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When I stumbled upon the verse Psalm 37:4 (ESV): “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”, I spent a few minutes trying to understand the actual meaning of “delight yourself in the Lord”.
Studying the Truth has helped me gain a clearer perspective on this verse. As I studied the Bible I came to understand that delighting in the Lord is not just an action but a way of life. It is a habit we, as children of God, should develop to have a closer relationship with the Lord.
In this article, I will talk about this way of life in detail along with six different ways to delight yourself in the Lord.
What Does It Mean To Delight Yourself In The Lord?
The term delight refers to a feeling of pleasure you get from something. And to delight in someone means to take great pleasure in someone.
Similarly, when you delight in the Lord, you will find a high degree of enjoyment and happiness in His company.
Let me simplify this further with an example. Think of any close friend in your life with whom you had a lot of fun and made endless good memories. We all love to reminisce on the good memories with the people we love.
Such friendships that last a lifetime are not easy to find. Surely, it does not happen overnight. And if we have good friends in our lives, we delight ourselves in them and stay close to them.
Just like a good friendship, in order to delight yourself in the Lord, you must seek Him and get to know Him to be His close friend. And just like other friendships, this does not happen overnight.
One of my favorite Bible verses helps us better understand this:
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV
So the first step to delighting yourself in the Lord is getting to know Him. When we actively seek Him with our whole hearts, we will find Him.
How To Delight Yourself In The Lord
Over the years, I’ve been learning how to apply God’s Word in different areas of my life. Understanding God’s way takes time and is a lifelong journey. We will never fully understand it on this side of heaven.
So, I’ve put together a few actionable steps you can take to delight yourself in the Lord and grow in your understanding.
1. Seek God
As we discussed before, the first step to understanding our Father is to seek Him. This involves seeking His presence by praising Him and calling Him. If we actively seek Him, our Father will welcome us with open arms.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually”. Psalm 105:4 ESV
It is true that God is omnipresent and therefore, seeking Him might not make much sense to you. But we all have phases in our lives where we neglect God. We turn towards earthly things, moving further away from God.
If God’s presence is missing in your life, this is your reminder to consciously seek Him. Set aside a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day to spend with Him. Praise Him for all that He has done for you.
2. Spend Time With God
If we do not spend time with God, it is impossible to delight ourselves in Him. We know the likes and dislikes of our loved ones because we spend time with them. We know their preferences, their habits, and their dreams.
Similarly, to understand God, you need to spend time with Him. We often fail to find time for God because we feel we don’t even get time for ourselves, especially after long hours at work. Most of us “add” prayer time to the other things on our to-do lists. But the truth is, we can find time for anything if we make it a priority.
I’m not talking about long hours of quiet time and Bible study, but rather five-minute moments in our daily life during which we can quickly read a short scripture, praise Him, or listen to a worship song.
How often do we mindlessly scroll through social media or ponder random thoughts and ideas? These extra minutes are excellent opportunities to spend time with God even during our busiest schedules.
When you find time for Him, you eventually understand His likes, dislikes, character, and preferences. This is a priceless asset that will help you in all walks of your life. You will begin to understand God’s will and His way of thinking. Daunting tasks such as decision-making will become easier for you.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
3. Read God’s Word
When I say read God’s Word, I mean reading the Bible with undivided and careful attention. When we are in a hurry, we mindlessly skim through the pages and end with a prayer. But meditating and reflecting on what you have read is key to understanding God’s Word.
How do you read God’s Word with purpose? How do you implement His words in your life?
- What is the main takeaway from this passage?
- What is God trying to tell me through this passage?
- What verses stood out to me and why?
- How does this passage change the way I live?
Every time I meditate on scriptures, I gain insight into the underlying problems in my life and how I can fix them. Every time I read a passage, I learn something new. The Bible is full of surprises, you never know what will strike you the most.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 ESV
4. Remove Sinful Actions From Your Life
All of us have sinned at some point in our lives and there’s no denying that. But as children of God, repentance is key to turning away from sin and growing closer to God.
The first step of repentance is to accept that you have committed a sin. It is human nature to justify our actions even when we know we are wrong. As long as you don’t remove sinful actions from your life, delighting in the Lord is impossible.
Identify the presence of sin in your life. Were your actions in line with God’s will? Is your focus on the earthly things or on the Word of God?
Ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you for your sins and believe that He will forgive you. As soon as you identify the sinful actions in your life, remove them immediately. Read more about the road to salvation.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 ESV
5. Celebrate God’s Goodness
Celebrating does not necessarily mean hosting parties and feasts. Celebrating God’s goodness is something we can do every day. It can be as simple as praising Him during lunch break or writing down things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude is a powerful tool to feel positive, improve health, combat sadness, and build strong relationships. When you give thanks to God, you’re reminding yourself of His greatness and blessings.
As you practice gratitude, you acknowledge God’s presence and strive to stay close to Him. Delight yourself in the Lord by celebrating His goodness, spreading His message, and counting your blessings!
“Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 ESV
6. Surrender Your Will To God
Letting go of your plans and the desires of your heart is not easy. But, in order to allow God to guide you, you have to let go and let God. Surrender your will before Him.
When we make plans for ourselves and submit them before God, we are just seeking approval for our desires and not searching for His will. Full surrender to God means we accept God’s timing and plans regardless of what we want in that situation.
Place all your plans before Him. Trust in Him with all your heart and allow Him to guide you in any direction. Submit your worries and struggles and pray for help. Meditate on His Word and praise Him for everything He has done for you.
Eventually, you will understand God’s will for your life and His way of looking at things. Remember that there is no safer place than in our Father’s arms. And surrendering your will is key to delighting yourself in the Lord.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
How Do You Delight Yourself In The Lord?
I’ve listed my favorite ways to delight in the Lord. In what ways do you delight yourself in the Lord? Let me know in the comments below.