Sunday, June 2, 2013

Delight, Commit, Trust

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4,5 KJV)

I love this promise but it took me quite some time to understand it. It's so easy to focus on getting the desires of our hearts from God that we overlook our part of this promise: delight, commit, trust. And just what are the desires of our hearts anyway?

Delight – How do you delight in the Lord? I delight in other things. Why is delight in the Lord such a hard concept? The tendency to over-spiritualize anything having to do with God made me think it was some righteous prayer or act that would show God my delight in Him. God has taught me to simply delight in Him more than I delight in anyone or anything else. However, to simply delight in Him more than anything else, is not at all simple. 

Commit – Who commits to anything? That implies forever, no turning back, no 30-day free trial. Like a cliff dive, you either do it or you don’t. You don’t dive then change your mind in mid-air. You’re either all in or all out. There is no prenuptial. There is no escape clause. There is nothing worse than one foot on the water and one foot in the boat. Jesus wants one of two admissions. Completely admit you’re too afraid to step out on the water with Him or completely admit that only He can keep you on top of the waves, but you're stepping out onto them anyway. I have done what is impossible for a simple man like me. That is when I am most alive. I have also done what is natural for a simple man like me; focused my attention on the waves. That is when I am least alive. Either way I have walked away from the boat. There is no such thing as being out of the boat but still close enough to jump back in if you panic. Water gives you nothing to push off of so you may as well turn your back to the boat, face Jesus, and start walking until you hear, “well done”.

Trust – Is anyone worthy of trust? Human wisdom says hold on to something tangible. God says let go of it. Are you at the end of your rope? It’s more painful to hold on than it is to let go. But to let go requires trust in someone who can navigate the results of you no longer having whatever it is you let go of. Only the the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are worthy of that kind of trust.

Desires – Human desires cannot be forever fulfilled. The void you try to fill is a bottomless pit. All attempts to fill it with things this world offers lead to frustration and hopelessness. The only way to forever fulfill the desires of our hearts is to align our plans and goals for our lives with God’s. That requires a 180 degree turn. There is no turn less than or greater than 180 that will lead us to that life. The shortest route to that life is a straight line in the complete opposite direction that our human nature takes us. Jesus continues to call to us, “this way”, as we drift off the narrow path, meander down dead ends, walk in circles, or just plain stop. Why God cares so deeply that He won’t give up on us is beyond my comprehension. Thank God for His patience with us.

Delight, commit, trust sounds like a lot of effort on our part, more than we can do. That's where amazing grace comes in. God knows that even our best efforts to delight, commit, and trust will fall far short. That's where the best two words in these verses come in - "He shall". I am so relieved that the "He shall" does not only apply to giving me the desires of my heart. "He shall" align the desires of my heart with the desires of His heart for me, through the work of the Holy Spirit in me. "He shall" give me the ability to delight, commit, and trust as I should. "He shall" because without Him I can't.