Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:3–4)
Note in today’s text the progression from trusting the Lord to taking delight in him. If depending on God is a turning point in the journey, delight is one of the final destinations. To delight in someone is to love them from a deep place of satisfaction with and in them. So often, the life hid with Christ in God gets pitched as a duty-bound life characterized by rigorous discipline to a neverending list of spiritual practices and social responsibilities. That’s not it. Jesus teaches us that his “yoke is easy and [his] burden is light” (Matt. 11:30), or as The Message translation renders it, a life characterized by the “unforced rhythms of grace” (see Matthew 11:28–30). Delight is one of those unforced rhythms.
The core calling and commitment of the followers of Jesus is to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37–39). Again, this can become something of a job description complete with a list of commitments, duties, and responsibilities.
Do we believe this is the way God looks upon us? As a series of commitments, duties, and responsibilities he must manage? No. God takes great delight in his children. Are there commitments, duties, and responsibilities? Sure, but that is to look at the relationship from outside of it. Delight is the reality of the relationship from the inside. To love someone is to be on the inside of the relationship and to take great delight in them. We begin by delighting in God for what he has done for us. We grow to delight in God for what he does in us. We mature to delight in God for what he does through us. We arrive, finally, to delight in God for the sheer delight of who he is.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for ever thinking my relationship with you was a burden to bear, when all the while it was an easy yoke. I want to know you more, that I might take great delight in you. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with the delight of holy love for the greatness and the goodness of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What does delighting in God look like and mean in your understanding and experience?
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