god
The word delight sits on my tongue and is a word I regularly use. I’m a natural cheerleader and I love any word that denotes joy, pleasure, encouragement. I especially enjoy a word requires and exclamation point. For instance, “Wow! It’s a delight to meet you!”

And as I’ve studied the word in Scripture, it’s come to mean more to me than just an emotion and a chance to use a double exclamation!! The word delight has turned into a way of life for me as it relates to my relationship with the Lord. It all started with the very first verse in the Bible that I memorized. Let me preface, I’m not great at memorizing Scripture. I wish I could say this is a regular practice for me. But, the word delight captured my attention and I set out to doodle this verse all over my notebooks and I made pretty paintings with the Scripture intertwined in the art. It felt good to write this verse out:

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

But – did I know what that verse meant?

What Does True Delight Mean?

The concept of delighting in God is closely intertwined with intimacy with God. A desire for more of His presence. A depth of relationship where we want to know more, feel more, experience more, worship Him more, converse with Him more, and find more freedom from sin. Some may envision an intimacy with God and think it’s all about frolicking in a heavenly field of wildflowers, perhaps like the hippies of the 70’s did as they sang about love, peace, and freedom. Nope. We must not allow our feelings to dictate our closeness, or perceived closeness to God. That trap leads us toward doubt and questioning who God is based on a roller coaster of human emotions!

So let’s explore what meaningful delight and desire for God’s presence looks like above the mystical notion and misunderstood visuals of flower crowns, flower fields, and frolicking. Because life is more gritty than that. The ways of our sinful flesh threaten a very true and real aspect of relationship with Jesus: delight and pleasure in His love and goodness.

Life Over Death
In my early days of understanding the word delight, I just know God sat and looked at me with my doodling and painting and said, “Isn’t she cute…she doesn’t even know the depth of this Scripture.” In His goodness and love, yes…God showed me just that. He showed me the depth of what delighting in Him means. And as we journeyed toward delight, true delight in each other, the word SIN came into play, too.

Isn’t it so interesting that such a life-giving concept of delight, to take great pleasure in, to enjoy, to find happiness actually is a key to killing sin in our lives? Life for death. That’s such the way of our grace-filled Father who sacrificed His son, Jesus on the cross because He delights in us. God, in His delight and desire to commune with His sons and daughters––to enjoy our presence––made a way through the death and resurrection of Jesus. His love and delight and desire for our eternal life is victorious over that which is death…sin.

Life over death.

How Do We Live a Life Devoted to Delight in God?
Once I started studying the very Psalm that captured my heart toward delighting in God, I began to grasp the true meaning of a life devoted and delighted in Christ.

Psalm 37:3 starts off the conversation about delight and our desires. In The Voice translation it says, “Believe in the Eternal, and do what is good––live in the land He provides; roam, and rest in God’s faithfulness.”

Let’s dive into the different parts of that verse:

Believe and trust in God: align our heart and soul with the King of the Universe who, by the way, loves you with an eternal, everlasting love. Does knowing this is the God we serve drive our desires toward what pleases Him and away from a temporary rush, pleasure in sin?

Do what is good: I went on a quest to seek out anywhere Scripture talks about pleasing the Lord because delighting and pleasing go hand in hand. When we take great joy in someone, we want to please him or her. But it’s more than pleasing out of a sense of obligation; it’s about living and doing what brings that person joy. What the Lord reminded me of in His word is the greatest commandment: to Love God and to love others. {Matthew 27:36-40}

God’s Delight in Us Fuels Our Delight in Him
When we operate out of love, when we look towards worshiping God with our every action and heart motive, when we think of others more than ourselves, sin finds no place in our lives.

And in that spacious place of living and delighting in God, we roam and rest in His faithfulness. This is the freedom and joy filled living that God designed for us starting in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve walked in the cool of the garden with God and existed in His presence. Though the sin that followed changed all of history, our good God made a way back to that spacious freedom through the cross. But now, it is our choice to daily walk with Him in delight.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

You Are Not Too Far Gone to Find Delight

I’m wondering if you are reading this is and thinking you are too far gone from delight in God––or from God delighting in you––to get past the idea that this freedom is for YOU to take hold of. Please hear me say, you are not too far gone. You are not so deep in sin that God’s delight in you has withered. Your heart is not too hard to soften toward taking pleasure in what pleases your Father. Because, what pleases Him is not too heavy of a burden. Christ carried that burden to the cross with your name on it. Will you do one simple thing?

Ask God for a heart that delights in who He is. Ask for eyes to see and a heart to yearn for things of God instead of things of the flesh.

Straight up ask for it. I’m confident this is a prayer He will be quick to answer!

How Delight is the Key to Killing Sin:

As our heart yearns for more of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, joy, peace we turn away from those desires that cause death to us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Think of the woman in Luke 7 who, though she was notorious around town for her sinful ways, she fell before Jesus in repentance. And in her repentance ––her turning away from sin––she traded the ways of her flesh for a life of worship; spilling expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet as an act of devotion where she placed value on her King Jesus.

A delight in God replaces the void where our old ways, our sin, took up space in our life. For if we don’t replace the old ways with something better, actions and devotions more holy, we are liable to fall into a different trap of sin again. So just like the woman in Luke, let’s trade in our outright and secret sins, let’s turn away from them. And let’s replace those with a life of delighted worship. In worship, our soul finds depth in life giving fruit and puts away any illusions of earthly, temporal pleasures. This is how we work through our sanctification, becoming less enticed by sin and more alive in Christ.

We delight in the Lord. As we delight in His ways, this communion with Jesus shifts our desires toward what is right and good.

And we thrive in abundant life. (John 10:10)

Here are some questions for us to ask ourselves daily in order to choose delight over sin:
What are my fleshly actions reflecting right now? Love and delight, or empty pursuits?

What thoughts in this situation would please the Lord? What words should I use to show honor to Him and love others as well?

How can I delight in the fruit of the Spirit {love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control} and sit in the spaciousness of this fruit rather the confines of sin?

And most importantly…Lord, how can I delight in you today? Show me your glory! Show me your love! Show me your beauty! Show me anything about your nature that I might worship and devote my day to you.

Please support us to reach others by sharing this article