Delighting & Desires – August 5, 2018

When I enjoy too much dessert it affects my desires… I want more of it, I think more about it and it rounds out my belt-line.  The more I delight in the carbs the more control they have in my life.  The Psalmist in Psalm 37:4-6 teaches about the hope-filled response when evil men seem to win and we want to win too… We just want to win without compromising our integrity…

The Psalmist tells us to delight in the Lord and it will shape our desires… In fact, the Lord has the capacity to satisfy our heart’s deepest desires…  Sometimes with himself and sometimes with his gifts.

The perspective includes, from the context, an expectation that we’re walking God’s way, wanting what God wants and coming under his authority.  Frequently my own personal failures can be traced to my unwillingness to walk God’s way, want what God wants and repent from my own authority.   Psalm 37:23-24 tells us: “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

When I commit my way to the Lord and roll my concerns about how the path winds and how hard the rocks are to negotiate, I have a chance to trust the Lord with my own sense of loss and the best path for me to reach the destination… heaven.  Until I arrive, I can learn to enjoy the Lord and as I do a little piece of heaven will grow in my heart… and my desire for security, meaning and belonging will be met by the God who’s lovingly invited me on this journey with him and others in his Kingdom Family.  The Lord taught his disciples to pray… Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…

As you delight in the Lord how might he shape your desires?  What is a good the next step for you in your walk with Jesus?



Full Manuscript for today’s conversation…

Introduction:  My fishing trip on Thursday…   Food truck rain storm on Friday…   My ebay Chevy Blazer fiasco.
What is the promise? When we’re walking with Jesus and His Kingdom Family, things can look pretty bleak, pretty awful… but don’t lose heart, don’t give up… when the rain comes, the sun isn’t far behind…  God will defend his honor and carry us when we care about his honor too…  When bad people, bad keep coming out on top, don’t despair… God sees what your’re doing… that you’re doing what HE says is right, what’s virtuous, what’s pure… what’s lovely, what’s of good report… God sees and will, in this world OR the next, make your innocence shine like the dawn, it will be seen clearly, as in the brightness of the noonday sun…
What is the verse? Psalm 37:3-6 (NIV)  Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Who has this section in another version… electronic or not… come to a mic.
What did the verse mean to original recipients, context… Psalms is a group of poems/writings/songs… this one is believed to be written by David… Matthew Henry comments that this is an alphabetical psalm (if you knew Hebrew); a teaching psalm; “the object is to assure men whose minds are disturbed by the face of the frequent prosperity of the wicked…”  in every case God will bring us all to account…  Adrian Rodgers titled Psa 37 “Too Blessed to be Stressed”.
All through Israel’s history, even during the reign of David, people were against them… they were at war with others… protecting themselves…  Even within Israel there were good people who loved God and followed God’s teachings and those who didn’t…   There were times when, like in our space, that selfish, immoral people seem like they get ahead and the moral, humble people get pushed down…  This passage has encouraged generations of Jewish families to continue to delight in the Lord Yahweh…
The word take delight – Is to enjoy something… What are some things you enjoy, delight in?   How many of us enjoy social media?  I know it’s a love hate…  Are you aware that it’s shaping you?  You have shorter attention span, you struggle to concentrate, you are addicted to the ping or vibration of a text when it comes in…   Your fascination with it has shaped you…   It true with any topic or area you delight in… the activity influences you…  Look at most bakers… are they thin or round?   What we love affects us… the word “Delight” offers the picture of being pliable and shaped…   When you take delight in the Lord, it should have an affect.   If you’re not delighting and not being shaped, I question if you’re really following Jesus.    When we’re taken with someone, and spend time with them, we begin to reflect their nature, habits and responses in our mannerism…   example…  There are times when I’ll be talking to someone and say something and think, that’s just like Marcia or Kent or Louis… because I’ve spend time with them… delighted in them… and their influence rubbed off on me…
The word desires…  could be rephrased the ‘askings’ of your heart… for what does your heart most long for?  Not what external thing do YOU want but what internal, soul level, heart centered ‘asking’ would bring you inner-quietness, courage, or security?   What does your heart desire?  Not what new stuff do you want… the reason you want the new stuff is because you there’s something inside that feels restless, troubled, disappointed… and a new car, house, job, clothes, friend… distracts you from the internal askings for a while…  What does your heart desire, what are your internal askings?  Are you afraid?  Are you hurt?  Are you angry?  Are you depressed?  Do you feel restless, trapped, sad, empty?  Can you put your finger on it?
To summarize… Psalmist is saying, If spend time with Jesus, so that he begins to shape your thinking, your pursuits and your desires… you’ll find that he also resolves the internal askings of your heart…   As you delight in the Lord, he will give you the askings, the desires, you’ve been craving… and lift the burden you’ve been carrying…   the next verse…
Commit… means to roll your burden onto another…  Like I’m carrying a burden… by life’s purpose and outcomes… and I roll it off me onto another…
Trust… it’s deeper than just  showing or tending to have a belief in a person’s honesty or sincerity; not suspicious.  It’s being so convinced that someone is capable that you go TO them like you’d go INTO a CAVE to escape a tornado… because it’s a secure, safe shelter…  and when you’re with someone you trust there’s calm because they’re capable…  like my kids during a thurnder storm… they ran and jumped in my bed… not because if a tree fell on us I could hold it up… but because they BELIEVED I could hold it up…
No evil person, organization or government can hide the good we do forever… eventually it will come out… God will justly judge and our innocence will shine.   You’re showing the world the virtue of trusting in the Lord instead of trusting in self, or people who might try to bend the truth for personal gain or comfort.
When it all comes out… people will see… what’s right and what was wrong…  UNTIL IT DOES, Don’t give up; don’t give in… Be pliable and shaped as you see the Lord, lean in on the Lord for the deep askings of your heart… Roll your burden to a God who can carry it… and trust that God will bring to light what’s right when the time is right…
What about life works against this promise? People generally want to redefine what God’s saying… Into something that’s more about being blessed… and less about being changed…   We want to delight in whatever we want and still experience the protection and vindication of God…   Our culture suggests that success is measured in dollars, houses, cars and power…  Sometimes we ignore the criteria of taking delight in the Lord and just hope for good stuff to come our way…  Sometimes we do what Oprah does… and redefine the words to mean something we’d like them to say… https://youtu.be/c1jXPhsz26g?t=57s
Today’s Communion Sunday…  Let’s reflect on how Jesus embodied the teaching in this set of verses?
Summary Conclusions…  This promise reminds us that when things look pretty bleak, pretty awful… but don’t lose heart, don’t give up… when the rain comes, the sun isn’t far behind…

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