Wow! Time flies by with the busyness of life!
I am just now finally sitting down to write this blog devotion after an 8-week unintentional hiatus.
Life became quite busy for me these past couple months with women’s bibles studies…women’s event planning…my boys’ fall school activities…and weekend flag football games with my family.
All good things of course…but nonetheless busy!
And so after experiencing this busy season these past couple months…I am now faced with another very busy season. I am sure we all are!
We have officially entered the Christmas Season…one of the busiest times of year!
A busy season of adorning Christmas trees…decorating homes …drinking pumpkin spice lattes in front of a warm fire…making gingerbread houses…attending holiday parties…volunteering and helping those less fortunate and…of course…shopping for Christmas gifts.
All good things of course (Well…for some of us…maybe not so much the gift shopping with the long lines and lack of parking lot spaces)!
My 8 weeks of busy “good” things were a great reminder of the importance of priorities and a great time of reflection upon what my heart truly desired…
Delighting myself in the Lord.
Busyness…even “good” busyness…will do that to you. It can take your focus off delighting in God…and place your focus on delighting in good. And my heart reminded me how much I missed just delighting myself in the Lord.
The dictionary defines the word “delight” as “a high degree of gratification, extreme satisfaction, joy; to take great pleasure in.”
In what do you delight this Christmas season? In what do you find extreme satisfaction and joy and great pleasure in this season?
Maybe it’s all the above…adorning your Christmas tree…decorating your home …drinking pumpkin spice lattes in front of a warm fire…making gingerbread houses…attending holiday parties… volunteering and helping those less fortunate…and shopping for Christmas gifts.
And how about in life? What do you delight in in your life?
Maybe it’s a relationship…your family…job…wealth…status…material possessions.
And even though some of the things we delight in are actually “good” things…
Are you delighting only in good…or are you delighting in God?
These objects or people of delight…even these “good” things…may bring you a high degree of gratification and pleasure…but do they ultimately bring you true satisfaction?
If our delight is in people…things…or even good…disappointment is inevitable and life’s purpose is missed because nothing…NOTHING…on this earth is guaranteed…nothing on this earth will last forever…and nothing on this earth will truly satisfy.
We were created with a void…a void that can only be filled and satisfied by Jesus.
The Bible says in Psalm 37:4…
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 ESV
I have seen this verse many times misunderstood as some believe that it means if you delight in the Lord…then He will give you whatever you desire (a discussion matter for another blog devotion)
This concept of “delight” is quite interesting so I actually want to dig deeper into the context of the first aspect of this verse for us to grasp a greater understanding.
What does it mean to Delight yourself in the Lord?
The word “delight” comes from the Hebrew root word anog and is translated as “being soft and delicate.” It carries the idea of being pliable or sensitive.
And so in this particular text… Delight yourself in the Lord means to be dependent upon God and to derive one’s pleasure from him. According to the root…it is to treat God with delicacy…to be soft before Him.
In other words…we may interpret this as the act of presenting ourselves with great humility and open heartedness so that we never cause Him offense.
Have you ever thought of delight in this way?
This Hebrew root translation certainly provides a unique perspective in our understanding of delighting ourselves in the Lord and brings some specific implications as well.
Check out the following commentaries…
The word rendered “delight” means properly to live delicately and effeminately; then, to be tender or delicate; then, to live a life of ease or pleasure; then, to find delight or pleasure in anything. The meaning here is, that we should seek our happiness in God – in his being, his perfections, his friendship, his love. Barne’s Notes
To delight in God is as much a privilege as a duty. He has not promised to gratify the appetites of the body, and the humours of the fancy, but the desires of the renewed, sanctified soul. What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and serve God. Matthew Henry Commentary
Here is the secret of tranquility in freedom from eager, earthly desires-’Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ The great reason why life is troubled and restless lies not without, but within. It is not our changing circumstances, but our unregulated desires, that rob us of peace. We are feverish, not because of the external temperature, but because of the state of our own blood. McLaren’s Expositions
In keeping this perspective…what exactly does Delight yourself in the Lord imply?
1.It implies that we greatly humble ourselves before Him. Delighting yourself in the Lord begins with humility. Humility gives the Lord the respect He deserves and allows us to “be soft before Him.” It also takes our focus off ourself.
No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NLT
2. It implies that we give Him great honor and glory. Delighting yourself in the Lord is respecting His sovereignty and omniscience. This requires us to give Him…and His interests…supreme reverence. We are to delight ourselves in promoting His glory and honor and find our supreme happiness and satisfaction in this.
Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings; honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:1-2 NLT
3. It implies that we submit our will to His will. Delighting yourself in the Lord is putting His will…His interests…His desires above our own. When we are humble before Him and give Him great honor and glory…it is easier for us to submit our will to His will.
Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8 NIV
We should have the same attitude that Jesus demonstrated to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
4. It implies that we please Him through our obedience. Delighting yourself in the Lord is pleasing Him by our obedience.
It is one thing to obey and another thing to delight in obedience. Our intent should be to devote ourselves entirely to pleasing Him. Our purpose in all things…at all times…in all places…and forever is to live holy and pleasing to Him.
How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Psalm 112:1 NLT
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:16 ESV
5. It implies that we have complete trust and confidence in Him. Delighting yourself in the Lord is experiencing complete satisfaction through our trust in Him and having complete confidence in His character, providences, and His Word.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
As we enter and celebrate this Christmas season…we can so easily get caught up delighting in the “good” and lose our focus in actually delighting in God.
The busyness of Christmas and the busyness of life can distract us from delighting in the very thing…the ONLY THING…that will fully satisfy our hearts…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Delight yourself in the Lord!!!
- In what do you delight this Christmas season? What do you delight in in your life?
- Do these people and/or things bring you true satisfaction?
- And even though some of the things we delight in are actually good things…Are you delighting only in good…or are you delighting in God?
- According to the Hebrew root meaning for delight…have you ever thought of delight as treating God with delicacy…and being soft before Him?
- What does Delight yourself in the Lord imply?
- Our objects or people of delight…even “good” things…may bring us a high degree of gratification and pleasure…but they will not bring us true satisfaction. NOTHING…on this earth is guaranteed…nothing on this earth will last forever…and nothing on this earth will truly satisfy because…We were created with a void…a void that can only be filled by Jesus.
- This Hebrew root translation certainly provides a unique perspective in our understanding of delighting ourselves in the Lord and brings some specific implications as well. Refer to the points and scriptures above to understand what Delight yourself in the Lord implies.