July 29, 2013

Delighting in God

Sometimes when I am praying, songs bubble up from my heart. It seems that this also is part of what it means to…
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Stephen Charnock says that delight in God will also mean a delight in the things that I ask for. When God is my chief joy, then the things of God are delightful too. Some might get excited about praying for worldly goods or temporary things, yet there is a greater delight in asking for the light of God’s face and for things in the spiritual realm.

I cannot feel dull of heart when I am praying for heavenly mercies and eternal well-being. Just as sunshine and blue sky never become tiresome (at least in my part of the world), neither do I get tired of spiritual blessings. Even though God blesses me countless times, I cannot get enough and long for more. I will repeat some requests for many years, experiencing joy in the asking just as I anticipate joy in the answering. As Charnock says, I can delight in those desires that God has set in my heart and put in my prayers.

Another delight is being overjoyed when I tell God the desires of my heart. I can go through a prayer list and become tired of the routine and repetition, but when I speak from the heart, my emotions are lifted, sometimes so much that I start singing. Charnock says, “The soul desires not only to speak to God, but to make melody to God; the heart is the instrument, but grace is the strings, and prayer is touching them, and therefore the soul is more displeased with the flagging of grace than with missing an answer.”

He is right. I can delight in God’s gifts to me and to others. I can delight in my devotion to Him, but exercising the spiritual life He gives in communion with Him is a more lasting delight. When I return from prayer to my other responsibilities, His delight lingers with me. It gives me peace, strength for the day and keeps my heart focused on spiritual matters and on the Lord.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

Delighting in God is an expression of trust. I cannot enjoy Him when filled with doubt or frustration at His decisions in my life. I can enjoy Him when my heart is convinced by His Word that He is good and that He loves me and wants the very best for me. 

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