“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
For the past several days, I’ve thought about and meditated on that bible verse. Not the “desires of your heart” part, but the “delight yourself in the Lord part.” I’ve researched the word, looked at different thoughts and ideas but no one has been able to lay out a path as there is for everything else.
It seems there is a clear path to achieve any result, even in the bible. For every thing that is asked of us, there is a path in the Word to follow; Humble ourselves and pray, remember the blessings, forsake no the edification of the saints, ask, seek, knock, honor, and so on… do this and get a result.
There is a path to follow – a road of instruction that leads to a result. Delight though, isn’t an action – it’s a state of being and an emotion, yet, the emotion is the path to the result. That was my problem.
How do you delight yourself in the Lord?
I messaged my former Youth Pastor and asked him that very question. He replied with the following.
“Delight – This word (‘anag) is used for a garment that is delicate or luxurious. Here it means to feel great favor toward something. But notice carefully the object of our delight. It is not His forgiveness. It is not His rescue. It is not His blessings or promises. This verse makes it clear that we do not delight in something God has done for us. We are delighted in His person – in who He is.
Just like a fine piece of silk, the delight is not because of what can be done with the cloth, but because the cloth itself is so marvelous. The subject is desirable because it is attractive in and of itself. I think about about my new twin granbabies! I delight in them, we pamper them totally not for what they can do for us or who they are gonna become but just for who they are.
This verse expresses great emotional joy about the subject. The word is used to describe pampering (Deuteronomy 28:56) and joyful merriment (Isaiah 58:14). Metaphorically, it describes the delight and joy over a restored Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:11).
But the psalmist points us toward God Himself. Yeshua called such delight a priceless treasure in a field. Once discovered, a man would do anything to obtain that field and make the treasure his own.”
It helped a great deal because it changed the perspective of Delight into something that can be attained, but my question wasn’t fully answered until just a short while ago.
For a few days now, our van has been down (waiting on parts that are on order), and I was asked to go get a bottle of milk. My problem was that it was already very hot outside climbing into the 80′s, and it would mean riding my bicycle a few miles in each direction.
The easy way out would be to say no or wait until it was cooler, then to go, but instead I went. It took about 20 minutes to get there, and on the way back the sun really started to take it’s toll on me.
I became dizzy, my vision become slightly blurry, and I started to have trouble breathing. I stopped for a moment and had a drink until the symptoms passed and started to ride again. I was about halfway home when the symptoms started up again, and I was looking for a shady place to rest when my father drove past me.
Normally that wouldn’t be something that would happen, because he works evenings and he doesn’t get home until late. He stopped for me, I put my bike in the trunk, and he drove me the rest of the way home.
Maybe it’s because it’s something I’ve been meditating on for a few days, but the answer became quite clear. Delight is that happiness and joy feel that goes beyond just being grateful for what someone can do or has done. It’s more than just being thankful too.
I’m really grateful and thankful to my father, and equally so for the circumstance which rescued me today, but beyond that, I attained delight in the Lord for being who he is – a God that never forsakes, keeps his promises, and delights in me. It goes beyond just being grateful.
My road to delighting in the Lord lay in obedience. So how do you delight in the Lord? It’s simple…
Be obedient and surrender to the things which you may not want to do or desire yourself for the benefit of others. You have to give God the chance to show you again and again who He is in order for you to be delighted in Him for being who He is.
In other words, sometimes you have to let yourself be put in a situation to be delighted, so you can be delighted – at least, that’s how I see it.
Having a better understanding and awareness, there are others I delight in – namely my friends and family. I’m not just happy or grateful or thankful they are who they are – I delight in who they are. There is a difference…
As for the desires of your heart? Don’t worry about it. It’s impossible to truly delight in something if it’s done for greed or out of selfishness. Let go of yourself first, and once you learn to delight in the Lord, that will come on it’s own, which reminds me of another bible verse everyone likes to quote.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”