When I was a kid, Bible memory was a common spiritual discipline at Sunday school, summer camp, and youth group. One of the verses that I committed to memory back then was Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (ESV)
But I must confess that I didn’t understand what that verse meant. I had this vague sense that if I kept the Lord as my one chief focus, then He would basically give me whatever I wanted. This was a twisted, genie-in-a-lamp view of God, but not altogether that unusual even today I wager.
Fast forward many years and one day I was meditating on that verse, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I was having a conversation with the Lord about this verse. I really wanted to understand it and live by it. I asked, “What does it mean to ‘delight in You, Lord’?”
I know I delight in my wife, my children, and grandchildren. My thoughts went to synonyms for “delight”: “Take pleasure in,” “find joy in,” “enjoy,” “desire…” I hit on the word “desire” and plugged it in instead of “delight” to see what happened. “Desire the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Immediately, a light went on. “If I sincerely desire the Lord, He will fulfill that desire.” We’re talking about the Almighty God who created all that exists! “If we truly desire Him, He will grant our desire! He will fill us with His fulness!” Let that truth soak in!
It was about the same time that I read a little book by John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight. Perhaps his most well-known quote from that book is, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” In other words, to enjoy God is to glorify Him. But despite my Christian upbringing, I was unfamiliar with the concept of enjoying God.
Between my meditation on Psalm 37:4 and reading Piper’s book, my walk with the Lord took a mammoth stride forward. We know we’re to love the Lord, but one of the purest expressions of love for someone is true enjoyment of them. In an earlier devotional I shared with you about my courtship with my wife. I truly enjoyed being with her every possible moment (and I still do)!
I realized that when I enjoy and long for the Lord’s company, He fulfills my deepest desire for Him in ways beyond description. I urge you too to learn what it means to “delight in the Lord.”
You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Scripture Reading: Psalm 100
To what extent would you say that you enjoy God? How do you cultivate that enjoyment and desire for Him? (Hint: His Word, prayer, and spending time with others who enjoy Him are significant means for cultivating enjoyment and satisfaction in the Lord.
Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5