Our text is Ps 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Do you ever wonder how God calls individuals into the ministry? I know how he called me. My call started with a desire. Perhaps by studying a few passages in the Bible in which we find the word, “desire,” we can see an important element of a person’s call to serve the Lord.
Our natural desires are contrary to God. In Gen 3:6, we see the first occurrence of the word desire. Eve saw that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” Her natural desire was for something that God didn’t want her to have. That’s the way our natural desires are. In Eph 2:1-3, our condition before we were saved was “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” By fulfilling these desires, we were children of disobedience and children of wrath. In Ps 78:29-30, God gave the children of Israel their own desire; They were not estranged from their lust [Ps 106:15]. They rejected God’s provision for their own desires. In Prov 24:1, we are instructed to “Be not envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” Our natural desires lead us to envy sinners who get to do things that we “can’t” do.
When we get saved, our desires should change. Ps 37:4, “delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” The change in our desires stems from the root of delighting ourselves in the Lord. I was so thankful to be saved and turned around by the Lord that I wanted to fellowship with him and get away from my sin. When you delight yourself in the Lord:
God gives you a desire for his words. 1 Pet 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” You know my testimony. After the Lord turned me around, I could not put the Bible down. I love these words and read them and study them with great desire. I believe that a person’s call to serve the Lord begins with his or her desire for the words of God. Concerning the words of God, David said, “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb,” Ps 19:7-10.
God gives you a desire for your calling. 1 Tim 3:1, “If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” Concerning my own call, I would sit in the pew and listen to preachers and long for the opportunity to preach. I wanted to be called to preach. Of course, the call to preach and the call to be a bishop are two different things. But my call to pastor was preceded by a desire to pastor. As tough as pastoring can be at times, my desire has never waned. If you have something you want to do for the Lord, ask the Lord to give you a desire for it.
God gives you a desire to serve. Mk 9:34-35, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” See also Mk 10:43-45. Often when we are called to do something for the Lord, our ambition gets in the way, initially. Like the disciples, we want to be the best; we want to be the greatest. I surely did. However, the Lord has to put a desire in your heart to serve, rather than to make a name for yourself. The ministry is about making God great, not making yourself great by what he has given you to do. We exalt his name; we serve his people; we preach to sinners the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: the call to do something for God starts with a desire for God, a desire for his words, a desire to be called. And it culminates in a desire to serve. What do you desire?