Here are 5 things that God will often do in your life before he blesses you with the desires of your heart.
1. Before God Gives You the Desires of Your Heart, God Will Teach You the Truth About Blessings and Cause You to Reject Both the Prosperity Gospel and the Poverty Gospel
The prosperity gospel promises earthly blessing like money, wealth, and health. It promises that if you serve God on earth you will live your best life now.
But biblically, if your best life is lived on earth, that means you are going to hell because if you were going to heaven your life there will be much better than earth. The prosperity gospel preacher takes Bible verses out of context and teaches people that your earthly burden is simply preparing you for your earthly blessing. It causes material blessings to cast a shadow over the glory of God, which is the opposite of what God truly wants.
In a sense the Bible does talk about your burdens preparing you for your blessings but nowhere in the Bible are we promised that this life on earth will be our best life. God has not promised us material blessings all the time, though the material blessings we do have are from God.
Therefore, while the prosperity gospel is an unbiblical teaching, in our desire to combat these lies we can go too far and start twisting God’s word the other way, creating a poverty gospel that is also unbiblical. We must read and study what the word of God truly says when it comes to blessings.
The goal of this article is not to given an exhaustive teaching on what the Bible says in regards to blessings. That’s a topic I strongly encourage you to study. My point here is that God is not Santa nor is God Scrooge. He is our loving Heavenly Father that will bless us eternally and in this life in the ways that are for his glory and our good. As Jesus said in Mark 10:29-31:
Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
2. Before God Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart, God Will Teach You to Delight in Him and Commit Your Way to the Lord
Perhaps the most famous Bible verse that talks about God giving you the desires of your heart is Psalm 37:3-6. It states:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
Here there is a clear link between receiving the desires of your heart with you delighting in God, being faithful, committing your way to the Lord, and living a righteous life. In short, obedience to God is truly essential if you desire to be blessed by God.
This is true for multiple reasons. We are not earning things from God but rather through our obedience we are positioning ourselves to receive the gifts God desire to give us. If you earned a gift it is not really a gift. The same is true of grace. Grace is the good we have from God that is underserved. So obedience is not about earning things from God but rather following the path that God is telling us to take that will lead us to the blessings he already had planned to give us.
Therefore, when we go back to Psalm 37:4 we have to see this promise in the proper biblical context, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Delighting in God is not the price we need to pay in order for God to bless us with what we want. Rather, when we delight in God, we will be following the path that leads to blessings God knows will satisfy our hearts. In other words, if you make choices in life based upon what will bring you more joy in God, you will live a blessed life, for as James 1:25 states:
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
3. Before God Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart, God Will Sanctify the Motives of Your Heart
Throughout the Bible there is a direct link between pure motives and powerful prayers. God sees our hearts, therefore when we have bad motives, even when we ask for a good thing God will often say no to these requests. For as James 4:2-3 (NIV) states, “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
So if you want God to give you the desires of your heart, you have to first ask God to help you have a pure heart that is desiring the right things. We must commit our ways to God, for as Proverbs 16:2-3 (NIV) teaches us, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
4. God Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart When Your Heart’s Desires Have Been Aligned with God’s Will
In John 15:7-11 Jesus said:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Jesus really does want you to be happy, but God has made our joy to be intertwined with his glory. Notice in John 15:7 Jesus reveals how abundantly our Father desires to bless us, for he states we should “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” But then also notice that Jesus immediately follows up this statement by pointing out that God is glorified through us bearing fruit as disciples of Jesus. Jesus naturally intermingles our desires and prayers with our desire to please the Father.
So Jesus is not teaching us that God will grant us whatever we wish in the sense that God is just there to make us happy. Rather, if you desire to please the Father through producing fruit for him, this desire will be answered by God if you pray for this. He will cause you to keep his commandments, so you can abide in God’s love, which will then cause your joy to be full.
As 1 John 3:22 also states, “and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” So if you want God to give you the desires of your heart, your heart’s desire must be to fulfill the will of God in your life.
5. God Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart After God Has Transformed Your Heart to Desire Him Most of All
So what is God’s will? God’s will is specific to each person’s life and season in one sense. It could be God’s will for you to honor him in singleness right now, and then one day it could be God’s will for you to honor him in marriage. It could be God’s will for you to work at your current job now but then God will tell you to move on one day. Throughout life our goal must be to actively follow God and go where he tells us to go.
But in another sense our ultimate purpose always remains the same – to glorify God. As Psalm 89:15-18 (NIV) states:
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.”
Notice how our good is directly intertwined with God’s glory. If you want to be blessed, you have to bless God by acclaiming him. Those who are blessed are the ones rejoicing in God all day long. God’s glory is what makes us glorious and strong. God uses his favor to bring favor onto us.
Thus, God will give you the desire of your heart when your heart has been transformed to worship him above everything else.