The best things to be desired, aren’t things at all.
So many times, the things that we choose, the things that we desire, aren’t good for us at all. It may be that beautiful man or woman that stirs our passions, but whose ways will lead us down a path of harmful lust instead of faithful and dedicated love. It may be that high paying opportunity that will ask us to compromise our integrity, to take advantage of others, or sacrifice what is truly best for us and our family. It might be that new, shiny thing in the store that leads us to sell ourselves into the bondage of debt. The desires of our own hearts can get us into trouble when we are left solely to our own foolish decisions, when we don’t seek wise advice.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7 NKJV
As men and women, we are very good at using our physical senses to measure someone by what we can see. We might look at a strong young man standing beside one in a wheelchair and immediately decide which one will be the most help to us. We may look at the successful businessman beside the penniless homeless person and make the same quick decision about which one has the most wisdom and understanding to offer us. We might look at those in the spotlight with so many followers on TV and around the world who talk so much and so often about God – compared to that faithful servant who follows faithfully the word of God, trusting in the Lord, committing their way to His teachings, and hating every wrong path who is quick to listen and slow to speak – and from the outside, we might easily be fooled about who is truly a faithful servant of God.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Matthew 7:21-29 NKJV
The Lord isn’t interested in who puts on the best show for others. The Lord isn’t interested in our visibility or position or title or honor amongst men – He’s interested in our heart, our desire for His ways to be our ways.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord , and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord ,
Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Psalms 37:1-6 NKJV
The line “He shall give you the desires of your heart” should be a great warning for those who desire anything more than Christ. If you desire wealth and prosperity, and you have let your own selfish ambition become an idol in your life – it should be a fearful thing knowing that the Lord will allow you to be handed over to receive your greatest desire instead of Christ. If you desire fleshly passions and delights for your body, and you have let your own lusts and sensuality become an idol in your life – it should be a fearful thing knowing that the Lord will allow you to be handed over to receive your greatest desire instead of Christ. If you desire recognition and honor amongst men, and you have let your pride and selfishness become an idol in your life – it should be a fearful thing knowing that the Lord will allow you to be handed over to receive your desire instead of Christ. If you desire to be a great preacher, teacher, healer, apostle, evangelist, pastor, missionary, theologian, a “great example to others”, and you have let claiming ownership of good works as your own strength become an idol in your life – it should be a fearful thing knowing that the Lord will allow you to be handed over to receive your desire instead of Christ.
But if your heart is humble, abandoned, surrendered, given up to follow Christ, no matter the cost – what a prize we have to receive if we have set our desires on the only prize worth having!
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and confirmed
That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
I am afflicted very much;
Revive me, O Lord ,
according to Your word.
Accept, I pray,
the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord ,
And teach me Your judgments.
My life is continually in my hand,
Yet I do not forget Your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.
Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,
For they are the rejoicing of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, to the very end.
Psalms 119:103-112 NKJV