Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
– Psalm 37:4 NAS
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
– 2 Chronicles 16:9 NAS
I remember the time that I took the youth group to the ocean on the Oregon coast and spent a day enjoying the sunshine and beach. When we were about to leave I realized that I had lost my wedding ring. Since we had no time to look for it I had to drive back the next day with a metal detector to look for it. After three hours of systematic searching the area that we had spent the day I had all but given up on ever finding it. After I had overstayed my time beyond the point when I had to leave I was shocked to suddenly hear this blip on the metal detector. As I dug through a section of sand I was absolutely surprised to find my ring buried a few inches below the surface. I was ecstatic! I was celebrating for the entire hour and fifteen minute drive home and could hardly wait to tell Barb. I also bragged about how good the Lord had been to allow me to find that wedding ring.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says that God is diligently searching for something precious to Him – a heart that is fully committed to Him. Like searching through a beach full of sand for that one precious ring, God is diligently searching to and fro throughout the earth to find a heart that is of the utmost value to Him.
The heart is that intangible, invisible essence of our self-awareness; this is the seat of residence of the image of God that gives us the capacity for our sense of being. When the text speaks about our allegiance and devotion to God, especially in the Old Testament, it calls for a unilateral heart commitment. If we delight in the Lord then God will give us the desires of our heart. God looks for people who will give their whole heart to Him.
What that tells me is three very basic things:
1. God wants to be the centerpiece of His people. God created us, He has saved us and now we belong to Him. He is the one that we owe everything and we are called to complete loyalty. God is our Savior and the Psalmist invites the people to be consumed with God by delighting in Him above all else. To do this the people must trust in the Lord and do good (3). God does not want halfhearted commitment. God desires relationship. God is generous. God will eagerly give us what we desire… as long as we desire Him. The “doing good” should be as simple as the excitement of discovering a lost ring.
2. God gives us a choice to pursue Him or not. This is an invitation and we can choose to delight ourselves in Him or not. There are thousands of distractions in life but something will always catch our heart. We do not live in a void and life never stays in neutral. The question we need to ask, “Are we taking more delight in anything above Christ?” The challenge is keeping the “surpassing value of Christ” always fresh in our own hearts. If we can choose to delight in Him, pursuing Him will never be an issue. God is generous to those who learn to value and trust Him. If we seek after Him and delight in Him, we will be allowed to experience to deepen our relationship with Him. The invitation is not a duty to God but delighting in the Lord. To see this as duty is to miss the whole point of delighting in Him. What could possibly be more satisfying than to be full of the presence of God?
3. God is on a search for a unique quality that not everyone possesses. Notice that God is searching throughout the earth to find a quality that would appear to be rare. The fact that the text describes God as searching would indicate the uniqueness and rarity of such a heart condition. God sees the quality of the heart as the most precious and rarest of jewels that He longs to possess. When He finds such a heart God will “strongly support those whose heart is completely His”. God looks at the heart and man looks at outward appearance.