Heart and mind – discernment (Prayer day 19)

Our desires and delights direct our decisions, that why Jesus taught us to pray “lead us not into temptation…” 


Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24  A Psalm of David

1  O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

3  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

4  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

5  You have hedged me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

24  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!


  1. Which attribute of God does David mediate on in these first verses of Psalm 139?
  2. What does God know about David, as revealed in (1) verse 2, (b) verse 3, and (c) verse 4?
  3. What emotion does this intimate knowledge of God evoke in David’s heart?
  4. Thinking about God’s knowledge, what does this David ask of God? Why would he ask this? (v23-24)

Personal reflection and Application

Our desires and delights direct our decisions, and that makes us vulnerable to be led astray by temptations.  God Almighty knows us intimately; he knows our location and situation, our thoughts and words, our plans and motives. And because of this David feels safe and asks God to test his heart (motives and affections) and thoughts (plans and attentions), and direct his way into God’s paths of life!  About this Paul writes:

“Set your heart on things above, where Christ is… set your mind on things above…” Colossians 3:1-2

  1. Write down the first 5 thoughts that comes to mind. Bring these thoughts to God in prayer – bluntly tell him what is on your mind – and ask him to test and purify your thoughts.  Choose which one of these are the most godly or noble, and speak to God about this thought for a while, seeing where he leads you with it.
  2. Write down your first 5 desires that you can identify. Bring these in prayer to God – tell him straight what you want (even if it is sinful) and then ask God to test and purify your desires. Choose the most noble or godly desire and speak to God about it; follow God’s lead in the discussion.
  3. In closing simply pray David’s prayer “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”





Delight and desires (Prayer day 5)

Prayer is a means by which we both delight ourselves in God, and receive the desires of our heart.




To better understand this verse, let’s first ask some interrogative questions and secondly do one comparison in the Scripture.

  1. Interrogative questions:
    1. What is the promise in this verse?
    2. What is the premise (or condition) to the promise in this verse?
    3. What does it mean to “delight yourself in the Lord”? Say it in other words.
    4. What does it mean that “God will give you the desires of your heart”? Say it in other words.
    5. Why is it necessary to delight in the Lord before we get what we desire? (think relationally, like spouses )
    6. Why is it necessary to receive the desires of our heart from God? (think relationally)
  2. To understand HOW TO DELIGHT, consider Isaiah 62:4-5

“But you [Israel] will be called Hephzibah [meaning ‘delight(ful)’]
…for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.”

  1. Who delights in who in these verses?
  2. What metaphors explains HOW God delights in his people?
  3. How does a bridegroom delight in his bride?


Personal Reflections and Application

God delights in us, and he invites us to enjoy him too.  Prayer is the means by which we enjoy communion with God and also by which we receive the desires of our hearts.  But the Old Testament stands as record to warn us that when the gifts of God are more delightful to us that the God who gives, our relationship with him and one another go wrong.

  1. In communion with God today, tell him
    1. What in his creation you love most.
    2. What of his miracles recorded in Scripture is most awesome to you.
    3. What of his character visible in Jesus his son you admire most.
    4. What of the promises in Scripture you hold on to most.
    5. What personal experience with him you cherish most.
    6. What of his gifts to you, you are most thankful for.
  2. Be bold and tell God plainly what you desire, and ask him to give it to you – in Jesus Name.




Holy Spirit 5

The aim of this devotional study is to understand a life of holiness being made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit.


Galatians 5:16-26

16  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

17  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  25  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Observations, comparisons and reflections

The text describes the earthly struggle of the Christian life, naming the sources and their resulting fruits and eternal destination, concluding with the choice we need to make.

  1. What does it mean to “walk by (or in the way of) the Spirit” vs “to walk by (or in the way of) the flesh” – in other words, how do you do it? (v16)
  2. What is “the desires of the Spirit” vs “the desires of the flesh”? (v17)
  3. How is one “lead by the Spirit” vs “lead by the flesh”? (v18)
  4. What is a good one-word summary for “fruit of the Spirit” and a good one-word summary for “fruit of the flesh”? [hint: think character] (v19-22)
  5. What does it mean to “live by the Spirit”? (v25)
  6. What practical advice does Paul hint at when he says “keep in step with the Spirit”? (v25)

Application and Prayer

Pray verses 22-23 repeatedly while reflecting on your character, until one of the characteristics of a Spirit-directed life stands out for you, then sincerely pray to God for that aspect of Christ’s loving, holy character to manifest more fully in your life.

Take this text with you through the day and seek the next opportunity to manifest the holy love of Christ as you “keep in step with the Spirit”.