“I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.” (Jeremiah 32:37-41, New Living Translation)
In reading this passage from Jeremiah this morning, I noticed something. Isn’t it cool how God’s word works that way! In the context of Jeremiah’s writing, God has spoken through the prophet to let the leadership of Israel know that they are going to be conquered and subjected to Babylon. Jerusalem is going to be destroyed. Bad news!
And yet, there is good news. At some future time, God is going to bring His people back. There are certainly a variety of interpretations of time and place regarding this, so I’m not going there in this context.
What I noticed was a couple of phrases in the middle of that paragraph: “… And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever … I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me …” [emphasis mine]
Regardless of the specifics of time and place regarding this future prophecy, there is a principle that is eternally true in all times and places: the genuine desire to worship God only comes as a gift from God. None of us just decided that we would like to worship God. We may have decided to respond to what God initiated in our hearts, but the desire always begins with Him.
If our heart’s desire is to worship God, that worship should include gratitude for the gift of that desire because, if we have it, the only way we got it was by God’s gracious gift. We can’t get it any other way.
Question: How does seeing your desire for God as a gift FROM God affect the way you worship?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective.