These past few weeks that I spent at the beach were some pretty amazing times for me, and would never have expected that change in my life would be a result of the time spent there. While I was at the beach, I saw a picture of myself sitting on the sand, my bible in my lap as the ocean lapped against the shore, and me and my Jesus sitting and talking as the sun crested the horizon. I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace and serenity at that moment, and thought to myself, “I could live here.” The more time I spent out there, the more I desired to live there. When I came home I told my husband of the desire that began to well up within me while I was there, and he replied, “I would love to live at the beach.” We talked about it atlength and decided that if that is where the Lord God wants us, then we will go willingly. We decided that we would begin praying about it and see if the Lord God opened the doors for us to move to the ocean.
As I was praying this morning about the desire that was in my heart, I was reminded of the passage of scripture in Psalm 37:4, so I opened my Bible and read:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Living at the beach has never been something I wanted to do. In fact, when my kids were little, I dreaded going to the beach. (My husband even brought that point up to me.) But as I thought and pondered on why this desire to live at the beach was now in me, I remembered why I never wanted to be there before. For those of us who have small children, going to the beach was a chore, there was no relaxing for mom and dad- it was all about sunscreen, sand and keeping them from going too deep. But now, with my children grown and my husband and I starting our empty nest phase, the draw to the ocean was too much to resist.
He desires to do us good all the days of our lives, and when we put our trust and hope in Him, He then takes our hearts and begins to mold them into the shape He desires. The Psalmist also writes that when we “delight” ourselves in the Lord, He shall give us the desires of our hearts. My desire has never been to live at the beach, or to live that close to the ocean, but the Lord God, because my heart is Play-Dough in His hands will place in my heart the desires that He has for me.
Some of you may have a dream to do something, or to go somewhere. I believe these are desires that the Lord God puts in our hearts to fulfill His will in our lives. Who knows where the Lord will lead us, I never pictured myself as a writer, writing this blog or working on a book. But the Lord gave me a desire to write for Him many years ago, and He is now bringing it to pass. Why, because I delight in Him. There was a king in Judah who delighted in the Lord God as well, and the Lord blessed him abundantly. The king’s name was Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 17:6 tells us that Jehoshaphat “took great delight in the ways of the Lord.”
“Because Jehoshaphat trusted God, God lifted him up and exalted him as king.” (David Guziak) Jehoshaphat shows us that when we allow the Lord God to take our hearts and mold them, to make them and fashion them as He desires, then He will also give us the dreams and desires of our hearts. Jehoshaphat believed and trusted that the Lord God was so faithful to accomplish a work in him that he was willing to step out in faith and tear down all that held him back. 2 Chronicles 17:6 continues with, “moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah.” God gave Jehoshaphat a purpose, a desire in his heart to serve Him, and in response to that Jehoshaphat removed and rejected anything that wanted to stand in his way. And in response, God gave to him the desires of his heart.
Does this mean that all our hopes and dreams are of God and that we should do whatever it takes to make them happen? No, not exactly. What the Lord is showing me is that if He places a desire in my heart, it is because my delight is in Him and He is able to work in me and through me to bring to pass the purposes He has for me. Five years ago, if you would have told me I would be sitting at my desk writing a blog and writing a book, then I would have laughed at you. I was perfectly content to serve the Lord God in Children’s Ministry and to live in the town we are currently in. I had no desire to move or do anything else. But God did, and my trust and hope is not in where I live or where I serve, but in the Living God who places in our hearts the desires He has for us.
My delight is in His hands. I am His Play-Dough, and when we allow Him to mold us and shape us, to work in our hearts what He has for us; then we will begin to live in a way that is full of joy and peace. I am at a point in my life where I only desire to do what is pleasing to the Lord. I am able to be free to live where He desires, to love where He says love, to serve where He says serve and to be totally and completely pliable in His marvelous hands. I just want to be a ball of Play-Dough. In this alone I have found total and complete peace.
No matter what you are facing, no matter what dreams, desires and hopes you have for your life, allow yourself to become Play-Dough in the hands of our Almighty God, lift your face to Him (Job 22:26) and let Him give you the desires of your heart. For when the desires come, He will show you how to remove and reject all that tries to take hold of you and lead you away from Him. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Amen and Amen.