Psalm 40 – God Wants Your Heart

by | April 23, 2020


You do not delight in sacrifice and offering; you open my ears to listen. You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering. (Psalms 40:6)

The sacrificial system for the Israelites was in full effect in David’s day. Sacrifices and offerings were ways to receive atonement for sins, and it was also an act of worship and thanksgiving to God. So sacrifices were very much embedded in Israel’s day to day life. And anytime something happens regularly, there’s a temptation to do things with a disengaged heart.

If you’ve been a Christian for sometime, then you’ve probably experienced “going through the motions” in your relationship with God too many times to count. David identifies what God delights in, and it’s not the act of praying, or reading the Bible, or worshipping to Sunday service online. God doesn’t get excited in us completing the act itself. What God delights in is when we do those things from a place of gratitude, love, and worship to him. God doesn’t need a thing from us, but what he does want is engaged hearts when we do anything for him.

Any husband knows that if he were to plan a date night for his wife, and she found out that he simply did it because “it was the right thing to do,” he knows he would be catching an Uber home. But if your wife found out you planned that night, simply because you want to bring a smile to her face, then that act would bring delight. Yes, many times we do things for others out of habit or duty, and because of sin this enters our relationship with God too. But thanks be to Jesus for his unconditional acceptance and forgiveness toward us. We can honestly assess ourselves and see if we’ve been “going through the motions” and repent for it. The first step to repentance is apologizing to God for your numbed affections toward him. Then ask him to change your heart, so you can offer to him from a sincere place. That in itself is the kind of act God delights in.

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