Let God Shape Your Desires - Psalm 37:4,5 & I Samuel 8-10
Samuel is growing old, his sons are worthless, and the people of Israel want a new form of leadership. The Israelites have decided in their heart what type of leader they want. They want a king! A king “like all the nations” I Samuel 8:5. A man to lead them into war and triumph! This request represents a rejection of God as their King. God often allows men the freedom of choice, but not freedom from the consequences. God in his grace warns the Israelites of the consequences of an earthly king, but they will not be persuaded. They want what they want! I Samuel 8:19, “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations…”
What type of King will Israel get? Good looking, strong, and tall? Yes. But how about godly, wise and mature? The first coronation of the king of Israel takes place. Saul has become king. The people are jubilant and excited! I Samuel 10:24 “And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.” All the dreams and desires of Israel seem to be fulfilled through their new king. But is this truly what they wanted? Time reveals…
Although Saul had a few successful moments, his life is a complete and utter failure as king.
How did this happen? How did this joyful and exciting beginning to their Monarchy come to such a tragic end? Did God give Israel the desires of their heart? He did. Where did those desires for a King come from? From their communion and closeness to God? From them loving and treasuring the Lord above all else? Or, did those desires come from a desire to be independent of God? From doing that which was right in their own eyes?
Your delights shape your desires. To delight means to find complete satisfaction, to commune, to desire above all else. God wants to shape our desires. Psalm 37:4-5.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is for God to give you the desires of your heart, if that desire came in a time when you were not delighting in God.
Everyone has desires, wants, and ambitions. Those are not necessarily bad. But before you act upon a desire, make a decision, pursue an ambition, and go for what you want - honestly and carefully ask yourself: Where did that desire come from? Test the desires of your heart, and pursue only those that were born out of your delight in God.
Southwest Baptist Church
Church Planting Missionary to Sri Lanka
Many of the thoughts and ideas conveyed in this lesson came from a sermon preached by Bro. Sam Davison at Southwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, in 2003.