Psalm 20:4 — May God Grant Your Heart’s Desires

Psalm 20:4 — May God Grant Your Heart’s Desires

The other morning, I read, “May he (God) grant your heart’s desires.” Scribbled in the margin was a date, “Nov 9/2014.” I paused for a moment, considering why I found this verse significant a decade earlier. In the subsequent years, many areas of my life have dramatically changed. What caused me to highlight the verse? What desires were stirring in my heart at that time?

I honestly couldn’t remember, and the notation revealed no clues. The verse stood alone. It needed no additional merit.

“May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.”
Psalm 20:4

For much of my Christian life, I subconsciously included any fleeting desires of the moment. Good health, peace-filled home, and loving relationships usually topped the list. Periodically, new things would move to the forefront, but these remained.

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The Desires of Your Heart

Perhaps more often than I’d like to admit, my desires might resemble a young child in a candy shop — fleeting from one colorful treat to another. I find it interesting that in the original Hebrew the reference to “desires” is completely absent. Perhaps, the verse might more accurately be translated as, “May he (God) make your “inner man, mind, will, and heart full.”

What truly fills our inner man? What is it that makes our hearts “full”?

Years later, I realize that by removing the “me, myself, and I” from the quotation and replacing it with “Him and His,” my heart is more apt to become full in every sense.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
Psalm 37:4

In turning our focus and attention to Him, our heart’s desires are fulfilled.

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Your Plans Succeed

The scope of my plans on “Nov 9/2014” included very little of what I am experiencing today. My limited vision couldn’t see the things that are bringing the most success and fulfillment now.

Consider how your life has changed in the last decade. Are you livng the plan you formed ten years ago? Or have you, like me, experienced radical and unexpected shifts?

I am discovering that my greatest pleasure comes from a well within — set in place by the Master Craftsman, God Himself. Before I was born, He planted within my “inner man, mind, will, and heart” longings I have been largely unaware of. Only as they come to pass do I finally realize how intrinsic they are to living a satisfying and full life — not through “my” plans or “my” desires but His.

Only when our hearts become united with God, and we adopt His desires as our own may we enjoy the fullness of what we were created to be and to do. Until then, we experience a faint shadow of what could be.

Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed … We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”
Proverbs 16:3,9

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Heart’s Desires

The seeds of unknown desire
lay buried in each heart —
hidden in sacred seclusion.
Until He breathes each into existence,
reviving what we deemed dead,
restoring what we thought lost.
Gift, upon gift, upon gift,
until hearts sing and
joy leaps upon the
hills of desire,
meeting, at last, the Sower
of sacred seed..
The union of Creator with created
to the tune of heart’s desires,
blending color and dimension
inviting to dream, believe,
and trust in the Maker
of all things good.

https://pixabay.com/photos/sweets-heart-heart-candy-yummy-2087625/

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Easter — Why the Blood? Part 1— Surrender

Surrender

Easter, the greatest celebration of the Christian Church, correctly emphasises the resurrection. Though once dead, Jesus Christ lives! His resurrection signed the guarantee for each of us to now have the hope of eternal life.

Easter celebrates His life.

As we approach this Easter season, I again consider the significance of the shed blood of Jesus. Many believers today, hesitate to discuss this often-controversial subject. In so doing, we perhaps miss key truths and essential realities of our faith.

So pardon me while I briefly share a few thoughts. Each one only skims the surface, but hopefully it will help us to consider why the blood is so significant, both to us as individuals and also to the larger church “body.”

“For the life of the body is in the blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.”
Leviticus 17:11

Baby Bird

Surrender of Will

Redemption began, not on the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus travailed in prayer, calling to His Father and seeking another, even easier, way to accomplish His mission.

“‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”
Mark 14:36

Jesus knew every detail within the impending hours. Being fully God, Jesus was also fully man. As a man, He felt, as intensely as you or I, the sting of betrayal, the isolation of abandonment, and the pain of physical suffering. Yet in great angst, He surrendered His will.

Baby bunny

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Luke 22:44

Our redemption began in the Garden. Because of the blood of Jesus, now our wills, too, may be fully surrendered to the authority of Lord.

Surrender of the Mind

“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said.”
Matthew 27:28-29

The full cruelty of these soldiers is difficult to imagine. They wove a crown of thorns, pressings it into Jesus’ head, piercing his flesh, and releasing a flow of blood. But as they mocked, Jesus won for us the victory over the devil’s influence over our thoughts, shattering the negative strongholds over our minds.

Baby Kitten

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians10:4-5

Why the blood? Easter reminds us that through the blood, Jesus gave us the ability to surrender our minds completely to the authority and truth of God.

Surrender of Pride

The soldier continued to vent their full aggression upon Jesus.

“Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him.”
Mark 15:19

We scarcely want to believe the brutality Jesus experienced. They beat His face and head again and again with fists and rods. The prophet Isaiah spoke about the event hundreds of years prior,

“Just as there were many who were
appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured
beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond
human likeness —”
Isaian 52:14

Baby Chick

Why the blood? Jesus submitted to the soldiers beating as a symbol of surrendered pride and vanity. Through His blood, we now have the power to endure humiliation, reproach, and the loss of reputation. The blood of Jesus strengthens us to withstand persecution as His divine beauty shines through us.

Surrender of Position

Isaiah adds another detail to the soldier’s treatment of Jesus.

“I offered my back to those
who beat me,
my cheeks to those
who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.”
Isaiah 50:6

The beard represents priesthood, dignity, distinction, maturity, and position.

Baby Duckling

Why the blood? As the soldiers ripped the beard from Jesus’ face, His blood paved the way surrendering earthly position and prestige. Now, He brings us into a higher place of serving the Him as His priests.

” . . . To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
Revelation 1:5-6

Easter

We celebrate Easter, rejoicing in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. No one and nothing could hinder Him from completing our redemption to the fullest. Through the power of His blood, we gain the victory to surrender our wills, minds, pride, and position to Him completely.

Why the blood? Through Jesus shed blood, we join Him in overcoming, conquering, and triumphing.

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
Revelation 12:11

As we prepare for family gatherings and celebrate Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, may we appreciate every way Jesus’ blood was shed.

“Thank You again, Jesus, for Your precious blood. Amen.”

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