Happy New Year everyone. Rob here.
Psalm 37:3-4 says this,
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
God is our Father and he loves his children. I too want to give my children a life where they enjoy their home and feel safe there. As much as possible I want to give them the desires of their heart. While my good intentions are noble and true it is the fact that my kids trust me and enjoy me that allows them to access my good heart towards them. Of course I am not God and my energy levels fluctuate, my mood can change and I can get self-absorbed pretty quickly if I’m not allowing God’s Spirit to lead me. Our Father is not fickle. His heart and mind and actions are always oriented towards what is best for us.
The parable of the lost son in Luke 15 is a sobering one. Timothy Keller points out that neither son delighted in the Father but only wanted the Father’s things. This Psalm reminds us that our position towards the Father is what matters. His position towards us is always loving. He says to the older son in Luke 15:31, “My son…you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” The younger son didn’t trust the father so he tried to do life on his own using the father’s resources. The older son didn’t delight in the father, never knew his heart of love towards him, but obeyed in the certainty that one day the father’s estate would be his. But the father’s things were his already! He could have accessed his father’s generosity if only he’d delighted in his father’s good heart.
How about us? Are we wanting the safe pasture and to see the desires of our hearts realised but not wanting the Father himself? As we begin a new year let’s check our hearts. Is your desire to know God or just to be blessed by God? Do you want a good life more than you want God’s life? Are you following the rules but hardening your heart? Or are you running your own race and wondering why you keep falling over? Jesus has come to show us the way back to the Father’s heart. If we want the Father we need to let Jesus come to us and lead us home. The deepest desires of our heart are to know God and live with him in his kingdom. Our need for beauty, love, peace, joy and adventure are all found there. The good news is that we already belong to that kingdom. We can know God’s life in and around us now. We’ll have to fight for it, persevere, overcome evil with good and pray without ceasing but it is ours in the name of Jesus.
Have a great 2015. May Christ dwell in you richly.