Wedding Supper of the LambDelight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Psalm 37:4-6

In Part 1 of this series, we learned that God has shared His heart’s desires with His children. These desires are different from the selfish desires of our flesh, which lead to death. In fact, pursuing the desires that God has placed in our hearts will lead to godliness and the production of much fruit. In Part 2, we explored what godliness and fruit might look like when it is manifested in our assignment.

In this, Part 3, we will search out the mystery of the heart to find the keys God has given us for receiving the desires that He has placed there. These keys are vital to the work God in doing in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). As disciple makers and transformation agents, we must understand and apply them for ourselves; and encourage, edify and equip others to do the same.

Searching out the Matter of Our Heart’s Desire

Heart (Hebrew; leb): Inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding.

Heart (Greek; kardia): The heart; that organ in the animal body which is the centre of the circulation of the blood, and hence was regarded as the seat of physical life; denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours; of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence; of the will and character; of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions; of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate.

These definitions are from www.blueletterbible.com’s Outline of Biblical Usage. Other sources are equally complex and open to interpretation. In other words, the heart is a mystery. Perhaps this has something to do with mankind being created in the image of God. It makes sense that the center of such a being, God and man, would be incredibly mysterious.

In these situations (trying to understand a mystery), it helps me to remember that it is the glory of God to hide a matter; and the glory of kings to search it out (Proverbs 25:2). Jesus said that the children of God have been given to know the mysteries of kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:10-16).

It is the Father’s and the Son’s desire for us to explore the mysteries of the heart. The encouragement you feel is that desire manifesting itself in your heart. Respond and you will be made free; free to walk in your adventure and assignment.

Three Keys to Receiving the Desires of Our Heart

Two short stories, recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, reveal the first key to our receiving the desires of our heart. As you read Matthew 8:5-13 (the healing of a Centurion’s servant) and Matthew 15:21-28 (the same for a Canaanite woman’s daughter), you will notice two very interesting similarities.

When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:10, 13

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28

Imagine that! Jesus marveled at the faith of both the Centurion and the Canaanite woman; noting that they had great faith. It was by that great faith that He gave them the desire of their heart. Not surprising, once you think about it.

The first key to receiving the desires of our heart is faith. Knowing this, our next step is to determine where this faith comes from.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

It is with the heart that man believes. Faith is a matter of the heart. It is probably no conincidence that that is the same place God has deposited His desires for each of us.

Next question: How does that faith come to us?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

First, we see here that we must have ears to hear; something Jesus promised to His followers. Second, there must be something for those ears to hear – the rhēma, or spoken, word of God.

Notice that the words of God must be spoken, if they are to manifest faith in our hearts. This is not a minor point. Reading the word of God is not enough for faith to arise in our hearts. We must be positioned to hear God speak. If we are not careful, we will go off doing things that have no value in the kingdom.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Apparently, there will be some (many?) who are surprised to find that, though they call Jesus “Lord” and have done great things in His name, they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. What do you suppose caused this calamity? Could it be that they were not hearing the spoken word of God and, consequently, went about doing something that was not in faith (Romans 14:23)?

This leads us to the second key; the key to positioning ourselves to hear the word of God. How is this accomplished? The answer can be found in both the Old and New Testament. David – the man after God’s own heart – put it this way:

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6

What great promises!! And, can you image a more awesome result: Our righteousness brought forth as the light? This is a prophetic vision of our lives in a Matthew 5:16 assignment: The life of Jesus Christ (our righteousness and light) shining forth so that men see our good work and glorify, not us, but our Father in heaven.

What are the requirements of these great promises? The most obvious is the key we have already mentioned: The key of faith (i.e., commit our way to Him and trust in Him).

Our second key to receiving the desires of our heart is hidden; to be search out in the meaning of “delight”. The Hebrew word that is used in verse four is not what you would expect. It doesn’t mean to be happy with, joyful about, etc. That is the Hebrew word chalets.

Here, in Psalm 37, David, led by the Spirit of God, chose the word anag. Anag means “to be soft”; soft like clay in the Potter’s hands. The second key to receiving our heart’s desires is surrender.

Jesus said the same thing to the Pharisee’s who were questioning the teaching, or word, of His Father.

Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.  John 7:16-17

“If anyone wills to do His will…” The heart that hears the word of God is the heart that has surrendered to His will. It is important to note that this is not a matter of hearing and then deciding to do what has been heard. That is not the surrender that God requires. Complete surrender is having the will to do His will before it is heard. The word will not otherwise become faith.

Summarizing to this point, complete surrender to the will of God positions our hearts to hear the spoken word of God. That word becomes the faith required for the desires of our heart to manifest in the assignments God has created us to walk in, that He would be glorified.

And with this, we come to the third and final key – hidden in another mystery.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8

The third key to receiving the desires of our heart is to abide in Jesus Christ and to have His words abide in us. The mystery of abiding runs deep. You can find out more about it in Map 22 of The Map Maker. The teaching module for that map can be found here.

For now, it’s enough to recognize that abiding in Jesus Christ includes our living out of His life. Within that life dwells the His, and the Father’s, desires. Responding to the desires that He has place in our heart works to deepen our abiding in Him.

He who desires to save His life will lose it; but he who will lose His life for my sake and the Gospel’s will find it. The caterpillar must give up its lowly life to find the life of a butterfly. The seed must die before it produces a thirty, sixty or hundredfold crop. Abiding in Jesus Christ is a dying process.

Furthermore, there is the condition “if… My words abide in you”. Once again, these words are spoken (rhema) words – the words that produce faith. In this state of abiding, we will (i.e., are able to) ask what we desire, and it will be done for us. John sheds more light on this in his first epistle.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1John 5:14-15

To ask what we desire in the will of God, we must live out of the abiding life. If we ask in His will (i.e., surrendered to it), we receive what we desire. In giving us the desires of our heart, the Father is glorified in the “much fruit” we bear. This is the life that identifies us as followers of Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, I want to suggest that the mysteries of God are not as difficult to understand as we might think. The spiritual ears and eyes we have been given work well in our pursuit of the knowledge of God. Our searching out the matters of the heart is a great example of this. Receiving the desires of our heart is not that complicated:

  1. Desires are given to those who have the faith in God to give them.
  2. The word of God produces that faith.
  3. Surrender is a prerequisite for both knowing the desires of God and receiving those that He has place in our heart.
  4. Abiding in Christ and His word abiding in us allows us to ask for the right desires.
  5. Knowing the desires that are God’s will, we can be confident (i.e., have faith) that we will receive them.
  6. In receiving the desires of our heart, God is glorified in our fruit bearing, and we become disciples of Jesus Christ.

While these truths are not complicated, they do require our fighting the good fight to acquire them. Some will decide that the promises are not worth the sacrifice. Don’t let them discourage you in your adventure and assignment.

It is my hope and prayer that you have laid hold of and wrestled with the truths presented in this series. The desires of your heart are gifts of God given to you; gifts of love from the Father to His precious child. Don’t let anything deprive you of your destiny. Boldly claim and fight for your place in the kingdom of God. If I can help you in any way, please contact me (rob@inlightconsulting.com).

 

Humbly yours and forever His,

NOTE:  Click here to continue to Part 4 of this series.