We must be aware that covetousness is a demon-inspired form of idolatry (Col 3:5). We can – and must – protect our heart from wrong desires that lead to covetousness. Our desires must begin, and always remain, at Jesus’ feet. We must have a simple heart that is satisfied with worship of, and obedience to, our Lord and Master, Jesus.
We must prayerfully ask in every situation, “Lord, have You given me this desire in my heart? If you granted me this desire, would it add to my love for You and assist me to serve you? Or would it lead me into other desires and pursuits that would take away from Your purposes for me?”
In Psalm 37:4-5, we are given more insight: “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”
To “delight in the Lord” means to find our true joy and satisfaction in our relationship with Him – in His Words, deeds and presence. If He is our delight, then the desires that form in our hearts will more truly align with His desires for us!
To “commit our ways to God” means to fully surrender all things to God and His will for us; to trust Him to fulfill His desires for us. When we do this, He will bring to pass His will for us!
God can truly grant “the desires of your heart” to the surrendered and devoted servant. If our hearts are set upon God and our delight is to do His will, then our hearts will more fully desire what He wants for us.
Jesus also teaches us this principle when He says: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). As we abide in the Lord’s presence, and meditate daily upon His Word, His desires will begin to fill our hearts. Then we can pray and ask the Lord to fulfill those desires, and He will do it – because our hearts are in agreement with what He desires for us!
God wants our complete and undivided loyalty to Him (2Chr 16:9), to show Himself strong through His devoted servants. Our hearts are wicked, and may try to deceive us (Jer 17:9). However, we can, like David, invite the Lord to search our hearts and convict us of unrighteous motives and desires (Ps 139:23,24). We can then submit wrong desires to God in repentance.
The Bible gives many warnings regarding the sin of covetousness. It is an insidious and destructive force to the men and women of God. Take time to read and study the following Scriptures. Pray over them and ask the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and shine the light of God’s truth into any dark areas of covetousness that may be hidden in your heart: Exodus 20:3-6,17; Numbers 22-24; 31:8,18; Deuteronomy 8:1-20; 23:4,5; Jeremiah 6:13; 8:10; Micah 3:5-12; Matthew 6:19-34; Mark 4:19; Luke 12:15-21; John 10:10; Acts 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:3,8; 6:3,5,9-10; Titus 1:11; James 5:1-6; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2; 1John 2:15-17; Jude 11; and Revelation 2:14; 22:14,15.