My life has been radically transformed by God’s grace and I have had the privilege of serving Him in full-time ministry for 16 years. Yet there have been times this past week that in my heart I have cast judgment on others for their sin and been prejudiced towards others who are different than me racially or ethnically. I recognize that God has given me a new heart with different desires and yet at times my life reflects very little of that.
I often can find myself realizing that I desperately need God to mold my heart to be more like His. This is something that I really do desire and so does God. Yet He wants more than this, He wants my heart to be His above all else. God doesn’t just want for me to desire what He desires but to truly desire Him.
Psalm 37:4 says:
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
God is the one who will change my heart to desire what He desires when I delight in Him. It starts with delighting in God and then He changes my desires. When my desires are not in line with His it is an indication that I am not delighting in Him.The things that once were a way to express my delight in God (time in His word, prayer/fasting, ½ days with the Lord, accountability and fellowship with others and corporate worship) can now be looked at as a way to sustain me through the week. Even being in full-time ministry I can find that it is so easy at times to go through the motions and show up for duty while lacking any real devotion to God. At times family, ministry, finances, sports, food and other things take precedence over God in my heart. I know that I am not alone in feeling this. For those of you who are honest I hear you saying 'Amen' as well.
When this happens we need to heed Jesus words in Revelation 2:4-5 to the church in Ephesus. For we have forsaken God as our first love and need to remember the heights from which we have fallen and repent. This is not always easy for many of the things that often creep into the place where God belongs in our hearts are not evil in and of themselves. The thing that is evil is that we have allowed them to take priority in our hearts above Him (Exodus 20:3). We need to ask the Holy Spirit to produce a godly sorrow in our hearts over this that leads us to true repentance. Then we need to recognize our utter inability to fully give our hearts to Him and like David in Psalm 86:11 ask God to give us an undivided heart so that we may fear His name.
God wants to show forth His glory and power and shine the light of Christ in the midst of the darkness of our nation and world. He has chosen to do that in this age through His people (the church). And His eyes are searching throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. I pray that we are the people that He uses to do this because we delight ourselves in Him and He has molded our hearts to be more like His. Let's allow God to do this work in our hearts as we pray (see the prayer points below). God bless!!!
Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you if you are truly delighting yourself in the Lord.
Ask the Lord to show you what in your life has caused you forsake Him as your first love.
Ask the Lord to produce a godly sorrow in your heart about this that leads to real repentance.
Acknowledge and confess your utter inability to fully give your heart to the Lord and ask him as David did to give you an undivided heart.
Ask God to cause your hearts desires to be what He desires (some specific things pertaining to our mission: salvation of the lost (1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16, 17), unity of the body (John 17:20-23); laborers into the harvest (Matt. 9:37-38); revival (2 Chronicles 7:14); making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
For God to show forth His mighty power through us as He gives us hearts fully committed to Him