We tend to simplify this verse. We treat it like pressing the red Staples “That was easy” button… and POOF– our hearts desires are expected to be met. I am guilty of that. “Delighting” oneself in the Lord is not something that we should do flippantly; rather, it is an intentional act of pursuing a Holy and Righteous God. In that pursuit there are many benefits.
I intentionally take delight (or pleasure) in the Lord in many ways and often benefit instantly:
- I love talking with Him throughout the day. The wonderful thing about that is He is never too busy and always right there to bend His ear to hear me. (Psalm 116:1-2 NASB)
- I invest time with Him in the morning as I read the bible, read my devotional, and journal. As I write down my thoughts, reflections, and prayers, I am pouring my heart out to Him. He understands me like no one else can! He knows me by name. (Isaiah 43:1B NASB)
- I mediate on His word from the verses I have on 3×5 cards in my home and in my car. And His word never returns void.(Isaiah 55:11 NASB)
- I acknowledge His presence and provision in the simplest aspects of life. Examples:
- Wildflowers in a field that are clothed by a creative God.
- Pennies that He places in my path (that remind me to trust in Him and He is mindful of me).
- A stray rabbit hopping around in my back yard (reminding me that if He provides for it how much more He will provide for me).
- Waking up and feeling the air in my lungs (reminding me that He is the very air I breathe and without Him there is no breath).
The benefits keep multiplying as I consistently take delight in Him. He chooses to give me the desires of my heart. The heart takes on a big role in this benefit. In biblical thought, the heart is the center of the human spirit where emotions, thoughts, courage, motivations and actions-spring forth. As Proverbs 4:23 reads “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life”.
What then might the “desires of your heart” look like?
Taking a look at friendship may shed light on the question. When we share our life and heart with a friend we begin to “get real” with one another. Soon, we begin finishing one another’s sentences and may even start mirroring that friend. God calls us His friend (John 15:15). When we delight in the Lord we begin trusting in Him and free up the “real you” to come out. We begin to look more like Christ and our desires begin to mirror His desires. Our friendship in Christ shapes our desires to be more heavenward.
My desire is for my heart to align with His desires. I desire for lost souls to be saved, for the broken to be healed and the weary to find rest. I desire for the hopeless to discover hope, for the fatherless to realize their Father in Christ, and to be Christ’s “hands and feet” to those around me. I desire to be poured out as a drink offering, to make an impact in the lives of others for the Glory of God, and to trust Him without boundaries, I desire to believe Him without question, to walk in obedience to His calling, and to thrive in the dreams He plans for me. I desire to love the unlovable and to be a light in a dark world…
Are you willing to intentionally pursue God by delighting in Him? This process begins as you confess to God that you want to know Him more. If you are new to the bible start in the book of John. Walk slowly. Read a chapter a day. Stroll through the chronicles of the exposed heart of God on the pages of His precious Word. Engage in conversation with God through prayer. Look for signs of His presence and provision in your observable world. Trace His finger prints in the little things in life. Seek Him with all of your heart and you will find Him.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.” (Psalm 37:23 NIV)