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Wanting, Desiring, Asking

Psalm 34:9

O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

John 15:7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in You, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

At first glance, these verses seem to provide us with a license to do as we wish...Christian Liberty at its finest. He will give you the desires of your heart...for to those who fear Him there is no want...ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Fortunately for us, they're not. As I contemplated these verses in the wee hours of the morning, what stood out was that the commandments in the Psalms and the promise in John were given with a prerequisite of knowing the Lord, His character, His ways, and His Word. Furthermore, the verses and the context of these verses all indicate to one degree or another an intimacy with the Lord that comes with this knowledge of Him. What does all this mean? Simply put, the ends do not justify the means.

If we truly are to have no want, if we are to obtain the desires of our hearts, if we are going to be able to ask of the Lord whatever we wish and have it granted us, we must remember the manner in which these conditions are to be met.

We must fear the Lord. Is this a cheap commandment that is easily fulfilled? Nay, 'tis no mean feat. I shudder to think of how often I lazily approach the Lord, how I behold the Lord without reverence or awe for His holy presence. Even now, as I type these words, my heart does not truly tremble at the mere thought of His being. Should it not? Is that not the implication of David's cry? It is a terrible thing to underestimate the holiness of the Lord, for it leads to a lack of holy living. Yet, on the flipside of this, there is the fulfilment of this commandment that we can look to in Christ. In Him, we can learn to fear the Lord as we ought to. We can, because of His perfect knowledge of God, grow in our knowledge of Him, which therefore leads to a greater and deeper reverence of Him. Such a life is ours in Christ, and living in this manner means that we become more and more satisfied in the Lord alone, for we are continually beholding His all-satisfying nature more and more. Therefore, when we agree with David and say that to those who fear the Lord there is no want, it is because those who fear Him are finding their satisfaction in the ways the Lord provides, which is always according to His perfect wisdom and all-sustaining nature, as well as in the Lord Himself.

We must delight in the Lord. I don't think that we can truly find delight in the Lord, His nature, and His ways, and still find ourselves complaining and asking for the things that the Lord absolutely refuses to give us. Surely, we will struggle with our desires, but our ultimate delight must be in the Lord, and that delight must govern all other delights. It is when we skew what David was saying and claim for ourselves that the Lord must give us what we want, rather than looking at the entirety of the verse (delight yourself in the Lord...delight yourself in the Lord...delight yourself in the Lord) that we set ourselves up for a most unsatisfying journey. Our satisfaction must be in the Lord first and foremost!

Abide in the Lord, and let His Word abide in us. It is when the Word of the Lord governs our prayers that we truly ask for what we ought to ask! When the Word is abiding in us, when it is beating mightily within our veins, we inevitably find that it is most difficult to ask for things that are contrary to the Kingdom. When we are equipped with a true knowledge of the nature of the Lord and His desires, the saints cannot help but live in a way that bears fruit. Remember, His word will not return void! Such is the beauty of doing the Lord's work: we know that it is not us, but the Word He has planted within us that bears fruit! The Spirit is working within our hearts to form Christ, and in dong so, we are the very aroma of Christ to those being saved, to those to whom we minister! This is why Christ commands us to ask, for He knows we shall indeed receive!

These verses are there not to comfort us with an empty hope of earthly rewards. Nay, these truths lead us back to the only satisfaction we truly have: the Lord. If we do not find comfort in Him, if we do not find hope in Him, if we do not find ourselves enthralled and overwhelmed by Him, we will forever go on wanting, forever find our desires unfulfilled, forever be asking without receiving. Yet, in Christ, we have a hope so sure...we have not wants, we have our heart's desires, and we can ask because we know that we will indeed receive :)

posted by Bolo | 7:54 AM
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