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Delighting in the Lord

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

- Psalm 37:4 (ESV)


The key to our Lord giving to us the desires of our heart seems to be both perfectly simple and simply perplexing. What is this conditional promise? What does it mean to delight one’s self in the Lord?


The phrase delight in the Lord in this passage could literally be understood to mean “find your deepest pleasure and contentment in the Lord.”


What does this look like in the Believer’s life? Perhaps the clearest example is that of Brother Lawrence’s declaration, “his soul has been filled with joys so continual, and sometimes so great, that he is forced to use means to moderate them, and to hinder their appearing outwardly.”


But what are the practical steps toward this end? One might suggest Bible study while another might suggest prayer. Some might suggest worship and others meditation. Most accurately, one would suggest the practice of the spiritual disciplines for the purpose of experiencing - nay, savoring the daily, moment by moment presence of God in one’s life.

What could be more delightful than seeking to know what God is like through the study of His Word? What could be more encouraging than meditating on every way He touches one’s life: providence, love, grace, comfort, wisdom, provision, protection, and more? What could be more soothing than sitting in silence to “hear” the voice of God speak to one’s heart? What could be more fulfilling than seeking to experience God through being His hands, feet, ears, and mouth in acts of selfless service?


But how do we go about achieving this? Consider the actions of the lovers recorded in the Song of Solomon. See how they sought each other out. See how all that they did was with the other in mind. See how they passionately enjoyed not only the presence of each other but even the anticipation of their presence.


Consider the religious behaviors of those who are lacking joy. See how they dutifully attend church each week. See how some of them dutifully read their bible occasionally and sometimes even daily. Consider the dutifulness in all they do. Sometimes they fast as a duty. Sometimes they give as a duty. Witness the cold formality with which they fulfill their duties because of “our love for God.”


Now consider a life that seeks God passionately as one seeking one’s lover. Imagine fasting from food for a season because the Lord is the desire of one’s greatest hunger. Consider lovers who would rather spend intimate times with each other than eat. That is passion! Do you hunger for our Lord to this extreme? This is one of many examples of delighting in our Lord.


Perhaps the real issue is that our Lord does not delight us. Perhaps we view Him in a negative or unfulfilling light. Perhaps our experience of God is that of duty, not pleasure; of compulsion, not privilege.


Perhaps we have tried to please God in order to get what we want, but then He did not give it to us. Perhaps He did not save our dying child or redeem our repossessed house. Perhaps we tried naming and claiming promises that were not a part of God’s plan for our life. Now, a relationship with God seems a senseless, wasteful, futile goal.


What are you seeking? What is it you want? Are you seeking the fulfillment of fleshly lusts? Don’t think that these are the desires our Lord will give you.


Are you seeking love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control? He does not give these things. Instead, He is all of this and more and thus gives us Himself. He is everything our heart was ever created to desire. He fills our every desire.


To delight one’s self in the Lord is to turn one’s heart toward Him in every motive, desire, and action, to seek a perpetually intimate relationship with Him in this life. Make Him your greatest desire, and your heart’s desires will be fulfilled.


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Doniel Gudeman is a seasoned veteran of the ministry having begun serving regularly at the age of 14, preaching weekly at the age of 16, and remaining in various forms of full-time and part-time ministry for over thirty-five years. He currently holds a BA in Religion and Ministry and a MA in Biblical Counseling. He is the founder of a Christian counseling clinic, a life coach, public speaker, and author. His goal in ministering to others by pointing them to the Lord is that each person would become “complete, equipped for every good work” through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. soli deo gloria

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kathmihr2911
Oct 01, 2020

I don't want think of Grace as a gift that brings me closer to God. I want to be closer to God because He gave me the gift go grace. In other words... I want my entire life centered around God so much so that I wont move or speak unless I know he says to.

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