Giver of gifts

In the midst of true confession and repentance, you are laid completely bare and vulnerable. You admit the darkest parts of yourself and your sin, and you start the healing process of walking in the freedom the Resurrection brings.

As I’ve been walking in that freedom for the first time in my life, I’ve been reflecting on what got me here in the first place.

While I could argue it’s many things – many “small sins,” much deception to myself and others, and a whole lot of fear – I think the deeply rooted issue began when I started aiming for the gifts God can give rather than the Giver of Gifts.

On the World Race when I confessed my struggles with bulimia, my Team Leader at the time, Jena, pointed out that once we empty ourselves of sin, we must fill it with the Truth. Otherwise, there is a gaping hole within us that the devil will try to fill with his own schemes.

Knowing this, I have been pursuing Truth and Knowledge like crazy since I laid myself bare 11-days ago.

Here’s what I’ve realized:

In Scripture, many times verses are paired together in two parts. The first is “Do this in the Lord,” and the second is “And this will be your reward.”

The reward is exciting, we are promised great and amazing things when we are walking with the Lord! He is the Giver of good gifts! However, when we strive to obtain the gift without the instruction given with it, there is no foundation or true character within the act.

In my own strength, I can only do so much. I can try all I want to become a woman of character by being gentle, humble, generous, kind so that I receive rewards. But if the heart behind my actions is the reward and not the Lord, I can only get so far.

When we try to obtain the gifts before walking with the Giver of Gifts, we will always fall short. I need Him to sustain and grow.

The verse from the “Holy Bible App” this morning was:

[Psalm 37:4]

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I love this verse! I mentally quote this verse when I am wrestling with whether or not I will receive good things and the desires of my heart.

However – it’s the first part that is extremely important. And it’s the first part I always skim over to get to the good stuff of getting what I want.

“Delight yourself in the Lord.”

I’ve been making it a habit to listen to the entire chapter each daily verse comes from, and I loved Psalm 37 today. It is a great example of the two part verses. Here are the verses, broken into their different sections [with some wording liberties from me].


Verses:

Trust in the Lord and do good.

  • Enjoy safety and prosperity.

Take delight in the Lord.

  • And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.

Trust Him.

Be still in God’s presence.

Wait patiently for Him to act.

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper, it only leads to harm.

Trust in the Lord.

  • And you will possess the land

Be blameless and innocent.

  • In hard times you will not be disgraced.
  • Even in famine you will have more than enough.

Be generous in giving.

Be godly.

  • The Lord will direct your steps and delight in every detail of your life.
  • Though you may stumble, you will never fall, for the Lord holds you by the hand.

Be generous in giving.

Turn from evil and do good.

  • And you will live in the land forever.
  • God never abandons the godly, and will keep you safe.

Be godly and offer good counsel.

Teach right from wrong.

Make God’s law your own so you will not slip from His path.

Put your hope in the Lord.

Travel steadily along His path.

  • You will be given the land.
  • You will see the wicked destroyed.

Look to those who are honest and good.

  • A wonderful future awaits them.

Love peace.

Make God your fortress in times of trouble.

Find shelter in Him.


You’ll notice that there are more “first part” verses than there are “second part verses.” And yet, I will be the first to admit I probably would read this chapter, and only focus on the blessings that could come to me.

So let’s take out those “second part” results, and only focus on what God asks from us.


First Part – Do this in the Lord:

Trust in the Lord and do good.

Take delight in the Lord.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.

Trust Him.

Be still in God’s presence.

Wait patiently for Him to act.

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper, it only leads to harm.

Trust in the Lord.

Be blameless and innocent.

Be generous in giving.

Be godly.

Be generous in giving.

Turn from evil and do good.

Be godly and offer good counsel.

Teach right from wrong.

Make God’s law your own so you will not slip from His path.

Put your hope in the Lord.

Travel steadily along His path.

Look to those who are honest and good.

Love peace.

Make God your fortress in times of trouble.

Find shelter in Him.


I love this because it is a reminder that we need to stop only aiming for the Gifts we will receive if we walk in the way of the Lord. We need to instead, just focus on Him and all that He asks of us. The blessings that are promised are a result of being godly. But they should not be the thing to aim for.

The thing to aim for should always be the first part of the verse, the thing that God asks of us. The explanation of how to walk in godly ways with the Lord. Because those are the things that transform us, grow us, and mold us to be in deeper communion with Him. Those are the things that give us the results we are looking for.

Not negating the goodness and promises to come; but delighting in Him first and foremost, with the assurance of what comes to those who walk with Him.

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