Delight Yourself in the Lord

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Focus Scripture
 
Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  

History Behind This Verse    

Psalm 37 was written by the prophet David later in his life.  One duty of a prophet was to explain the laws that were given to Moses and God’s people.  Many people were questioning the outcomes they were witnessing for people who did follow God’s laws.   

David wrote this psalm to explain God’s providence.  Unlike David’s other psalms which are written as devotions, this one is written as a sermon.  The lines of this particular psalm contain imperative sentences.  David is giving us direct statements to follow in order that we can live a happy Christian life.  
 
God created each one of us.  He knows what will TRULY make us happy and satisfy us.  This psalm is written to help us realize that if we look to God to fulfill us and if we long for MORE GOD instead of more “stuff”- then we WILL be happy!  We should not feel jealous of those people who obtain lots of “stuff” and riches by doing evil things. They are not truly satisfied. They will keep needing more and more “stuff”-  their happiness is focused outwardly and dependent on their circumstances.    

We, on the other hand, can have inward true happiness.   True happiness is constant and not dependent on any outward circumstance.  David is telling us that we can have constant joy and peace if we place our longings inward!  We will be satisfied and happy if we depend solely on the source of our true happiness to fill us - Our Heavenly Father! The Lord will provide for us with what we TRULY need to be happy!  The more of HIM we accept the FULLER we will become!!!  
 
 
Monday

Key Words:  Delight Yourself    

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.    

Definition of delight:  verb   to take great pleasure
 
Definition of yourself: pronoun  you personally (used to emphasize the person being addressed). “you’re going to have to do it yourself”    Notice that the word delight is a verb - it shows action.  We must act to do what this imperative sentence is telling us to do!  It is up to each one of us to delight ourselves in God!  We must be intentional about where we find our pleasure!    

Connection to Us  

Have you ever noticed how what you look at and what you surround yourself with affects your desires?  For example, a person can enter a mall not even being hungry, but they still begin to DESIRE a cookie as soon as they see and smell the booth they pass.  Another example; you may have a closet full of clothes. You have enough shirts, pants, and shoes to not repeat the same outfit for at least three weeks, yet when you go to the mall all of a sudden you want more.  As you “window shop” you begin DESIRING new things.  Your closet full of things no longer satisfies you.    

It is up to us to control what we focus on and surround ourselves with.  Before we CAN control our desires, we must be intentional about what we spend our time doing.    

Now let’s relate this realization to what David says.    
 
Our spiritual life and relationship with God work the same way as the examples you just read. By choosing daily to immerse ourselves in Heavenly thoughts, we will begin to DESIRE more God and less stuff!  Our DESIRE to have more God will lead us to HAVING more God!

The more God we have, the more content and happy we truly will be.  Stuff will come and go ultimately leaving us feeling empty. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is ETERNAL and FULFILLING.  Our God is who we were created to truly DESIRE.    

I challenge you today and from this day forward to intentionally guide your desires.  You can do this by spending time with God each morning and evening in prayer, listening to Christian music, spending time with Christian friends, and by reading and studying The Word of God.   Each one of us are given a set number of hours each day - it is up to us to spend those hours in ways that will ultimately fill us. 

Tuesday

Key Word:  Give  

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  
 
Definition of give: verb  freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to   Our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to FREELY transfer true happiness to each and every one of us!  
 
Here is the second part:  Give and TAKE go hand in hand.  Our Heavenly Father freely GIVES what we truly NEED - it is up to US to TAKE it and stop searching in wrong places for happiness.  


Connection to Us    

Just like a loving earthly father loves to give to his children, our Heavenly Father loves to give to each one of us.  The gift that God is wanting to give each one of us is the gift of true happiness.  True happiness comes from desiring MORE God on a daily basis!  The problem comes when we try to decide on our own what we need to be happy.  The more we chase after fleeting “things”- the emptier we feel.  We must be careful to not act as if we know more than God.  Only HE knows what will truly fulfill us!!!  
 
