The word of God tells us to "delight ourselves in the Lord". But,
just what does delighting in Him consist of? Is it just being happy
He's in our life? Is it just giving thought toward Him from time to
time, and if so, is that enough? Is it feeling His presence, and getting
all excited about those "goosebumps" we're feeling? What does it mean to "delight" ourselves in the Lord"? What does it mean according to God? Let's take a look in His Word, and see:
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4 KJV)
There are four key words I'd like to look at in this verse (delight, give, desires and heart). I will expound on these four words, that we might gain a bit more understanding from God's Word, and in so doing, attempt to discover His heart, through this verse, as well as through a few other verses. The meanings of these four words are taken from the
Delight means: to be happy about, take exquisite delight in, to make merry over.
My note: It means to be "very" excited about, delighted in, and to rejoice about, or over (make merry over). This, of course, should be precisely how our hearts continually feel about the Lord.
Give means: to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, entrust, give over, deliver up, extend, assign, appoint, designate, provide.
My note: If we will but delight ourselves in the Lord, He will grant, entrust, permit, assign, etc., even His very Kingdom to us:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32 KJV)
Desires means: request, petition, desire.
My note: Every God given desire of the heart, through request and petition, shall be given us, as we delight ourselves in Him.
Heart means: heart; mind; understanding; inner man; conscience; seat of apetites, emotions and passions.
My note: If our heart delights in Him according to scripture, our heart will be right with Him. We can then know that even our inner man, with all it's apetites, emotions and passions will receive from His hand, because our heart rightfully belongs to Him.
Let's now take a look at what God's Word means when it instructs us to "delight" in Him. We'll be looking at several scriptures for the answer:
1. To delight in the Lord, is: to delight in His Law (commandments, testimonies, statutes). It is to delight in that which is written:
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. (Psalm 1:2 Amplified Bible).
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. (Psalm 119:16 KJV).
Thy testimonies also [are] my delight [and] my counsellors. (Psalm 119:24 KJV)
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. (Psalm 119:35 KJV)
2. Delighting in Him, is: to delight in doing His will (in accordance with His law):
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. (Psalm 40:8 KJV).
3. To delight myself in Him, is: to delight myself in His commandments, and to "love" them:
And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. (Psalm 119:47 KJV).
4. As I delight in Him (His Law), I can request of Him, a life filled with His tender mercies:
Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law [is] my delight. (Psalm 119:77 KJV).
5. As His word is my delight: I will, above all, long for "His" salvation. Whatever I may be facing, my longing will be to see the "salvation of the Lord!" My desire, and delight will be to see His will being accomplished in my life.
I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law [is] my delight. (Psalm 119:174 KJV).
We looked at a few verses that reveal to us how we are to delight ourselves in the Lord. Now let's take a look at what delights the Lord's heart:
1. Those who are upright of heart are His delight:
They who are willfully contrary in heart are extremely disgusting and shamefully vile in the eyes of the Lord, but such as are blameless and wholehearted in their ways are His delight! (Prov 11:20 Amplified Bible).
2. He delights in those who deal truly, those who are faithful:
Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight. (Prov 12:22 KJV).
3. He delights in the prayers of the upright:
The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight. (Prov 15:8).
4. The Lord is delighted in those who understand and know Him, who know that His loving kindness and righteousness:
But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord. (Jere 9:24 Amplified Bible).
Now, you may be looking at each of the above scripture verses thinking, "Ah, but wait a minute! These are all "Old Testament" verses of scripture. Are we not now, free from the law?" With that question, let's take a look at what Jesus had to say in the New Testament:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matt 5:17-18, KJV).
He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar]. (Matt 13:52, Amplified Bible). (Matt 13:52, Amplified Bible).
Here, Jesus is giving instruction, that a
teacher and interpreter of His Sacred Writings (i.e., one who has been
instructed and trained for the kingdom of heaven, and has become a
disciple) is one who will bring forth treasure that is new, and treasure
that is old. The old is in no way, according to Jesus, to be "done away with".
Does God think lightly of one who
disrespects the truth of His word ... even disregarding, repressing, or
hindering it, and/or attempting to make it inoperative? Let's see what
He has to say on the subject:
For God's [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. (Romans 1:18, Amplified Bible).
Let's take a look at the Strong's Concordance, and see what is says regarding the word "truth" in this verse:
The truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians.
All the above tells me the Law is not
done away with ... the Law, nor the Prophets. Let's not forget that
Jesus is the Word (in the beginning was the word. The word became
flesh). We have this tendency to see Jesus as someone who "shows up" in
the New Testament, forgetting He was there, from the beginning of time,
before the word was even yet written. This reveals Him as God of all
the word (the full word of God), both Old and New Testaments. What
should God's Law mean to us:
For I endorse and delight in the Law of
God in my inmost self [with my new nature]. (Rom 7:22 Amplified Bible).
Here we are being taught to agree with and delight in God's Law ... within our hearts! Christ did not come to do away with the Law, but He came to fulfill it "in my innermost being", and that with my God given new nature. So, we see that we are still (even as we live according to the New Covenant), to delight ourselves in the Law of God. Yes, our old man does not desire to do so, but as our old man (our flesh nature) becomes less and less, and the new man (the nature of Christ within us) becomes more and more, oh but we will find ourselves delighting in His Law! The nature of Christ within us, will grow to greatly respect and love His Law.
Father, help each one of us to "delight in Your Law". Help us to respect Your word, to obey Your word (through the very intervention of it, by Your Holy Spirit within our hearts), and to absolutely love and delight in Your Word ... every bit of it! Thank You Father. We ask this in the name of Your precious, Holy Son, Jesus, Amen!
Be richly blessed, as you open your
heart to God's Holy Book ... the Bible. May you find with each passing
moment spent in His holy presence, His Word to be the greatest desire and delight
of your heart!
In His love ... Marcia