Until recently ‘cherry-picking’ was a phrase I only ever heard occasionally. But since the UK started negotiating its exit from the European Union it’s become a phrase in almost daily use. As the UK government speaks regularly about a ‘bespoke deal’, the EU responds by insisting that the UK will not be allowed to make that deal by ‘cherry-picking’ the best bits of EU membership.
But it’s not just the UK government that may be guilty of cherry-picking – Christians do it with Bible verses all the time. How we love to pick out the promises and forget the rest! Here’s a classic example: Psalm 20:4 reads, ‘May [God] give you the desire of your heart’. Wonderful! But not so fast; the previous verse reads, ‘May [God] remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.’ And what kind of sacrifice does God accept? The apostle Paul says we should, ‘offer [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.’
So, yes, God does delight to give us the desires of our hearts, but only once those hearts are truly and completely surrendered to Him. Just as the British government are discovering, so too with God, if you really want all the blessings of the relationship then you must be prepared to count the cost!