It is typical of women’s churchanity to appeal to the emotions of ladies. There is this basic assumption that women want everything to be about feelings, heart longings, and romance. I realize that may be true of a large percentage of women, but there are also ladies like myself. Frankly, all of the emotional, all-the-feels-plus-romantic-Jesus-is-your-boyfriend nonsense just makes me want to puke. But I digress. Anyhow, since much of what is marketed to women in the church is emotions-based, ladies have been trained to interpret scripture through their feelings and notions of what they think it means to them personally, rather than proper hermeneutics.
With this bias in mind, I would like us to take a look at a popular Psalm that is easily warped and twisted by this appeal to women’s feelings and the tendency to emotionalize everything in Scripture.
God will give me the desires of my heart?! Wonderful! Just what I wanted to hear!
You can probably already see how this verse would appeal to those who are caught up in feelings-based Christianity. We should always question, and pause to reevaluate, when it seems that someone or something (Christian book, ladies ‘Bible’ study, etc.) is saying that scripture means what we would naturally want to hear. Scripture is God’s word to us, and runs contrary to natural man.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. The word convicts us of our sin, and confronts our sin-nature. Add to that what Jeremiah 17:9 informs us about ourselves: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Our hearts are wicked, deceitful and sick. Knowing that, does it make sense to take this verse the way most people claim to understand it…..that God will give us the desires of our hearts, whatever they may be? No. No it does not.
Look at the sentence just prior: delight yourself in the Lord. What does it mean to delight oneself in the Lord? It means that we find our fulfillment in Him. All of our longings, wants and needs are satisfied in our new identity in Christ. We no longer look to things from the temporal world to satisfy longings that are spiritual. Instead, we nourish our souls with things eternal: His Word, His promises, His attributes, His truth, His ways, His love, His salvation.
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we are yielding to the instruction of the Holy Spirit. What do I mean by that? We yield to the Spirit when we read the Word, apply, and obey it. The more we walk in obedience to the Word and the Spirit, the more we are conformed to the likeness of the Son (Romans 8:29). The more we are conformed to the likeness of the Son, the more our desires match His. See the progression? Therefore, when our desires begin to mirror the desires of the Lord (because we are delighting in Him), it is His good pleasure to give us those desires; His desires. God delights in answering requests that are in line with His will. And since He is completely good, and wants His best for us, we can have confidence that when we yield our natural desires to His will, and take on His desires, it will be better than anything we were longing for on our own. What a good Father!
Soli Deo Gloria!