Our Heart's Desires Sermon Outline
Our Heart's Desires
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Scripture: Psalm 37:1-8
I. Introduction: The psalmist writes,"Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4). But can we expect God to deliver whatever we want, whenever we want it? The Lord should be first in our hearts. And only when our dreams align with the Father's plan for our lives does He fulfill them.
II. Our desires reveal who we are in the following areas:
A. Character: A person with immoral desires lacks integrity. Dishonest individuals want to take advantage of others by deceiving or controlling them. Godly people long for what is righteous.
B. Self-esteem: Many people don't feel worthy to ask the Lord for their heart's desires. But God wants us to approach His throne with boldness and confidence (Heb. 4:16).
C. Direction: Knowing our dreams gives us focus.
D. Purpose: Desires reveal what someone hopes to accomplish.
E. Thinking: Our conversation brings to light the content of our thoughts. And what we think stems from our heart's yearnings.
F. Knowledge of God: Our aspirations expose the state of our relationship with Christ. Walking with Jesus changes our focus and outlook.
III. The Father warns us against wrong cravings. We should allow God to direct what our hearts seek—and make changes if necessary. Sinful passions lead to emptiness, pain, suffering, and disappointment. They can result in devastation and even death. Wrong desires can be:
A. Harmful: Some longings, such as an obsession to become rich, can destroy a person (1 Tim. 6:9).
B. Worldly: Believers are called to deny ungodliness and worldly passions (Titus 2:11-12).
C. Corrupt: Because of the fall, humans have impure desires (2 Peter 2:10). Only by submitting to the Holy Spirit can we live righteously.
D. Fleshly: Second Peter 2:18 warns us against carnal lusts.
IV. What principles lead to obtaining your heart's desires?
A. Delight yourselves in the LORD (Ps. 37:4). Christians should rejoice in God and desire to walk in obedience. The Lord must have first place in your life before you can claim the promise in this verse.
B. Commit your way to the LORD (v. 5). Allow God to change any aspect of your dream that is not His will. Remember that when He doesn't answer a prayer as you wished, it's for a reason.
C. Trust in Him (v. 5). God is all-knowing, merciful, kind, and generous. You can trust Him with your hopes and dreams.
D. Rest in Him (v. 7). Resting in the Lord means trusting Him to answer prayers in His timing or transform your dreams so they conform to His will.
E. Wait patiently for God (v. 7). Jesus waited three decades before beginning His three-year ministry on earth. According to His example, waiting is one of the key principles of Christian living.
V. What if your desires are never fulfilled? Perhaps the Father knew that fulfilling the request wouldn't be good for you. If the Lord doesn't respond affirmatively to your prayers, ask Him to make your desires conform to His will. Whatever you do, don't take matters into your own hands and go after what you want. There is always a high price to pay for rebelling against the Lord.
VI. God understands honest mistakes. When a believer misinterprets the Spirit's guidance or receives bad advice from a friend, the Lord looks at the heart. The Father may allow the consequences of a poor choice to play out, but He won't shame His children for an honest mistake. He can turn a bad situation into something good (Rom. 8:28).
VII. Conclusion: Do your desires align with the Lord's purpose and plan for you? He longs to give His followers abundant blessings and fullness of joy. So allow your dreams to be conformed to the Lord's will, and follow His guidance faithfully. That's how to experience God's best for your life.