The Desires of Your Heart
(Originally posted on August 9, 2012 on Blogspot)
and he will give you the desires of your heart.-Psalm 37:4, NIV
Did you ever wonder if you were completely following God’s plan? Being a college student, I see people constantly asking themselves if God actually wanted them to major in such and such. Students change their major numerous times to find that perfect plan that God has for them. Although it is great to seek God’s counsel in your life, while considering what God wanted you to do with your life, did you ever consider what you wanted to do with your life?
For the past two days, God has been waking me up with the desire to study Psalm 37:4. The first time that God woke me up with this verse, I had a dream that I was talking to one of my friends about the calling on his life. He was really worried that he had chosen a major in college because it was what he wanted to do, not what God wanted him to do. He felt that he had wasted his time in college studying at an expensive school instead of pursuing a degree at a Bible college or seminary. In my dream, I was telling him that God gives us the desires of our hearts. Although God has a plan for us, He gives us interests and uses those interests in His plan.
I have mentioned before that I am studying TESOL in a small Christian college. Before I started going to this school, I had wanted to be a writer. I had a passion for writing. Writing was what I wanted to share with the world; I wanted to write books that children would enjoy. I loved reading, and I wanted to give children something to read so that they could be entertained just like I was by books. Although I had felt that writing was in my future, when I went on my first missions trip, I felt God calling me to be a missionary. As a result of this call, I completely threw away my desire to be a writer.
Over time, I realized that I still loved writing. During my first semester at college, my friends would constantly complain about writing papers. I could not relate; even if it was a research paper about the long history of the Baptist church, I loved getting my ideas written out in words. I had no problems helping my friends write their papers for classes.
When I transferred to my current school, I learned that many missionaries are now pursuing a degree in teaching English abroad. When I first heard of TESOL, I ran from it. I had stuffed my desires deep into my heart, hoping never to have them touched again. God had given me the desire to be a missionary, and that should supersede my desire to be a writer. That semester, I was required to take a class about starting a transforming spiritual journey with God. My professor confessed that he had liked art as a kid, but he had suppressed his love for arts. Later in life, he had explained, God had told him to start writing, singing, playing music, and painting again. God had given him the desires of his heart; He had given him the desire to creatively express himself and share his emotions with the world.
When my professor said that to us, it spoke to me. God asked me, “Why are you hiding your love for writing? I gave you that love.” I did not want to start writing yet. I wrestled with what God was saying to me for about a year. As I have posted before, after starting a job at the Writing Center, I realized that I could use my love for writing to help students who did not like writing. I could still use my ideas to inspire others to have a voice. Nothing made me happier than knowing that I could please God and still enjoy life.
The second time God woke me up with Psalm 37:4, I was wondering when my husband was going to come into my life. About two months ago, I broke off a relationship that I had had with my boyfriend for two years, and I feel that God wants me to wait before I go back into another relationship. God has taught me that being in a relationship takes time and energy that I do not have as a college student. However, the yearnings for a husband are still there.
During my quiet time, I desired to know the meaning of the verse. I looked in my study Bible for answers, but it had almost nothing to say about Psalm 37:4. Finally, I asked the Holy Spirit to bring light to the words I was reading. As I started saying the words to the verse out loud, I thought of Matthew 6:33: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” These words from Jesus are like the New Testament version of Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As I started thinking of this, I felt the sense that desires are not wrong. To act on that desire and choosing to ignore God’s plan for me right now would be a sin, but the hope that I will be married in the future is not a sin.
It amazes me that something could be a sin just because it is not what God has for you at that time. For example, it is simply showing love if you have sex with your spouse, but it is sexual immorality if you have sex with a stranger.
As Jesus said, we need to seek first God’s interests. Your love for God should shine in everything you do. Obviously, because of your sinful nature, you have desires that go against God’s will for your life. However, by surrendering your desires to God, you can discover that the wants that you have actually stem from a necessity to know God more. Instead of praying for that perfect man or woman to come into your life, acknowledge your desire to be loved and to show love to someone else in return, and be encouraged that the Creator of the universe loves you enough to listen to your prayers and to forgive you.
After I meditated on my desire for a husband, I gave it over to God. I declared that, even if I did not get a husband, I would still serve Him and honor Him in everything that I did. When I meet someone, I proclaimed to God, I would love him with God’s love and I would honor God in our relationship. Later that day, I went to my church and I saw two couples that are truly in love with each other. Instead of being grouchy and asking God where my Prince Charming was, I stopped and admired what these two couples had. I had hope that, if God had someone for me, we would love each other like the members of these couples did. Instead of lusting for a husband to come into my life immediately, I had hope for the future. I had hope that God had given me the desire to love someone unconditionally, and that in the future I will have the opportunity to do so.
Think about the desires you have and surrender them to God. You do not have to stop doing what you love, but you do have to let God take control of those desires. God knows that you want things for the future, and He loves you. In His timing, if you put Him first in everything you do, He will give you more than anything you could ever imagine having on your own.