Daily Devotionals

Would You Rather? Week 1 Thursday

I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your instructions are written on my heart.” Psalm 40:8

As we think this week about wisdom and making decisions, there is an important distinction that we need to make. Choosing wisdom and making wise decisions is not about us at all; it is about God and His will. You see, our plans and desires will not always align with His. The world may be pulling us in a completely different direction than God intends for us. Because of this, we must seek wisdom, and we must seek His will, not our own.

David, the writer of many of the Psalms, was a man who sought God’s will over his own. Take note of what he wrote in Psalm 40:8. “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” Notice here that David said, “Your will” to God, not “my will.” David was chiefly concerned with doing God’s will. And he did not begrudgingly do God’s will. He found joy in doing God’s will. He delighted in doing God’s will. What an example to strive after!  

David’s declaration in Psalm 40:8 makes me wonder, how did doing God’s will become a delight for David rather than a duty? He continues in verse 8, saying, “for Your instructions are written on my heart.” David delighted in doing God’s will because he knew God’s word. He knew Scripture. He knew it so well that it was as if the verses he had studied and learned were engraved on his heart. And as he studied Scripture, it changed him. It aligned his will with God’s. This is wisdom. Wisdom is knowing God and His word so well that it changes you from the inside out. 

Can you, along with David, say to the Lord, “I take joy in doing Your will,” or are you facing an internal battle between God’s will for your life and your own? I urge you, turn to God and His will. Lay your own will down when it conflicts with God’s. I assure you, His will is better every single time. 

Moving Toward Action

Go on a walk today and pray. Ask God to change your heart so that it desires the things of Him and His kingdom. Ask Him for wisdom to make decisions that align with His will rather than your own.

Going Deeper

Read Psalm 40:1-17 (NLT)

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
    who have no confidence in the proud
    or in those who worship idols.
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
    Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
    You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
    I would never come to the end of them.

You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
    Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand—
    you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
Then I said, “Look, I have come.
    As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.”

I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
    Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles surround me—
    too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
    I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
    I have lost all courage.

Please, Lord, rescue me!
    Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
May those who try to destroy me
    be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
    be turned back in disgrace.
Let them be horrified by their shame,
    for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”

But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
As for me, since I am poor and needy,
    let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
    O my God, do not delay.