In an attempt to console others or to appease ourselves, we often use the phrase “God will grant the desire of your/our heart.” True as the statement is, it is frequently misunderstood, mischaracterized, misapplied or abused. God does not always grant our desire, or what we pray for. If our request is incongruous with God’s divine plan for our lives, it is ‘typically’ not granted (further in this blog you will see why I use the word typically). My point is, a just and faithful God will not grant desires that are inconsistent with His purpose for us. Sometimes delayed or denied answer to prayer is actually God’s way of increasing the believer’s faith and trust in Him. This reminds me of Job. Despite his loss, he was also subjected to the relentless and false accusation of his friends. Against the advice of his wife, Job kept his faith and trust in God. Job 2:9 – 10 tells us “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” His wife and friends did not understand that Job’s experience was a manifestation of God’s will for his life. First Thessalonians 5: 18 states “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
The principle of God granting the desire of our heart is misunderstood because it references, and is applied a section of a scripture verse. The complete verse, found in Psalm 37 vs 4, reads, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (KJV). A review of the verse shows that “granting the desires of our hearts” is predicated on the first part of the verse. The caveat is to, “Delight thyself in the Lord.” An application of “Delight thyself in the Lord” is John 15: 7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” As a matter of fact, it can be construed as an overlay for verses 4 and 5 of Psalm 37. Verse 5 says “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Therefore, when we dedicate ourselves to serving the Lord Jesus Christ, there is an assurance that “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21: 22).
To understand the consequence of zealously pursuing personal motives, we just have to review the Balaam narrative found in Numbers 22. Balaam’s desired to please the King of Moab (Balak) was influenced by the promise of money and notoriety. As the story unfolds, you will notice that Balaam sought God’s permission to curse the children of Israel as Balak requested. It baffles the mind, Balaam, a prophet of Israel, would entertain such a ridiculous request. Well not only did he entertain Balaam's request, but he also had the effrontery to seek God’s approval to do Balak's bidding. In response, God told Balaam “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” Balak increased his offer, and Balaam did not resist the inducement, he went back with Balak’s men to do Balaam’s bidding. Verse 22 tells us “ And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.” Had the ass Balaam was riding not seen the Angel of the Lord, with a drawn sword standing in the way, Balaam would have been a dead man.
Ignoring the voice of God and pursuing our own agenda is an act of disobedience and disobedience is detrimental, even to the point of death. It is more important to delight in the Lord and the things of God, rather than to satisfy one’s own personal desire. The question then becomes; Is the desire of our heart always in keeping with God’s plan for our life? I believe I’ve made the case, now you draw your conclusion.
God bless you!