As God is my Genie…
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 NKJV
To most, their idea of God is very superstitious. I still struggle with this thinking myself having been raised with the notion that God is obligated to do well for me, if I try to do well for Him. Even this verse seems to lend itself to that idea…doesn’t it?
Yea….not so much
God continues to teach me that He isn’t interested in giving me my heart’s desire but He is interested in giving me the desires of my heart…let me explain.
As Christians we struggle with two natures. The battle is no longer between myself and God because He has made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20). The battle is between myself and…well…my other self.
You say,… I’m not sure, but I think that there is medicine for that condition…
True, this reality does describe a kind of ‘spiritual schizophrenia’ but the treatment for it is far more powerful than any pharmacy can conjure up. In fact there is only one effective treatment and that is called ‘fellowship of the Holy Spirit’. It is only called that in Philippians 2:1 and is connected with ‘loving one another with a pure heart fervently’. This ministry of the Holy Spirit is most thoroughly described in Romans 8.
This is a fellowship that requires the participation of the whole church working arm and arm with the Holy Spirit to produce in each of us a strong desire to ‘mortify the deeds of the flesh’. This is a desire that we rarely, if ever had before we became a Believer. It is a new desire, created through our new allegiance to God through His Holy Spirit.
You see, my heart’s desire is too often the desire of my corrupt flesh.
Although the old man is crucified with Christ, and I am now a new creation in Him, I still reside in the flesh. So, the flesh remains a corrupting influence. It is like having a corpse strapped to my back. Now, if the devil can isolate me from other believers, he knows that I will be much more susceptible to the impulses of the flesh. If there is no loving accountability, then the power of the Holy Spirit in me is diminished and the corrupting desires of the flesh will increase.
A Powerful Deliverance
Were it not for the power of the Holy Spirit now resident in my soul, I would be doomed to submit to its corrupting desires. The Apostle Paul laments this condition in Romans chapter 7, but then declares a solution to his plaintive cry, “Who shall save me from the body of this death?…I thank my God, (it is) through the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So now, the finished work of Christ secures for the believer a ‘no condemnation’ standing and we are no longer bound to submit to the corrupting desires of the flesh. Instead, we delight ourselves in the Lord, and He gives us the (new) desires of our heart.
In other words, far greater than being a genie to grant our every desire, God grants us access into His Holy presence where He gives us desires to be more and more like Him.
So, with these new desires of my heart, I already have from God more than I could ask or think. I am no longer a debtor to my flesh but I am indebted to my God for His abundant grace toward me.
Of course, I still sin, I still yield to the flesh far too often…but I don’t dwell there…I don’t like it there anymore because that is not where my true desires are anymore. When I confess my sin, God is faithful and just (because of Christ’s payment for my sin) to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
What a Great God we serve!