Here is a great quote from C.S. Lewis: 
 
“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”  


Wednesday  

Key Word:  Desires    

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  

Definition of desire: noun  a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.    It is important to note that the author of this verse chose to use the word desire over the word want.  There is a big difference between the two words.    A desire is to want as sweet tea is to 700 cups of espresso coffee.  A desire is much stronger and deeper than a want.  A desire hangs with you. It does not easily fade.  


Connection to Us    

Pregnant women crave or desire certain foods when they are expecting.  Their bodies naturally feel these cravings to lead them to ingest nutrients that both they and their unborn babies need.    God made our spiritual bodies to do the same!  God created us to CRAVE!   
 
ALL of us go through our lives with a feeling of wanting more - desiring more.  We somehow know that there is something (or someone) that we need to truly fulfill us and make us happy. God created us with that feeling!  Longing for something more is not a bad thing.  It is that realization that we do need something more that draws us closer to Christ. The problem lies when we try to fill that internal void with earthly things.  Instead of feeling satisfied and happy, we begin feeling emptier.    Desires themselves are not bad, they just need to be focused in the right direction.  
 
I challenge each one of you today to PRAY for God to help you focus your desires away from earthly things.    Let’s be intentional about filling our voids in healthy, HEAVENLY ways.  
 
Trust in the fact that God truly can GIVE us the DESIRES of our HEARTS.  


Thursday  

Key Word:  Heart    

Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.    

Definition of heart: noun  http://biblehub.com/greek/2588.htm    Original Word: καρδία, ας, ἡ Transliteration: kardia kardía – heart; our “desire-decisions” that establish who we really are.  

Heart (kardía) is mentioned over 800 times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood. That is, the word heart is only used figuratively in God’s Word.    

Definition of heart: noun  the central or innermost part of something.  
 
 
Connection to Us  
 
There is a huge difference between surface wants and deep desires.  This week’s verse is referring to our innermost longings.  Anything or anyone who brings us in CLOSER relationship with our Heavenly Father is a part of our innermost longings!    Our heart (kardia) was created for a deep connection with God!  
 
Think of your heart as a magnet - it is drawn to anything metal.  Magnets can be great when they are attached to the correct object, for example when they are used to post your child’s artwork on your refrigerator.   
 
But, the strong pull of magnets can also be hurtful, even deadly.  Take for example an MRI machine.  There are warning signs posted all around the areas of these machines because they have such a strong magnetic pull.  If a person enters one of these machines wearing something metal, it could be catastrophic for them and the machine!  Our hearts are just like these MRI machines. Each one of us is created to have a strong pull just like the magnets of the MRI machine.  We must be careful to attach to the right metal!   
 
Things or people who will ultimately lead us closer to Christ is what our hearts truly desire. Anything or anyone who leads us away from the Lord should be seen as a potential “deadly” pulling force to our hearts!   
 
We need to be able to know the difference between good pulls and bad pulls so that we can avoid painful heart catastrophes!  

 
Week Two SOAP Activity  

Friday


It is very important as you read the word of God that you take the time to reflect upon it.  One way to do this is to write a SOAP reflection based on the verse or verses of the Bible that you are reading.   
 
God is wanting to speak to you.  His WORD is a living, breathing guide - given to you from the Holy Spirit Himself.  Allow God to enter you today.  Allow His LOVE to flow through you and FILL you!  As you read His Word, place your name in each verse.  
 
For example, I would say: Today and every day I (Leslie) need to delight MYSELF in the Lord, and He truly shall give ME the desires of MY heart.  
 
Each day this week we focused on a different word or words from this passage:  
 
Psalm 37: 4 (NKJV)  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  
 
Here is your weekly SOAP assignment  
 
Choose a word or words from these verses that stands out to you.  Look up the actual definition of that word.  REFLECT on it.  How does that word relate to the passage?  What is the Holy Spirit wanting you to learn about THAT WORD in your life?  What insight are you gaining from this scripture in its entirety by focusing on a few words at a time?   

Think about these questions today as you re-read Psalm 37:4.    

 

Here is a coloring page for you to complete.  As you color, image yourself sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus. Ask your Heavenly Father to reveal his love for you through the words in this week's scripture.