I discovered a very important principle recently. We pray to God for him to bring our requests to pass. And when we are urgent about getting the answer, we go straight to him with the request. We need an answer and we want it now. With this approach, we have a tendency to develop a pattern in our relationship with the Lord that is out of order.
In Ps 37:4-5, God shows us how to approach him decently and in order so that our relationship with him doesn’t become one of always coming to him with our hands out. We’ll become like Israel in the wilderness, if we’re not careful. They had a tendency to get fussy with God and Moses.
Ps 37:5 does say, “He shall bring it to pass.” But there are prerequisites to this promise in verses 4 and 5. He shall bring it to pass:
When we delight ourselves in the Lord – Ps 37:4 – these past few weeks, many of us have walked closer to the Lord than previously because we have had more time to spend with the Lord. We have delighted in the Lord. Now, things are beginning to crank up again and we’re perhaps feeling more stressed, like you do when you return to work after a good vacation. Our thoughts will immediately turn to our duties and responsibilities and away from the Lord. We can’t let that happen. We must delight in the Lord as much when we’re busy as we do when we aren’t. We can never slack in this. With all David had to do in battle and in ruling Israel, he took the time to write the Psalms. He could have never gleaned the truths about which he wrote if he had not been delighting in the Lord.
When the desires of are heart are his desires – Ps 37:4 – God knew that manna and water out of the rock were the two best and most desirable things with which to keep Israel fed in the wilderness. They had a completely different attitude about those things than God did. They complained the whole way. They didn’t desire his provision, they desired the provision of Egypt. We can be exactly the same way. We must, instead, let the Lord give us the desires of our heart. When we do, we will be perfectly content with such things as we have because we will know they are what our heavenly Father knows are best for us. He daily loadeth us with benefits.
When we commit our way unto the Lord – Ps 37:5 – before we go anywhere or do anything, we must commit our way unto the Lord. We must put our way into the hands and the power of the Lord. Look what Paul said in 2 Tim 1:12. When we start getting stressed about the things for which we are praying, about future things, we have already demonstrated that we failed to commit our way to him. If our way is in his hands and in his power and we are in his way, then about what should we even be stressed. You don’t want to proceed in any direction until you know that you have committed your way unto the Lord. We must know that we are right where he wants us to be, doing exactly what he wants us to be doing at the very moment we are doing it. Our steps must be ordered by the Lord, Ps 37:23.
When we trust in the Lord – Ps 37:5 – then we must trust the Lord. That is, we must trust that when we come to him with any request, or decision, or desire for wisdom or direction, he will guide us and provide for us. We must trust that God knows best. We must trust that he is in control and that the thing that comes to pass will work together with other things in our lives for good [Rom 8:28]. We must trust that God won’t let us down. He will uphold us, Ps 37:24.
Conclusion: the Lord gives us simple instructions in these two verses that will keep us from being overwhelmed by stress when we think about the future.