Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they say something and you’re thinking, um, no…that’s not what that means?
Of course you have, we all have!
Has it ever happened when discussing a popular scripture verse?
Consider this one…..Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
People like to throw the last part of that verse around. They want something, so they claim it. God gives you the desires of your heart. They conveniently leave out the first part….our part. Delight yourself in the Lord.
So, I have this conversation with someone who uses the ‘God gives you the desires’ part. I remind them that we have to delight ourselves in the Lord first. They say, well yeah, but I do that. And I’m thinking, do you?
All of a sudden I couldn’t let go of the question the Holy Spirit seemed to be asking me: What does it mean to delight in the Lord? As I thought about it, what I came up with was this: to delight in Him means to really get to know Him, and in knowing Him, then we understand what pleases Him. Then it becomes our delight to do what pleases Him and then He is able to give us the desires of our heart because those desires will be to please Him.
So, in the New Amplified Teri translation, Psalm 37:4 might read something like this: “Delight yourself in the Lord, get to know Him and learn what pleases Him and He will give you the desires of your heart because your desires will be to do His will.”
I was fairly satisfied with my interpretation, but it seemed as though the Holy Spirit wasn’t quite as impressed. Over and over again He continued to ask me: “What does it really mean to delight in Me?
So, I dug a little deeper. The word “delight” appears often throughout Scripture and there are at least 5 Hebrew words which mean some form of ‘to take pleasure in.’ However, not in this Psalm. Delight, in this case, and in only a handful of other verses, comes from the Hebrew word anog and it means ‘to be soft or pliable.’ Literally: Be soft and pliable in the Lord and He wil give you the desires of your heart.
Heart, here, is the Hebrew ‘leb’ which refers to our innermost being, mind, feelings, will, intellect, wisdom and understanding. And ‘desires’ comes from the Hebrew mowrash, meaning possession.
That didn’t make sense to me: be soft and pliable in the Lord and He will give you the possession of your innermost being?
But the word mowrash comes from another word, yarash, which means ‘to occupy by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place.’ So, it’s not God will give me the possession of my heart, but He will take possession of my heart!
I immediately pictured a scene from the Gospels, when Jesus came into the Temple and found the merchants and money changers and drove them out. And I could just picture it: Jesus coming into my heart and driving out the previous tenants: the guilt, the shame, the insecurities, the fears, the attitudes, the thoughts, the sin….overturning the tables, throwing them out. I picked up my Bible and went looking in the gospels to find the passage, and as I found it in Mark, the Spirit whispered to me: YOU are my temple!
In Mark 11 we read the account, but verse 16 stuck out to me: ‘and He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple courts.’
He was standing guard! Not only did He drive out the liars, the cheats and the thieves, He took possession and stood guard.
In the present tense, not only will He come in and drive out the previous tenants of our hearts, He will take possession and stand guard of His temple!
We are warned, over and over again in the Bible that once we have been set free, to not fall again into slavery. This is how we hold on to our freedom: He is standing guard of our heart. The only way we can fall back into slavery and a wrong mindset is take His place as guard.
Picture with me: We become soft in the Lord, allowing Him to come in, clean us out, driving out the junk, the lies and the sin and He stands guard. Those same things, the lies, the junk and the sin try to regain entry, but Jesus is standing guard.
Somehow, some way, we decide we can do Jesus’ job and we push Him aside from His post, and essentially we tell Him, ‘thanks Lord, but I’ve got this.’
It sounds so ridiculous, but that’s exactly what we are doing when we don’t allow Him to do what He has promised to do.
Have you ever? I know I have….more than once…much more. It’s a learning process…..and He’s a gracious teacher.