WE MIGHT COME TO WHERE OUR DESIRES ARE REQUESTS
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart”, Sal. 37:4.
We all may know just how many people, actually, would desire to find out they were heard by God once in their lifetime – how they would love to take notice God has heard them. So, happy are those who sense, who just know God has heard them – and that they are not mistaken at all concerning that. This is what we read happens; it follows in 1John 5:15: “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”. We find, however, people going out stating God has heard them, God will do as they asked, yet they have never come to this unique knowledge, this unusual realization from above within the bounds of “we know that He heard us” – we just know it!
If you happen to be a preacher somewhere in this world, a believer or just a mocker of most holy God, listen to what the word of God states: you will know God has heard you or not when your heart is upright and honest within. So, do never be light-hearted or right-hearted concerning any of these issues, for there has got to be knowledge, a real perception and a genuine excerption and an acknowledgement of any answer from above. Why should you deny truth to yourself if God has not heard you at all? Will you buy God off a refusal to answer you, maybe to look at your faithless heart, by going out telling people you believe and have faith in God? Whom are you trying to convince besides yourself, by telling others? If you are the one who happens to doubt, why going out telling others God will give you because you say you believe He heard you? Why don’t you rather tell it to yourself? Isn’t it because your heart is not acknowledging any response from above that you encourage yourself through lying to yourself, carrying others along with you into doctrine so you become more believing? Is that not so that you are not so sure concerning it all and look for some outward support to be reassured instead? One may also look for that sort of support if God as spoken, sometimes.
Faith is simple, many times wordless and sure. We just know it! There is no way we will be bewildered or scared out if we have an answer from God beforehand, before things happen. Moses just knew something would happen to the red sea at his light touch. He spoke not after he had addressed God, he just touched the waters and they split. Miriam became wild and sang – not Moses. He knew from within it would happen, even if the words of God said so too. There was something besides those words of God which made him believe beforehand, inside him.
Some people talk about the gift of faith and know not what they are talking about, for this was indeed a gift from above, the very gift of faith. But it may never be a gift if it is not given indeed. We do not have to believe to buy God off something or into something – but we may believe because it happens to be so true whatever God upholds and burns into us from deep within, through the very fires of the Holy Spirit. We just know it and may well tell people “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” too, Act 4:20. Face it friend, it is not mere selfish miracle seeking, but a truth of a genuine word within: 1John 5:15: “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”. Someone who knows things only this way, will never turn His face from seeking God also until the Lord has established in a practical manner - whatever God gave to know to such, that he would grant it.
One day, as I was going away from the house of a Christian friend in Pretoria, South Africa, in a neighborhood called the Willows, I stopped my car near the highway and my heart melted in despair calling on God to show me the truth, actually to let me have the truth from deep within and not to know about it alone, any longer. I was all liquid and felt my lostness as never before, for I knew, even if I had preached the gospel before, there was nothing but emptiness within my heart and worthless life. I said “Lord Jesus, please I cannot go on this way”. I am not fully able to recall all the words I spoke or even the heaviness that had been upon me at that specific time and even for days on an endless row unnoticed, though it was a heavenly thing, a burden brought from above of which I had no perception of it being so at all at the time. I cried heavily and thought it was worthless going on as I did, for my whole heart melted through a strange desire to see and seek to find God face to face – at least that once. That was the first time I had the real perception upon an answer from God. I never knew it before. After praying I just knew God had heard me. I sensed God nearby, it felt so, it made sense, it was as if He was there at my side, and I just could not believe it enough - it was so real. I saw no hand, yet all my tears had suddenly been dried and swept up and the whole burden was gone from me – I knew God had heard me beforehand, before I got life flowing from me, mighty rivers from within. I just knew it! It felt so, it made sense, there was no way I could, I would ever be able to doubt that happening, I mean, that the Lord would come to my soul in a real manner soon. He was there, listening carefully to my whole heart's desire. And later that night I could not fall asleep and sank upon my knees knowing again, I had not yet received the promise I had felt remained in the air and of which I had been reassured about hours before. And the Lord came mightily upon me at that moment; I thought I entered heaven or heaven flooded my humble room. The next day I hardly could tell anybody about what had happened to me, for it was too precious a thing to be told around among the swine. Since then, I am bound to the will of God by the bonds of a huge love towards the whole of it – I cannot live otherwise, for “for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”, Is 6:5. And though I was but a child in the knowledge of God, yet I have made my way through up until now, bearing thorns through many toils and snares, mostly out of myself and making my home safe among the holy people of God Almighty. That had been my first evidence upon a previous answer to prayer I've ever had, even though it has become a normal day to day thing nowadays. I just knew it, for that knowledge came from God, even beforehand, unto me. And that's how I could not give God rest until He fulfilled it for me right there, for He promised my soul just that which I knew not what it would be or how it would be!
