“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4
DELIGHTING IS THE ESSENCE OF CONTENTMENT
In order for me to delight myself in the Lord, I must first let go of whatever I want more than Him!
If I find that I am not full of the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc—- then it’s time to ask myself what I’ve wanted more than God.
Have I wanted:
- a human’s love/time/attention/affection
- material possessions
- control of my life
- control of other people’s lives/choices
- to be right
- to get my own way in any given situation
- a baby
- a wedding/engagement ring
- a certain car/home
- to rule and reign over my own life
- to control God
- to be bitter towards God/people for hurting me
- a good marriage
- to change my own life
- God’s peace without prayer or trusting Him
- man’s approval
It can be anything. Whatever I want more than God—– is what I need to let go of if I want to delight myself in Him!
I can’t delight myself in the Lord if He is not the One thing I desire!!!!
If I desire something else more than Him, I will seek whatever that thing is instead of Him!
I will focus on that thing in stead of Him!
My life will revolve around that thing instead of Him!
It will either be all of HIM or X. But it can’t be both!
In order for me to start delighting myself in the Lord, I must accept whatever I can’t control———– and leave it to the Lord’s Sovereign Hand——– and then resolve to delight myself in Him, no matter what the outcome of the other thing.
I have to come to a point where I say—– “Even if X happens/never happens, I will still love and seek you and delight myself in you, Lord.”
I must step down from the throne of my heart—– for if I am on the throne—then Pride is having complete control and influence in my words/thoughts/actions! Pride is what keeps me from surrendering to God in the first place! Pride is what says “I need to control!” But Pride is what brings opposition from God! The Bible says, “God opposes the proud”!
It’s a downward hill when we are full of pride and seeking to control our own life and the lives of those around us. The more we desire to control something, the more we break down inside and give away our very life to something/someone else that has no business being in control of us!
If I am set on having control over my life, then I will seek to make things happen and work out how I want them to. Usually this involves another person, so in order for me to gain control of my life, I have to manipulate and make things happen and in the process, I offer my heart and all of my power and time and life over to this person—-thinking it will give me control. But what it really does is it gives THEM complete control and I am left totally flabbergasted, angry, and miserable!!!!!!!
If I want to control the way my husband treats me, then I am unknowingly prideful because I believe I can control that, first of all. Then, in an attempt to control the way he treats me, I offer my complete obedience and worth to him to rule over me in a desperate attempt to gain the treatment I so want from him. IT DOESN’T WORK!! And then, when I realize that a sinful human being can never treat me the way I would like unless they are truly walking in the Spirit of God, and even then, they are still unable to be perfect—–I am enraged at the fact that I’ve allowed myself to be treated poorly in an attempt to gain the very opposite of what I originally wanted so bad, which is to be treated a certain way in order to feel loved and be happy!
Here is the truth……………
If I am delighting in the Lord, MY Attitude is what changes. Not the other person, not the circumstances.
My heart and mind is what changes as I delight myself in the Lord.
Delighting in the Lord doesn’t change another person, or make things better in an unhappy situation—— it only covers up what is still there!
Delighting yourself in the Lord means :
- that you surrender your whole life—every part of it—– to God
- You admit you have absolutely no control over people or circumstances.
- You let go of pride, and you accept the things you can’t change, and you change the things you can.
The only thing we can change is our attitude—–our choices—– our reactions—— these are in our power, and we have no business handing them over to another person. If we put all our eggs in one basket—–we will lose everything. But if we hold onto what is ours, and turn our hearts to the Lord, and delight ourselves in Him—-then we get t0 keep what is ours, and gain the presence of the Lord—–and it is His presence that changes our attitude, our choices, our reactions—— and when we are abiding in Him, our minds are renewed, and we no longer perceive our situation or the other person as something to control, but rather to love. We view the person not as someone to control, but someone to set free, and we are able to be joyful no matter WHAT they are doing or how they are choosing to treat us. They have no power over our inner man—-our spirit—– where the Holy Spirit dwells and produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness.
When I am walking in the Spirit of God, it doesn’t fix my life problems. I can be totally full of God and His joy, and still be in the middle of a complete disaster!
We must of course ask ourselves how far is too far? I don’t think delighting in the Lord means that we should accept being abused in any way, or that we should just allow another person to make destructive choices that involve us. Thankfully, we can confront that person about their sin, according to the Bible, and depending on whether they repent, we can either move forward in forgiveness, or we might have to set some boundaries in a situation.
See, when we are in pride and trying to control people and situations, we have no boundaries. We are not keeping what is ours in freedom, we are giving away our greatest treasures—- our time, self-respect, self-worth, and the things that make us who we are. We will allow wrong treatment in order to try to control someone. We will put all of our trust in ourselves to make things happen, and we will become very tired, frustrated, and anxious when on this road!
Usually, though, when we are so focused on the Lord, and delighting in Him, we are full of joy, and we are a pleasure to be around. Usually this will have a good influence in the lives of those closest to us! And that is great! Others will be able to let their guards down, and relax in your presence because they are no longer threatened by your attempt to control them. If they make a disastrous choice, they will find forgiveness and encouragement from you instead of prideful angry slander and hurt. If you are delighting in the Lord at a time like this, they will be much more inclined to see their own faults, and they will be much more likely to repent and hear God for themselves, instead of hearing your wrath! So in this way, it is definitely a blessing and a benefit to others when we are delighting in the Lord and no longer trying to control people or situations!
However, there may be times when others STILL treat us poorly, and are even hurtful towards us, possibly for no reason. And it is in this time that we must cling to the Lord and really go to Him FIRST with our feelings, and seek to understand what is really going on here. We will most likely come to see that it really is NOT our fault, and the other person is responsbile for their own feelings, wrong choices, and their mistreatment of us. It still hurts us, but when we are delighting in the Lord, we will be able to see that that person has their own issues, and we are not responsible for them. We must entrust ourselves to the Lord who judges righteously, and not seek revenge, and not hold any bitterness or grudges. We must forgive, and keep a clear mind and not allow their treatment to consume us and take over our hearts. We must separate ourselves emotionally from such treatment, and even pray for that person. We can confront them, lovingly, and show them what has caused us hurt. If done in the Spirit, there is a good chance they will see and repent. Or, if you feel led to not confront them, by your joyful heart and delighting in the Lord, they may come to see all on their own that how they have acted was wrong, and they will apologize.
If we are in pride and trying to control, we will most likely hurl hurt back on them, and that will only give them more reason (in their prideful mind) to hurt you, and to blame you and to see everything as your problem. TWO prides don’t make a humble! We have a choice, and a responsibility to keep and set healthy boundaries, while delighting ourself in the Lord and seeking Him first in all things in all ways for His glory alone!
That is where true rest and strength are found—–in delighting myself in the Lord—in laying down all the things that try to compete with Him—-and surrendering to His control and His will—– it is here that I find TRUE CONTENTMENT!