Shedding Light On Delight

Last week’s blog was actually a full-length introduction to this week. I had too much to say for a single blog post. The conclusion was that if the God of the universe delights in me, my response should be to find my delight – my joy and pleasure – in my relationship with Him. I find the command from Psalms 37:4 to “Delight yourself in the LORD,” takes new meaning and importance when we understand that our Savior delights in us. But that still leaves me wondering what it looks like when this delight in the Lord is lived out in a person’s life. One evening last week, I spent forty-five minutes wrestling with a window screen. What should have been a simple task of cleaning a screen, turned into a frustrating mess. I came away battered, bruised, and in need of a new screen. This issue of delight was in my mind as I struggled to get that screen back into the window frame. I wondered, how can I delight in God even in this? I realized that I can begin by simply acknowledging God’s presence with me. The fact that He is always there, sharing these moments of my every-day life, should be something special to me.

But I am sure that there is more to this. As I look at the concept of delight, I understand that I should be finding my greatest happiness in God. I searched my heart to evaluate what I am actually finding my happiness in. While I can see how my enjoyment in my relationship with Jesus has increased over time, I know that my mind and heart are cluttered with other things. Many of them are worthless things. A human can’t keep his or her mind focused on one thing or one person one hundred percent of the time. Even fifty percent would be a stretch. But when we delight in someone or something, it does get a measurable share of our thoughts. I fear that if I ranked what I think about most, God would be way down the list after family, friends, work issues, television shows, and politics.

And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

2 Samuel 6:13-15

Anyone who has had a crush or fallen in love can remember that time when it was hard to think about anything else. As thoughts lingered on the one you were hopeful to have love you, it would cause butterflies in your stomach. But there is One who has already demonstrated His love for us, and we can’t keep our minds on Him for more than five minutes. There are no butterflies or excitement to be near Him. It is a sign that something is wrong with our understanding of the relationship we have with Him. We want to be loved, but we snub the One who loves us best.

As I turned my mind toward Scripture for an example of delighting in the Lord, I thought of David, dancing with all his might before God, as the ark was carried into Jerusalem. I can’t help but wonder what this leaping, dancing, and rejoicing must have looked like. David demonstrated an unabashed delight in God. I am not sure that I could in any way replicate this in my life. But I don’t want to try to copy David’s actions, I want to have a heart like his. As I read through the passages of Scripture which record this event, I realized that David’s heart was full of rejoicing. He said that he was “mak[ing] merry before the LORD.” (2 Sam. 6:21) Praise, thanksgiving, and joy overflowed from him into a physical expression, “with all his might.” It is a perfect picture of delight.

Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers.

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him; sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

1 Chronicles 16:7-11

Not every day will be a day of such extreme rejoicing, as the day when David danced before the Lord and the ark. But if we are delighting, there will always be some joy because God is always with us. He has bestowed a favor on His chosen ones that He will never rescind, so there is never cause for complete despair.  David’s song of thanks provides insight into what it means to delight. In addition to giving thanks and singing, we are told to “make known his deeds” and “tell of all his wondrous works.” Delight doesn’t keep silent about the object of its affection. We are to “Glory in his holy name.” We should take no pride or pleasure in glorifying ourselves; the only glory that we desire should be God’s glory.

Perhaps the most important part of delighting in God is to “seek his presence continually!” That is the real life-changer. Whom do we love that we do not wish to spend time with? Since God is perfect, there are none of the difficulties or complications that make human relationships need ‘space.’ As I have meditated on these things, I realized what the promise of Psalms 37:4 actually means. When we truly delight in our God, the “desires of [our] heart” are to be in His presence and to see His glory. This is what God gives to those who delight their hearts in Him.

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