Ps.37:4 – Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Rom.5:5 – ….because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I wanted to do better all of my life. I was ashamed of my rebellion against my father, I was ashamed of my lying and stealing, and I was tormented by my addictions to sinful pleasures of the flesh. I wanted to change but part of me was enslaved. I despised my sin yet at the same time I loved it. The change came in my life unexpectedly, I was born again after seeing for myself that Jesus died on a cross because of my sin. His death was all about my sin, that revelation was the undoing of my former life and the beginning of my new life. I had been truly born again. John Piper speaks about this when talking about Augustine and his deliverance from sin. Check out this quote from Piper.
“So saving grace, converting grace, in Augustine’s view, is God’s giving us a sovereign joy in God that triumphs over all other joys and therefore sways the will. The will is free to move toward whatever it delights in most fully, but it is not within the power of our will to determine what that sovereign joy will be. Therefore Augustine concludes,
“A man’s free-will, indeed, avails for nothing except to sin, if he knows not the way of truth; and even after his duty and his proper aim shall begin to become known to him, unless he also take delight in and feel a love for it, he neither does his duty, nor sets about it, nor lives rightly. Now, in order that such a course may engage our affections, God’s “love is shed abroad in our hearts” not through the free-will which arises from ourselves, but “through the Holy Ghost, which is given to us” ”
This describes what happened to me and what salvation by grace through faith means. Our choices in life were imprisoned by our fallen nature, it is only the work of God that can change that. The Holy Spirit makes alive the truth of God’s word, the truth of Calvary to our hearts. It is in that moment that grace breaks the chains that held our will in chains. My desires for the sinful pleasures of this life were swallowed up by a greater pleasure found in the Lord. He caused me to delight in the Lord and changed the desires of my heart.