What is ‘Delighting in God?’
I asked God “Show me.”
“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (David, Psalm 37:4) Sadly many interpret this on a whim that if we get our act together with God, He will start granting what we ask for. This mindset seems to hold God captive like a genie; we call Him forth only when we want something. Perhaps liken also to; “Dear Santa, I’ve been good, here’s my list, I want…” Or some use the rabbit-foot theology approach, keeping God around just long enough, close enough, after all He is the Big Guy in the Sky, keeping on His good side seems to be the best plan.
We are called to and for more.
According to verse 25, King David was aged when he penned this “I was young and now I am old…” Throughout the Psalm he peppers his words with, “Don’t fret or be envious, trust in the LORD, commit your ways to the LORD, be still before the LORD, refrain from anger, turn from evil and do good, wait for the LORD and keep His ways. You can almost hear the longing in his voice as he pulls the reader forward by the shoulders, “Listen to this old man, HEAR THIS!”
Delight yourself in the LORD. It isn’t what we think. We often associate delight with our feelings of joy, our pleasures fulfilled. Yes, true, but there’s more. The word David uses (‘anag’) seems out of place when read in the Hebrew, however being the poet that he was, (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) the word picture he is painting is beautiful. The word here for ‘delight’ is one that describes being sensitive, delicate and soft. It carries the idea of being pliable. Interesting also, grammatically anag (delight) is an imperative verb, meaning this is a command. David is not leaving room for question or discussion, we ARE to live our life delicately before the Lord, and we are to keep pliable and sensitive to Him. In doing so, in our pliable state, He molds into us His desires, ‘He will give you the desires of your heart.’ God places the desires within you. Have you experienced this? What you once wanted has/is changing. It’s Him! Isaiah’s words continue the imagery: “Yet You, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” (64:8) He presses into us, molds us.
David is conveying that in our delighting in HIM, we express both the craving and satisfaction. He was a man after Gods own heart – his heart was satisfied by God. He doesn’t say we are to delight in the things God can do for us, but God Himself, we are to crave God, and He will satisfy.
As he writes this I am sure he remembers; he was a passionate man, yes, he went and took what he wanted at times (we all know how that turned out) yet he knew also unmet desires. He desired to build a temple for the Lord. However God did not give David this desire of his heart, David was a man of war; God wanted his son Solomon, a man of peace to build the temple. (1 Chronicles 17 & 22)
Glancing over my shoulder, I am very glad God has not given me some of the desires of my heart over the years. That indeed was great mercy on His part. Delighting in the Lord does not mean I cease having wants, having dreams and asking for them, it means as I seek after God, my goal is to become subordinate; I forego all – for HIS desires. “If the greatest and supreme of all our delights is in being and in doing what God wills, nothing can frustrate His purpose to give us our heart’s desire.” (Rev. Charles Voysey – January,1885) When we delight in the Lord, our desire is not so much to have as to be and do.
What would it take for God to captivate us, (captivate YOU) to lay aside all wants, wishes and dreams for Him. What would it take to become soft and pliable?
‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’
I leave us with David Crowders song:
“Take my heart, I lay it down
At the feet of You whose crowned
Take my life, I’m letting go
I lift it up to You who’s throned
Such theology, such grace – great delight.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrew 10:24)