“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
A Bible verse that has been ingrained into my brain for as long as… well, as long as I can remember! And I’m sure many believers feel the same. As a little girl, I remember my mom, elementary teachers, Sunday school teachers – just about everyone – speaking this verse over me. If I delight myself in God, He’ll give me what I want. Cool! At least that’s what a 5 year old’s brain thinks. If I take delight in Jesus, I can have the toy I want. Seems so simple! And as you get older, that toy you want evolves into something such as being liked by the first boy you have a crush on, which may then be followed by an acceptance into your top college, an offer for your dream job, a million bucks. You name it! I’m sure you see where this is going… This warped perception of what this Bible verse means made me believe that if I did what God wanted me to do, I could have anything and everything I wanted.
And then, reality set in. Little by little, disappointments, letdowns, and setbacks were sprinkled throughout my life. Some were small – like that middle school crush not liking me back. But some were bigger than others. Really big. Like being 14 years old and experiencing loss like never before – the loss of my little sister to a lung disease when she was only 13 months old. I found myself struggling to grasp how God could let this happen. Why would God let this happen? I had a family with faith at the center of our lives and we truly delighted ourselves in the Lord, day in and day out. We put God first, went to Christian school, church on Sunday’s, prayed before every meal. So why when we had thousands of people all over the world praying for healing, did God not give us the desires of our heart?
Here I am, eleven years later, and I can tell you I still don’t have the answer to that question. And I’m not sure I ever will, until I meet face to face with God. But I can tell you that I have a much greater understanding of the promise that God gives us in Psalm 37:4. The ego-centric view many of us tend to have when reading this verse doesn’t even compare to the amazing, incredible, true promise that stands within it.
I was in my early twenties when I began to experience the true meaning of finding delight in Jesus and Him giving me the desires of my heart. Maybe you were younger and this was an easy concept for you to understand. Or maybe you’re older and still haven’t thought about it in this way. But what I’ve found, is that when I delight myself in the Lord – in all things and all ways, He intertwines the desires that He wants me to have into my heart. Not the desires that I selfishly want.
So maybe you’re wondering, how to delight yourself in the Lord? And I’m no expert. I’m still learning, growing, and making mistakes every day. But for me, some of the ways I delight myself in the Lord are by praising Him in the winning and the waiting. I try my best to live with my heart inclined towards Jesus and filled with gratitude for the blessings He has given me and the blessings I know are soon to come. I’m not always the best at this, but it’s something I always strive to be mindful of. I also am someone that loves, and I mean L O V E S praise and worship music. It never fails – every single time I listen to praise and worship I’m filled with an emotion that completely overwhelms me, in the best way. When I’m singing my favorite worship songs, I feel so delighted in Jesus and all that He’s done for me. (Pssst… my new favorite is The Blessing by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Worship). I also take delight in the Lord when I dive into a devotional and spend time in His word.
Now for the cool part. The part where something miraculous happens. When God gives me the desires of my heart! Or maybe I should word it this way… when He plants seeds of what His plans for me and my life are into my heart. It’s one of the most gratifying, ground-shaking things to know how God has woven the little and big moments of my life together, all for His purpose, His will, and His way. You see, it isn’t about us receiving what we want just because we take delight in our Creator. How selfish would that be? It’s about growing closer in relationship with our Creator. And how the more we delight in Him – spend time getting to know Him and finding joy in His promises – the more He will reveal His divine plans for us and plant little seeds into our heart. Pretty cool, right?
Our Creator – the Creator of the Heavens, the Earth, the U N I V E R S E ! wants us to delight in Him and grow closer to Him so he can show us the best way, His way. And I don’t know about you… but for me, I want that. I want to know what God wants my heart to desire. I want to follow His way and be a part of His plan. So for all the days of my life, I will delight myself in Him and His word – through prayer, scripture, singing songs about how great He is, all of it! Are you going to join me? Let’s Walk in His Promises together.
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