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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week: Fifty-Three: Brandy Brow

Unadulterated Delight

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV)

I had prayed much with few results. My writing was still fruitless though I spent most of my energy on it. Attempting to find direction and solace, I opened my Bible to Psalm 37:4-5 and read. When was the last time I had spent any length of time in God’s word? When had I last worshiped with praise music pouring out my speakers instead of tapping away at the keyboard? What was the last Scripture I had memorized and when? I couldn’t answer. It had been too long since I did any of them. I realized, without much feeling, I had exchanged delight in the Lord for delight in writing. The barter left me frustrated, cold-hearted and empty.
Fear of God told me I had to change.

Out of obedience, I asked God to help me restore my delight in Him, yet my heart wasn’t in it. As I prayed, it (my heart) said, “Then He will give you your heart’s desires. You will finally get published regularly and be fulfilled.” What my heart spoke stirred more emotion in me than the thought of delighting in God. With shame I realized I could not use God to get article ideas or arrive at publication. Attempting to delight in Him so He would fulfill my writing desires was adulterated delight that God would not honor, for it was still delight in writing, only cleverly disguised.

We cannot fool God into granting our desires, even if we fool ourselves by appearing to follow His word. May we examine ourselves and do whatever we must to worship Him with true,
unadulterated delight.

Lord, please forgive us for seeking to please You so we can have our own ways. Help us relinquish our agendas and delight in You alone. Thank You, Father. Amen.

Brandy S. Brow lives in Vermont with her husband and seven children. She enjoys entertaining, teaching, and encouraging through the written word, and loves to help writers via freelance editing and mentorship.


Deb Haggerty said...

Brandy, I find myself struggling with these feelings often. One of the hardest things I've ever done happened right as my speaking and writing were on the brink of succeeding. God clearly told me not to pursue them, but to just "be." I obeyed, albeit reluctantly. The next ten years proved out why He'd told me to just be - I needed Him and all the strength He gave me just to get through the trials that came. But He is so good - wonderful outcomes came as a result of that obedience. We can always trust Him and He is always good.

Robin Bayne said...

Deb, thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

Danie Marie said...

Wow, Brandy, in some ways this was a timely message for me. While I spend
time in the Word almost daily, and feel the Lord is first in my life, and I
seek to praise him, I've been discouraged that speaking opportunities
haven't opened up.

Our ladies Bible Study group is studying Gideon, and today it came to me, I
have to let go of my desires. If the Lord called me, He will open doors on
His timetable, not mine. It's a hard thing to do ... give back to God what
He has given. I have to remind myself, that it's all about Him, not me.

Thank you for sharing!


quietspirit said...

Brandy: This is insightful. I can almost see myself in what you wrote. Shame on me for thinking such thoughts I especially like the thought: "We can't use God for our own purposes."

Brandy Brow said...

Deb, well done. I'm finding that whenever I obey God, even if it's contrary to what I want at the time, I never end up with regrets. Thank you for affirming that.

Danie Marie, I know exactly how you feel. I spent years in discouragement because what came didn't match my desires. Looking back, I see how I let that rob me of fully enjoying what God did bring. It can be scary to release our desires because we're afraid we might not get them back, but if we release them, and God does't give them back, do we really want them anyway? They'd just be blocking other things God has for us. God loves you just because He delights in loving you. Even when you do wrong, He still loves you. You know that because He's still with you after all this time, so knowing those things, you can lay your desires on the alter in peace. He has your back.

Quietspirit, thank you. It's good to know I'm not alone in my struggles. We're all naturally self-absorbed, but thank God, He knows that so helps us in our weaknesses. By His mercy and grace, we will keep conforming to His image.

Iron sharpening iron...

J Lenni Dorner said...

I enjoyed the lesson learned in the ending. Nice work.