Delighting in the Lord

In this article I want to look at an aspect of worship known as delight. Webster’s dictionary defines “delight” as (1)a high degree of gratification, or (2) something that gives great pleasure. 
This word denotes such deep desire for something that it almost crosses over to having a deep lust for something. While we don’t want to hear the word ‘lust’ used in this way, it truly drives the point.

The bible uses the word “delight” in many instances to describe the relationship that we are to have with our heavenly Father. However, it also is used to describe God’s relationship towards us.

Psa. 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD (earnestly desire Him, be completely satisfied with Him and Him alone), And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa. 119:16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Psa. 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.

Psa. 119:35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

These are just a few references, but there is one thing that I want you to notice in reading these passages from Psalms. Psalm 37:4 is a delight in the presence, or in the person of the Lord while Psalm 119 shows a clear delight for the words of the Lord. Having a desire for His presence is not enough, we must take delight hearing what God has to say—good or bad—and we must be ready to obey His voice. If we truly want to show delight for the person of God, we have to be obedient to the voice of God.

There are benefits to this kind of delight and passion for the Lord. We already saw one in Psalm 37:4 “..He shall give you the desire of your heart.” Let’s go to the New Testament.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John uses the word “abide”, but it means the same thing as the passages in Psalms. If we are abiding in Him, then we are delighting (satisfied, or enjoying) in His presence. If His words abide in us then we are living by the things He has spoken. Now look at the benefits. “…ask what you desire (Psalm 37:4), and it shall be done for you.”

When we delight in the Lord, then it becomes His delight to work on our behalf. It becomes his pleasure to show us his favor. The word favor literally means ‘pleasure’, ‘acceptance’, or ‘delight’. 
Psa. 90:17 May the favor (delight, or pleasure) of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

When God delights in us, he reveals it by showing us favor, or grace.

Job 33:26 He shall pray to God, and He (God) will delight (show favor) in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness.

Rom. 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable (delightful, pleasing) to God, which is your reasonable service. 

In Old Testament times, the people of God would plead for God’s favor and forgiveness by offering a sacrifice—usually a burnt offering. God would only be pleased with the sacrifice if it was offered correctly—every “I” dotted and every “T” crossed. But now in Romans we are given instructions for a new kind of sacrifice—whole, hearted devotion. When we offer ourselves, the bible says that it is acceptable, or delightful to God.

But the passage continues with verse 2. ” And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Once you make the decision to surrender to the will of God, He wants to show you what His will actually is, and we can learn that will through the instructions given in verse 2. Don’t continue to be like the world, but let the words and the love of Christ renew your mind. That sounds a lot like Psalm 119. Then you will know the things that God takes delight in for you.

So, in Psalms 37:4 we read that He will actually give us the things that we have been asking for. Now in Romans 12 we read that we can actually know what He wants for us. And we can begin to ask for the things that He desires. You see, it is a two way street. Remember in John chapter 4 that God is seeking people who will truly worship. If delight is a part of worship, then we could say that God is seeking people who will delight in Him. And when He finds those people, He will immediately return the favor and delight over us.

What an awesome truth to know that God actually delights in us more than we could ever delight in Him. His delight means favor, grace, and acceptance. His delight means blessing, and His delight means abundance.    

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Russell Henderson
Russell Henderson is a songwriter and worship leader. He is also the founder of IGNITE Worship Ministries based in St. Louis, MO. He has led worship for 10 years in St. Louis, MO and in Panama City, FL. He has a heart to see the people of God enter in to true worship and experience a fresh manifestation of the presence of God. He is the worship pastor at St. Peters Assembly of God in St. Peters, MO. You can find many of his songs at www.soundclick.com/russellhenderson.

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