ESV - 4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
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What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord in Psalm 37:4? To delight oneself in the Lord is in my view to make effort to seek God's approval and favor in all our spiritual journey. It is a lifestyle of seeking the most that our spiritual intimacy with God can bring to bear. What are the imperatives of this command? First we should find the it joy to search the Word and discover its eternal mysteries as revealed by the Spirit who illuminates it to us. This is the power the drives holy living and a life that pleases God. David declared to God in Psalm 119:12 "thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you." This is the cry of every saint who delights himself in the Lord. 2 Tim 3:16-17 also underscores the centrality of Scripture in molding us into perfection and maturity in the faith. Secondly, it is instructive that we make it a daily routine to seek the path of obedience to the Word and to assimilate its principles into our lives to make us more responsive to the spiritual tenets. 2 Timothy 2:15 exhorts us to seek an accomplished stature in dividing the word and handling it with confidence. Personal spiritual fulfillment comes from a life that is informed and affirmed by the Word. Thirdly, It is a life driven by our zeal to share the love of God as revealed in his unchanging Word to those for whom Christ died (Matthew 28:19-20). This means we desire to lead an evangelical life of witnessing to Christ's atoning death and his finished works at Calvary. Many believers have abandoned this quest because it may not be a fashionable idea in their contemporary settings. Fourthly, We must seek to watch our daily walk lest the enemy entangles us but rather we should train our eyes on the things that are eternal even as live in this passing evil world. We are pilgrims looking to a better life to come. Jesus commands us to invest in the life to come where neither thief nor rust nor moth will destroy (Matthew 6:20). Finally, we should seek a life of intimacy through prayer and devotion to the Lord. A healthy spiritual life consists of a balance between the Spirit (Prayer and worship) and the Word (Consistent and intensive Study of Scripture) and I dare add a third; leading a life of witness for Christ. All these three are critical instrument of effective Christian living that impacts our lives, the lives of fellow saints and the lost world and binds us closer to our Heavenly Father. They help us to live a life of victory in Christ under the grace of God. The moment a believer loses the above balance they will undergo a life of spiritual decay and will be more susceptible and vulnerable to the wiles and snares of Satan. I recall one church congregation in where the thirst for God had died. The numbers in the pews rapidly declined and soon there were more ex-believers in the community than there were believers. The church lost its spiritual standing because the believers no longer showed the light of Christ among the community. This is the effect of losing it out with the Lord and remaining merely religious and without the zeal of God's love in us. The Ephesians were warned of their lost intimacy with Christ. Notice that there were a number of accolades mentioned in their favor but the rebuke was resounding in Revelation 2:2 "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars" The rebuke bore it all. In Revelation 2:4-5 Jesus was candid "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works" The accolades had to do with the acts of righteousness which are equally important but of greater importance is our intimacy with Christ which we must guard at all times lest the corruptions of this evil world quench it.
To delight yourself in the Lord is to love the Lord and to do what pleases him. When you Love the Lord, you will also Love His Word not just to Love it, but to do it. And you try by all means not to do what displeases Him. Jesus said "If you Love me you will obey my commands," His commands being Love because all the law is summed up in Love. The book of psalms is a good example of delighting oneself in the Lord, especially 119: 103 how sweet are your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Vs 97 Oh how I love your law, it is the meditation of my heart all day. Vs 11 your Word have I hide in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalms 19:14 let the Word of my mouth be acceptable before you. I have found that when one delights himself in the Lord God has no problem blessing an individual with possessions because He know they will spend it on Him. It is also important to know that the enemy will also be trying his best to derail such an individual.
To delight in the Lord means to take pleasure in discovering more about Him and following His will. This leads to the Holy spirit aligning our hearts desires with His.
To me, the answer is amazingly simple! Know, understand and remember each and every day what God did for You, me and everyone of His children! "He came to save that which was lost, whom had not received unto themselves the promise given by the Father for unto salvation. "Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) A simple way to understand and 'with glad tidings and a delightful state of mind' is 'Know that God loved you before the foundation of the World; that He had you in mind before even all of His creation! "Delight yourself in the Lord and find peace in knowing that God, The Father loves you more than you could ever understand!" "Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so! Yes...Jesus loves me, Yes..Jesus loves me...,...The Bible tells me so!" So, Delight yourself in the Lord! "God loved YOU!...before the very foundation of world!" "All to Jesus, All to Him I owe,...All to Jesus, my blessed Savior..all to Him I owe". (old Gospel Hymn) ~~Andy~~
Psalms 37:3-4 37:3 "Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity!" 37:4 "Then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will answer your prayers." (NET) Following the imperatives of Ps 37:3 the prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) in Ps 37:4 indicate result. Faith and obedience (Ps 37:3) will bring divine blessing (Ps 37:4). Or “and he will give you what you desire most.” Heb “and he will grant to you the requests of your heart.” Strong's Concordance anog: to be soft, delicate, dainty Original Word: עָנַג BDB (Brown-Driver-Briggs) says "delight" in Psalm 37:4 means to "take exquisite delight." Delight in the person of God (BibleHub and NetBible Xref) Isaiah 61:10 KJV-- "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." See also (BibleHub and NetBible Xref): Psalm 37:4; Psalm 43:3-4; Isaiah 58:13-14 It is incumbent upon us as Christians to tell of our source of joy, as the Living Bible has it: TLB-- "Let me tell you how happy God has made me! For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and draped about me the robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels." ISBE says this about the term, "delight," or "to delight one's self" (in the Lord) is represented chiefly by `anagh [עָנַג ] (Job 22:26; 27:10; Ps 37:4,11; Isa 58:14). "O Lord, I will delight in Thee And on Thy care depend, To Thee in every trouble flee, My best, my only Friend." --John Ryland (1777)
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