Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Heart's Desire

Last night, I cracked open a fortune cookie, secretly hoping for a great fortune. (I realize fortune cookies have no control over the future, but it's fun to play along.) I was delighted to find this: "You will get what your heart desires."

I spent a little time daydreaming about what that would look like. At first, it allured me. But I quickly realized that it wasn't all that pretty.

I wish that I could honestly say that the first desire to come to mind is to know God more intimately and to pursue Him with all of my heart. Instead, earthly pleasures topped my list of desires.

These desires reflect a stark reality: I've held on to the reins of areas of my life and haven't allowed God to penetrate them. So the desires in those areas are all mine and aren't necessarily God's desires or what's best for me.

This reminded me of the harsh truth from our sermon on Sunday that we don't pursue God because we're idolaters. Take a quick look at Ezekiel 14:1-6:

Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. Then the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.' "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!

Now comes the challenge of identifying my particular idols--anything that I put in the place of God--aand laying them down. Some things will come to mind easily, especially those that were at the top of the desires list when I opened the fortune cookie. Others are harder to decipher and will require prayers for wisdom to discern them. But the process will be worth it because I will get rid of some of the obstacles that block me from seeing God for who He truly is and from knowing Him the way I'd like to know Him.

So maybe I'll approach the next fortune cookie I encounter with even more trepidation. Or maybe not. This one has gotten me thinking in the right direction.


Anonymous said...

All that time Ben spent preparing for the sermon, and he could've just opened a fortune cookie . . .

Momma Bean said...

Laying down the "earthly stumbling blocks" is definitely a daily process. For me, it is often a moment by moment process. Don't you just wish they would stay where we put them!

Renae said...

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

That is one of my favorite verses! Great post, as always!

Krista said...

Who'd have thought?? A fortune cookie. Can't say I have even gotten one worth pondering. Thanks for sharing your GREAT thoughts.

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

SP - The fotune cookie helped remind me what I needed to be thinking about this week, but it probably wouldn't help with the fasting part of his sermon!

MB - Amen!

R - That's one of my favorites as well, but I have to remind myself that God's not formulaic.

K - God seems to use even the smallest things to teach me. If only I stay teachable.

Britta Coleman said...

I like how that Psalm can be read two ways: as in God gives (or fulfills) the desires of our hearts, and that God gives (or creates) the desires of our hearts. It's a focus shift for me, to see whether the desires are my own or the ones created in my heart by the God who wants to fulfill them.