Our lives are defined by those things
in which we find delight.
Webster’s dictionary defines delight as extreme satisfaction, anything that gives great pleasure, or a high degree of gratification of mind or sense. The Lord has given us many things to see and do during our earthly sojourn. He is pleased that we find satisfaction, and experience pleasure and even gratification in those things which He has given us to find delight. It is of interest to occasionally peruse the obituary column and note the remarks about the listed individuals. It is not uncommon to read such comments as “traveling was his delight,” or “she found great delight in her garden,” or “it was his delight to spend time on the golf course.” Their lives were accordingly defined by the paper as a traveler, a gardener, or a golfer. In scripture, however, the Lord also extends to us the opportunity to find delight in that which is of eternal benefit as well.
The first of these for our consideration is mentioned in Psalm 1:2-3. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (KJV) It is not often that we hear of people whose lives were described as having a love of God’s word and delighting in the law of the Lord. Their lives stand out among others. Their lives have been fruitful, governed by the Lord through His word. The word of the Lord has had an effect on their life such that there is an unforgettable impact on the lives of others. Their lives were defined by their delight in God’s word.
To delight in God’s word leads naturally to a delight in the Lord Himself. The Lord speaks to us about this in Psalm 37:4. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (KJV) One delights to know Him more fully, to serve Him more completely, and to worship and to love Him more perfectly. Such a one experiences the progression described in II Corinthians 3:18. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (KJV) Those who delight in the Lord will, then, reflect Him in their lives. Their likeness to Christ will define that in which they delight.
To find delight in the Lord Himself is to yet discover another thing in which we find delight and that is to delight in the fear of the Lord. We read in Isaiah 11:2-3. “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, The Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.” This is not a fear of what the Lord might do to us, as referenced in I John 4:18. “We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.” (Living Bible) It is, rather, a fear of what we might do to Him; by attitudes, actions, or thoughts that would dishonor Him, bring Him displeasure, or rob Him of the Glory due to His Name.
To delight in the fear of the Lord brings us to yet another thing in which to find delight. It is found in Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (KJV) Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ delighted in the fear of the Lord, and in doing His will. He has furthermore given us His life to live in us (Galatians 2:20) so that we may experience His delight in fearing God and doing God’s will. As Christ lives His life through us, enabling us to delight in the fear of the Lord, and to delight to do God’s will, our lives will be increasingly conformed to His. As we delight in what brought Him delight, the invisible Christ will be made visible, defining us as His followers.
These four passages describing those things in which we should delight appear to be closely related. Beginning with a delight for God’s word, we develop a delight in God Himself, leading to a delight in fearing Him, which brings us to a delight in doing His will. It is in the pursuit of these delights that we truly find our identity in Christ and are able to glorify God.
In Christ, Richard Spann