The Little Things

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Yesterday I posted a link to The Gospel Coalition (Taylor's favorite blog) on Facebook. 
The link led to an article by Jen Wilkin, a contributing blogger on TGC. The article was about how to rightly apply God's promises and how to take hold of them, without making them into something they aren't. You can find the blog post here.

I was very impressed by the article, but I was even more impressed by the author. I asked her a question about Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart".
This verse has always given me a hard time because of the way people apply it. They'll use it to say something like "Hey, I believe in Jesus and I want to get into this college, so God will make it happen." That always bothered me because, you know what? God may not want you at that college. He may want you somewhere entirely different... we are not meant to try to bend God to our ways. We are meant to conform to him.
So, I sought Jen's opinion on the matter:
Jen, I was wondering about the verse, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desire's of your heart"...what do you think about that one? Is it a promise? And if it is, surely it doesn't just mean we will get what we want.
Here response came in less than 24 hours:
Hi Kristin,That's a great question. First we must ask what it means to delight ourselves in the Lord. Psalm 40:8 says this:"I delight to do your will, O my God;your law is within my heart".So delighting in the Lord means, among other things, delighting in the things that please Him – His will and His law, which are extensions of His character. A person who delights in the Lord’s will and law desires what the Lord desires: holiness, righteousness, the fruits of the spirit, etc. God is always pleased to grant these desires.When we come to saving faith, God actually gives us new, right desires where we once only desired to sin. He quite literally gives us the desires of our hearts. As we learn to delight in Him through the process of sanctification, these good desires grow. We learn to desire holiness more than sin. If Psalm 37:4 meant that God gave us whatever we desired, sinful desire or not, he would be a wicked parent even by human standards. Rather, he grants our right desires.Matthew Henry says it like this:“He has not promised to gratify all the appetites of the body and the humours of the fancy, but to grant all the desires of the heart, all the cravings of the renewed sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.”I hope this helps! Jen
I appreciated her response for many reasons, but mostly for its thoughtfulness. She gave me some great thoughts; thoughts that challenge me and will help me grow. I loved her use of the Matthew Henry quote too.
I think the main thing I am thankful for is the fact that she gave her time. I feel that many times, as Christians, we can skim over things that are "small" because we have to do "big things" for the Lord. But answering questions to help people grow is a part of discipleship, and she helped me by answering a "little" question.
I desire to help people in this way too. I'm so bad about not paying attention to small things I do that may not be the best witness. Things like being late a lot (which I usually am), or interrupting someone to tell my own story (I hope I don't do this very often), may not seem like a big deal , but it can actually leave a pretty big impression on non-believers and believers alike.
So I challenge myself and all of my readers to be faithful in the little things, as Jen Wilkins was. She didn't have to answer me, and honestly, she probably didn't "have time", but she answered me anyway.
Let us all look out for things that we can and should do each day that may help or encourage someone. We don't have to build an orphanage or move to Africa to be a good witness. We just have to be faithful in the little things.

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