What does the Bible have to say about wealth, budgeting, business, saving and investing? A lot. At the end of each week, I’d like to look at a verse concerning our heart posture towards God and money. We’ll examine how the verse addresses the practical issues of life, as well as our mindset on the gift of money God has given us. Ultimately, we should see Jesus.
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
This week, let's look at another verse about contentment. I think that, regardless of the amount of wealth you have or don't have, we need to be content. There's a big reason why the 10th commandment is "Do not Covet". We're prone to want more than we have, and we usually want more because we see that others have more. We don't simply want what we have, we also want what others have in order to show our superiority. Possessions validate us, and having more than others is the black hole of satisfaction. The "book ends" of the Ten Commandments are 1. One God and 10. Don't Covet. It would seem as if God is telling us that since He is our God, we can be confident to rest in Him. Our needs and desires will be met, so we don't have to worry about what we have in comparison with others. On the subject of desires, let's discuss the verse.
David starts the Psalm in a comforting way. He instructs us not to fear, and to trust in the Lord. David is also telling us not to be jealous of wrongdoers, as they seemingly prosper at the expense of others. After he tells us to trust God and befriend faithfulness, we are to "Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." I'm sure you've heard this verse quoted. I've heard it plenty of times, and in the majority of those times, the verse is quoted in the context of getting something from God.
It seems like simple advice. Love and trust God and he'll give you what you ask/want. Who wouldn't want that kind of deal? However, David isn't calling us to be self-seeking. He isn't instructing us to serve God in order to get things. He's instructing us to delight in (or take pleasure in) God so that we can get more of God.
Is it bad to get things from God? Of course not! God is a generous and loving Father who is after our best interest. However, when all we want are things from God rather than God himself, we aren't after our own best interest. We are self-seeking and self-serving. Having more of ourselves, or delighting in ourselves is never satisfying. We need to take and have our utmost pleasure in God. We should desire Him above all else, which includes what he provides. We need to see that since God is our provision, He should be the greatest desire we take delight in. This then is a promise, if we delight in God, He will give us Himself. He is what we need, and should want to desire most. God is so generous, that he doesn't simply provide us with things, He gives us Himself.
How are we to be content, and therefore, stop being covetous? We need to have God as our chief desire. When He is our only God, we won't covet, and we'll be content in having Him, even if we have nothing else. We shouldn't just think that if we only had God, we'd have all we need. We would also have all that we desire. When we don't delight in the Lord, the desires of our heart are fixed on superficial and temporal things. We are then in danger of viewing God as a means to obtaining what we really want. This isn't contentment, it's self-worship disguised as obedience. So, delight in the Lord, and I guarantee that he will give you the desires of your heart. God will always give us more of Himself if we take pleasure in Him. We have already been given Jesus, what more could we possibly want?