natural things.
The whole earth belongs to God, after all. If he wanted to give us a million dollars tomorrow, He most definitely could. But – for most of us – He does not simply ‘give’ us money. Or things. Or material goods. He blesses us to be able to work and prosper and acquire things for ourselves, but His direct method of giving usually does not include a million dollar check in the mail. But He could if He wanted to.
So we have to ask ourselves – why is it this way? Why doesn’t God reward us directly in material things? After all, just because money does not motivate God, it certainly appears to motivate us! Who wouldn’t want to drive a new car or live in a mansion or be able to purchase anything we wanted (big house on the beach, anyone)? So why doesn’t God give us the nearest desires of our heart when it comes to material things?
Might I suggest to you then that the desires of our hearts that He is referring to are not material at all? But that He wants to bless you with peace, love, happiness and the like? That He wants to bless you with a strong and close relationship with God? That He is hoping for your happiness and fulfillment and wants to see you filled with joyful passions?
Yes, many of our favorite characters in the Bible had money – Abraham, Job and King David certainly were not slouches in the money department. And King Solomon’s wealth outshone them all. But obviously (from reading these passages) God’s true intent was not to build their finances, but to build their relationships with Him. Through blessing them, God blessed a number of other people who were impacted by them. As they grew spiritually, those around them grew spiritually and for those who had the most wealth, they were expected to use it for the benefit of others. With great power comes great responsibility and we see that time and again in the Bible.
But God’s true intent is to fulfill the desires of your heart concerning a relationship with Him. He wants to be the first desire of your heart – and then add all other things on the foundation of that relationship.
So the next time you ask God to fulfill the desires of your heart – remember that you are doing just that as you spend time with Him, learning about Him and dwelling in His presence. Remember that God’s true intent is the relationship that the two of you have – not the material things and not the wealth, but Him. That is God’s true desire of His own heart and He hopes that you will share it too!