Gaining Your Desires

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

So much of the modern world is set up around desire. Advertisers try to get us to desire things we never knew we wanted. Shops compete to sell us this things, often with discounts to make them even more desirable. When we can’t afford those things, credit cards will enable us to get them now (and pay later in easy instalments).

Train stations and airports have bookshops which will sell you self-help books, or guides promising to tell you how to get what you want. Motivational speakers will tell you how to be the best version of yourself you can be. How to attain your goals. How to, how to, how to…

This verse from Psalm 37 also promises the desires of your heart, but it goes about it from entirely the other direction. First, delight yourself in God and then he will give you the desires of your heart. The spiritual logic is this: as you delight yourself in God, you will find your desires becoming more godlike. As the Apostle Paul puts it: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). The more you find delight in God, the more you desire to follow him and the more he gives you those desires. You come to desire the same thing as God.

So rather than self-help, look for God help. Rather than looking for self-fulfilment, look for God fulfillment. And then you will find your desires met.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ (Matthew 25:6-10) - Don’t put off getting the oil to another day, or thinking that someone else’s oil will do for you too. You cannot cash in a future promise of faith, or rely on someone else’s faith. When the bridegroom comes, the question is a simple one. Where is your oil?

Martin of Tours

Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. (Luke 6:30) - Martin of Tours is an important figure in the history of the church, rising to become Bishop of Tours where he founded a monastery and set up a basic parish system for the area. His most famous act does not come from this time, though, but rather from when he was a teenaged soldier.

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