Getting What You Want
People love getting what they want. What we long for, or aquire, or work for usually indicates where our heart lies. Here are God's guidelines for getting what we want in life.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, radio friends! How in the world are you? That little greeting establishes the fact that this is your friend Bob Cook and I’m back with you once again. Precious times we have together, aren’t they? Oh, I thank God for the privilege of being with you, my dear friend, for a few moments day by day. God bless you.
We’re looking at Psalm 37, and the last time we got together we were pointing out that there’s always a cause for getting burned up. Frequently, it’s people: people who do the wrong thing and people who have it better than you and I have. And the answer is, trust God! Situations involving people don’t last, but God does, and the way to attack this whole matter is to commit the situation to God. Trust, said he, in the Lord. That means roll your burden on the Lord. Risk the situation on God. That’s the Cook definition of faith, risking the situation on God. And then he says, “Do the right thing.” Do good. Do what you know to be the right thing and trust God, and you’re going to come out alright.
Living under pressure, what else? Verse 4: “Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” How do you get what you want? By making God himself the answer to your heart’s cry. Delight yourself in the Lord. We generally go at it the other way. We ask God for the supply of items on our little laundry list that we bring with us to the place of prayer. “Lord, do this and do that and do the other” and then, if and when an answer comes, we say “oh, that’s wonderful. Isn’t the Lord wonderful?”
Now, the Bible very frequently reverses the human order of doing things. You’ve often heard me say “the way up is down.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you. The way up is down. The way to be exalted is to be abased, to be humbled. And Jesus said, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” So the path of following God is to humble myself, to get down before God. And in this matter, the way to achieve what I desire is to set aside what I desire and go after what God wants. “I delight,” said the Psalmist, “to do thy will, O My God, ye thy laws within my heart. God’s way to handle my needs is himself to become the supply of them.
My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by what? By giving you what you’re asking for? No, Paul didn’t say that. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory.” He’s got enough, he’s not broke. The Lord Jesus Christ, this wonderful lovely person, who came down the stairways of the stars to die in my place on the cross and then to rise again to be my living Savior, He becomes God’s supply of my needs and when I delight in Him, when my soul is filled with Him, when my heart’s cry is answered with His love, then I begin to get my desires answered.
Now, that sounds pretty theoretical, doesn’t it? But if you dare to try it out, you’ll know that God was telling you the truth here, because it’s God’s truth. Delight thyself also in the Lord. Now see, he said, “trust and do good,” but he said there’s something beyond that. He uses the word “also.” Trust means commit the situation to God. We start with pressures. We start with something that threatens just to burn us up. Fret not thyself means “don’t get burned up and don’t get envious because someone has it better than you.” The situation won’t last, but God does. So he says, “trust the Lord.” Risk the situation on God and do the right thing. Also, delight yourself in the Lord.
Why? Because He’s the ultimate value in life. He’s the person who really meets your need. All of us have had experience with a little child who just had to have some item or other in the toy store. “Oh, if I had that I would be so happy. Now, whatever it is, a Barbie doll or a Fire Engine, or whatever it might be that appeals to a little boy or girl…”Oh, if I just had this…” Ten minutes to ten hours later, that same little individual would be saying “Oh, I need that, Mommy. Give me that!” We never get over wanting things, do we? Solomon said the eye is not satisfied with seeing. You just don’t get satisfied with seeing, or with experiencing, or with traveling, or with relationships between people…you don’t get satisfied with them.
Do you know why so many marriages break up? It’s because people find out that they don’t really satisfy each other in an ultimate and lasting sense. You see, you have to bring God into your marriage, and when you do, His presence (as it is exhibited in your life and in the life of your spouse) is going to make your marriage different.
Risk the situation on Him, trust in the Lord, do what you know to be the right thing (there’s no substitute for doing right.) A prayer meeting is no substitute for doing the right thing. So, he says, do the right thing, then he says, “delight yourself in the Lord.” “Now,” somebody’s asking, “how do you do that, Bob Cook? Delight yourself in the Lord?”
Well, you really don’t get delighted with a person until you know Him. I shook hands with Vice President Quayle and sat beside Him on the platform at the National Religious Broadcasters’ Convention. I was impressed with the man, really. He got a bum rap there from people who were tearing him apart. He’s a fine man and a godly man, and I was impressed. But I couldn’t say honestly “I am delighted with you, Mr. Vice President,” because I don’t know him all that well. To be delighted with anybody, you have to get to know the person. And that really comes down to the fact that you and I need to meet our Lord in His Word day by day. If you’ll spend a little time with your Lord in the Word every day, I can promise you that you’ll be delighted with Him. You’ll have that bubbling sense of satisfaction that you miss in human relationships. You’ll be delighted with Him; you’ll just be happy with Him. Sometimes when you’ve been in the presence of the Lord and he satisfies your heart, you have a sense of holy laughter in your soul. That takes time. It takes meeting God in prayer and in the Word, and just waiting in his presence.
Oftentimes, we give God our little requests (and they’re important, mind you) and we say “amen,” and then we run away. It’s like my little granddaughter does when you give her a popsicle. She hangs around until you say, “alright, we’ll get the popsicle out of the freezer,” and you take the wrapper off and you say “here, Grete, there you are,” and she says “thank you, Poppie,” but she’s gone. Oftentimes we come to our heavenly Father and we have our list of requests and then when we say “amen,” we run away like little children. “Wait on the Lord,” the Bible says in Psalm 27, “wait on the Lord.” We’re going to get to that same word a little later on, in verse 7. Take time with your Lord so that He can reveal himself to you.
Now, there’s a reason why in verse 3 it says, “trust in the Lord and do good.” Jesus said, “he that hath My commandments and obeys them, it is he that loveth Me and I will love him and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our abode with him.” We will be at home with him. God the Father, and God the Son, and of course God the Spirit who indwells the believer: the Holy Trinity, Almighty God, feeling at home in your heart as a result of obeying God…see, that’s what you have in verse 3. Risk the situation on God and obey Him, then delight in Him. Let God reveal Himself to you so you’ll just be delighted with Him.
Over in the Minor Prophets, (Habakkuk, isn’t it?) he says “the Lord will rest in His Love, the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will joy over thee with singing.” God will sing in your heart. How about that? Do you want God to sing in your heart? Well, start obeying Him. Start trusting Him. Oh yes, start trusting Him, risking the situation on Him, and then doing his will. “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.” See, the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart; He’s in the midst of you. And so the prophet Zephaniah says “the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.” He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. Delight yourself in the Lord. Spend enough time with God until your heart just starts to sing with divine music. God almighty singing in your heart! Oh, what a concept. Isn’t it?
Now, it says, He’ll give you the desires of your heart. Now, when my heart is in tune with God and I am delighted with Him, I have a way, then, of praying according to His will. “We have this confidence,” says John in his first epistle, “that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us and if we know that he hear us, we know that we have the petitions we desired of Him.” Spend time enough to be delighted with God and His will and you’ll find that you are praying in line with the will of God, and so you get what you pray for as a result. First, trust. Second, obey. Third, stay in God’s presence long enough to be delighted with him, and you’ll find that you’re praying on the basis of the will of God and you’ll find that you get what you prayed for. Isn’t that great? Well, we’ll come on to verse 5 later on when we get back.
Father God, today, help us to trust and obey and delight in Thee. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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