If it’s not worth fighting for we wouldn’t have to fight for it. If it’s not worth dying for we wouldn’t have to let it die first. If it’s not worth being loyal to, our loyalty would not be challenged. If it’s not worth it at all, it would be easy.
Our deep desires have the ability to overtake us and rob us of any sense of reasonable rationale we may have once possessed. Desire can be both beneficial and detrimental. It builds our faith and trust in God when fulfilled, but when unfilled, we allow ourselves to become carried away in the emotion of our desires and we devote all of our time and thoughts to a non-existent fantasy of “what if’s.” Our minds are clever, deceitful things in and of themselves. We don’t have to try to be evil. We don’t have to work at being sinners. I don’t struggle to come up with a sin to commit for the day. It comes naturally. How, then, do we live in a way that is hopeful yet yielded while allowing God to sanctify our desires?
Surrender is key.
When the psalmist wrote, “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (37:4), many of us tend to cling to the promise and forget what is required of us before obtaining the promise. That’s where it gets tricky.
Delight is far more than being glad about something. It is not happiness. Although happiness has a part in it, it delves deeper than that easily-shattered surface. This kind of delight is one of surrender, patience, and holy enticement. This word, “delight,” is a derivation of the Hebrew, anag, meaning “to live softly and delicately.” This speaks volumes of what true delight is. To live softly and delicately before the Lord is to live in complete humility and submission. When we live humble and submitted while taking great joy in the Lord we will care for nothing else. Our desires have been met to their fullest capacity. A heart like this is irresistible to the Lord. When He sees a surrendered heart, pure and humble that is dead to all desire besides Him, He cannot help but breathe life into the old desires that were put to death in the presence of the fullness of joy Himself. It’s as if God is saying:
“I see your surrendered heart. I see the sacrifice you’ve made by putting to death all things that might hinder My love. I see how consumed you are with thoughts of Me, so consumed, in fact, that you care for nothing else besides Me. You are fully engaged with Me! Now let me remind you of something you once desired, and let me fulfill those old desires because of your complete and utter delight in Me. I am pleased with you. Here, take pleasure in this forgotten promise because I know you won’t care for anything more than you do for Me.”
And do not stumble on this thought. Our fulfilled desires will, most likely, look very different from our original ones. God fulfills perfectly. His ways are higher than ours, so wait on His promises with expectancy, but with an open mind of what He might do.
Anything that the Lord would give us is worth fighting for. I know that it sounds opposite of living softly and delicately, but this is a different kind of fight. It feels unnatural to our minds. Personally, when I hear the word “fight” the first thing that comes to mind is a boxing ring. But this fight is the fight of faith. This fight is the war against our flesh. This is a war where you surrender to win. Like how a pure woman longs for a pure marriage, she unknowingly draws a godly man in by the beauty of her right way of living, her softness and delicateness toward the will of God. She is not frantically banging on the door of heaven, demanding the things she wants (although there is a time for that). No, she lives in graceful trust, confident that her God has her best interest at heart and that His timing is perfect. She is at rest in Him. Her fight is fought by Someone bigger and stronger.
A good desire with a wrong motive is not a bad desire, it’s just incomplete. If you want to go out to dinner with a friend just so you can take part in a table of delicacies, you’ve stopped too soon in the evolution of your desire. Yes, enjoy the meal, but shouldn’t good company and the enriching conversation be your true motive? Isn’t the meal just a happy side note with regards to building a lasting friendship? I look forward to a good meal as much as anyone, but my true satisfaction lies in the company versus the food; for the enriching of souls is far better than the enrichment of the body.
It is when we come to a realization of something we want that we sell ourselves short. A new idea dawns on us and we snatch it up and tight-fistedly hold onto it before God has the chance to add more to it. Allow God to complete your desires. If you eat the cake before it’s frosted it’s still good, but is nothing compared to how it tastes after being iced. Good, complete desires are from Him, and should, therefore, remain His.
So, live softly and delicately before the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.