If and when God has indeed given us an answer upon prayer, if we can know we will receive, if we can believe, if God so causes us to be able to believe beyond any doubt, Mar 9:23, “if you can believe” then anything is possible to whom can and may be made able to believe that way; we will also differentiate between having been heard and having the answer flood upon us – we just know we are not able to deceive ourselves concerning the things of faith any longer. The answer and the actual coming of the answer, are so distinct from each other as pregnancy will ever be from childbirth. Yet, we will take full knowledge and full acknowledgement of both of them distinctly. We will surely distinguish between the part of having been heard and the real receiving of anything. There are times, just as happened with the apostles, when they did believe Jesus would send the Holy Spirit because it was the Jesus they knew personally, by touch even, who said “you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” Act 1:5 – so, they expected it to be so as they did not understand what or how it was. But while they had been praying they knew they had not received whatever that was that the Lord promised unto them. This is the gift of real faith – to know you have not, yet none can make you deny the Lord will be able to bring it about “not many days hence” if you keep seeking it by not letting God go as Jacob did not let go after God said "let Me go now". To know you have not, is faith.
Do you believe these things are beautiful, marvelous things, of such kind that not even the swine can ever share that joy along with you? I believed they were marvelous things unto me, for they were so heavenly at that time of refreshment for my worn out soul, I can never forget about any of it; but the knowledge of the answer was there, as a faithful pre-conception of whatever our eyes have never seen before. I did not know what or towards what to expect as from God at all, just knew he had an answer to fulfill as soon as I would say, "it has got to be now, Lord, for Your name's sake, since you promised it to me personally as well".
Now, we come to our text: “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart”, Sal. 37:4. If you thought that was beauty above measure to know and sense there has been an answer to your request, think of this now, for this is surely something different from whatever I was trying to bring forth from the treasure of my heart unto you. I prayed there coming out of that unknown neighborhood, and words they were, those the Lord heard from me! And the answer came “not many days hence”. But I marvel at two things now: that the desires will be the thing that bring the answer about, before words are uttered even, and that there will not be a gap between the actual answer and the fulfillment of it either - sometimes - I mean, something like “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear”, Is. 65:24. This is the same thing that happens, yet, not "many days hence" anymore, but rather even before the request is put into words! The desires will be the requests already, perhaps the real answer as well! It is something higher up in the ladder of communion with God. If we come to delight in that which the Lord Himself delights, our desires, our only desires will be turned such, that God will not even wait for words to come from us anymore! Our desires will be of such kind, that they will be real prayers within the will of God Almighty themselves. And these will be granted! We come to a stage of spiritual life, that the words may seem useless when spoken, yet, the answer will be there before words are able to pour out audibly whatever is conceived within a pure heart and desires of a holy man or woman who communes with God even when simple minded. We ask before we are able to speak, even, just as the Lord is able to answer before or after He is able to give. That’s prayer. Lord, may I do for others as I did for myself: pray to be answered. Allow me to love my neighbor just I did and yet do to myself. Let me seek their inner life for them as well, bring joy and heaven into their rooms too. Oh Lord, deny not this desire unto me, for I love the people you died for, far more than I am able to love myself. Amen.