There is a beautiful promise in Psalm 37: Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (v.4). It is, perhaps, legitimate to translate this as meaning not only the fulfillment of our desires, but even the inspiration of our desires, the inbreathing of His thoughts into us so that our prayers shall be in accord with His will and bring back to us the unfailing answer of His mighty providence.

via Simpson Devotional.

Textually, this idea may not be the best, though it is possible. NET translates the phrase about God giving the desires of the heart this way, “he will answer your prayers.”

But Simpson’s idea does find echo in Pp 4.13,

for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort — for the sake of his good pleasure — is God.”

If we “work out our salvation” v. 12, God produces in us right desire. This astounding truth is part of that inner transformation that God effects in us.

When we pray, as did our Lord Jesus Christ, that the will of God be done in us, such a request includes desiring what God desires, it means making decisions based upon the divine choosing.

Sometimes we have to bring our will, kicking and screaming, to God. He will subdue it and transform it before our very eyes.

A friend once said that he didn’t want to do the will of God. I asked, “Do you want to want to do it?” If so, we’re only a step away from the God who brings forth in us the desire.

Of course, we have absolutely no idea of what God desires apart from the Bible. None. So is this not yet another reason to keep our noses in the pages of Scripture? Does this not motivate us further to delve deeply and drink long at the fountain of divine wisdom and heavenly revelation?

4 thoughts on “The inspiration of our desires

  1. Interesting that Jesus, Who desired to do God’s will more than anyone, still had desires that were, essentially, self-serving and in direct conflict with the ideal will of God. When he prayed in the garden the preservation of his own life, or at least the escape from the torment of the cross, was foremost in his mind. This is not unrighteous (apparently) in itself, as it was tempered with a will that (1) wanted nothing more than the ability to express his desires, and (2) a deep craving for God to overthrow his will when will when it conflicted with God’s. I suppose in this way, it might be said that God “subdued and transformed” even the will of Jesus.

    • I find nothing amiss in your analysis. Our Lord did not want to die, but more than that, he wanted to do the Father’s will. When it came to choosing, he chose the latter. Someone once suggested that when Jesus asked that he not taste the cup, did not refer to his suffering and death. Or something along those lines. It was, as I recall, an attempt to “save” Jesus from unholy-appearing desires. Slightly wrong-headed attempt, to my mind.

What do you think?

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