This month, in my blog, I am sharing some of the exciting principles that are found in my brand new book, “Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart and Grace Your Tongue.”
Last week I reminded you just how important it is to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ … no stinking-thinking for any of us!
Today we are going to deal with the issues of our hearts … otherwise known as “emotions”!
Let me begin by asking you a simple question …
What is it about life this side of heaven that absolutely and fully delights you?
What is that one “thing” that delivers exquisite joy and satisfaction to your heart?
Some people gain the greatest satisfaction from having new cars, rich friendships, or excellent entertainment. Others are delighted by state-of-the-art technology, the achievements of their children, or traveling to far-flung destinations.
I am delighted with books … with Christmas … with college basketball … and with being with those I know the best and love the most.
Because I am a “Word-girl”, you know that I must turn this “delightful” subject back to the Bible! What do the Scriptures tell us about delight?
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
This beautiful phrase “delight yourself in the Lord” in this challenge from the Psalms can be translated “to be glad in the Lord, make merry in the Lord, take exquisite pleasure in the Lord.”
As human beings who are tied to earthbound living, we have taken delight in all of the wrong things; instead, we should be exquisitely pleased in the Lord!
We mistakenly suppose that pursuing the desires of our soul will make us happy, when true delight is found in splashing exuberantly in the love of the Savior.
When I first began digging into Scripture and discovered this exciting verse, I falsely assumed that if I showered my love upon Jesus, He would give to me whatever I wanted!
I supposed that if I read my Bible in extravagant amounts, I would be able to move into my dream house; or if I sang louder and more robustly at church, I would get to drive a pink Cadillac!
I dreamed of going on difficult missions trips and then being given the opportunity to spend time on a lush Hawaiian island!
Did any of you believe that as well?
Yet this verse holds richer and deeper meaning than my false assumptions could ever begin to realize.
The lovely and sacred truth that Psalm 37:4 teaches is that when I find singular pleasure in the Lord, He will then place His own desires in my heart.
It is those true desires, given by Him that He is then able to fulfill and bestow.
We erringly assume that pursuing our heart’s desires will make us happy.
In reality, it is being fully glad in the Lord and allowing Him to establish a desire in our hearts that He Himself will fulfill that will deliver a satisfaction infinitely better than simply being happy!
When I delight myself in Him, and He fulfills the desires that He has placed in my heart, it brings me unmatched joy, deep contentment, and the peace that passes understanding.
The Surprise of God!
Craig’s mother, Becky, is one of my heroines of the faith.
She is a woman of prayer and a student of the Bible. She has loved her family well, and we all grieved with her when her beloved husband, Wesley, went home to be with the Lord.
Shortly after Wesley’s death, Craig and I and our five children moved nearly a thousand miles away from her. She has one other son, David, who lives three hours away from her.
Becky, whom we all call “Nanny,” has spent her entire life “delighting herself in the Lord.”
When we left North Carolina to serve the Lord in the northeast, she found herself alone and living on a very limited income. It would have been very understandable if she had thrown a pity party or two and stocked up on mountains of tissue boxes in order to wipe away her understandable tears. However, she determined not to waste those years of her life and became a pillar of faith in her small community.
On Monday mornings, a group of women gathered in her home to pray for their children and grandchildren. On Wednesday evenings, Becky attended prayer meetings at her church, and on Thursday evenings, she invited a group of neighborhood women into her home for a Bible study. On Friday nights, she played games and had a potluck dinner with other widows. On Sunday mornings, she taught Sunday school and then would often go to a neighbor’s house for lunch to which she brought the rich, Southern dessert.
Becky was happy and fulfilled during those challenging years because she delighted herself in the Lord in a very lonely season of her life and did not give in to the malaise of her soul. She has found deep delight in loving and serving Jesus!
You, too, will be surprised at how God is able to change the desires of your heart when you choose to delight yourself in Him.
Your heart will miraculously mimic the desires of God, and the greatest Gift Giver of all will fulfill your deepest desires.
The joy that you will experience will be enormous and purposeful when you delight yourself in Him and all that He is!
Take some time today just to enjoy Jesus … sing a favorite Sunday School song or spend some time just praying for the people in your life who you dearly love. Open a well-read devotional book and read it again! Make a list of your blessings and of all the things you have yet to look forward to!
Listen to a Christian radio station or the podcast of a favorite Bible teacher. Call someone on the phone and spend some time praying together.
The Lord will meet you in that place of delight and He will refine the desires of your heart.