In the 1600’s, the Westminster Shorter Catechism was brought out, a statement of faith that has served the church well for many years. Its authority was the Bible. Its purpose was to help Christians in articulating what they believe. Its first point dealt with the issue of delighting in God when it said, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This is the same thing that Paul says in Philippians 4:4 when he writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
In Psalm 37:4 we get this simple instruction, “Delight yourself in the Lord…” But what does this mean?
It means delighting in who God is
- His holiness. At the core of God’s being is His holiness. In everything that He is and does, He is holy. In love and justice He is holy. This means that all God’s works are just. So 1 Chronicles 16:29 challenges us, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendour of holiness.” So for us to cherish sin, is an open display that we are not worshipping God or delighting in Him as we should.
- His Attributes. Theologians have divided these into 2 aspects. Firstly His incommunicable attributes. These are the attributes of God that are not shared with us (things like He is eternal, unchanging, all-knowing, all-powerful etc.). Then there are the attributes of God that have been called the Communicable attributes of God. These would be the attributes of God that He shares with us (things like love, knowledge and mercy). Our delighting in God is delighting in who He is and how He has revealed Himself to us. Some people find themselves saying that they like some of God but not other parts e.g. they like love but not justice. We need to seek to know God in His fullness, as He is and not as we want Him to be! We don’t delight in Him when we pick and choose what we like or don’t like about God! We delight in who He is!
It means delighting that you can know God
Jeremiah 9:24, “Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” It is grace that we can delight in God and the things that God delights in.
It means delighting in His saving grace
To delight in God is to delight in Him for His saving work in our lives. It is delight in His mercy, grace and forgiveness. It is to delight in our deliverance, adoption, and hope.
It means delighting in His work in our lives
God is working in the lives of His children to bring them back fully to the likeness of His Son. That may sometimes feel hard, but it is kind!
It means delighting in His work in others
This will be from the moment we see some bowing their knee before Christ as their King to seeing how God bring glory from weak vessels like us!
It means delighting in His works around us
We can’t imagine that this world around us, that was created by God to declare His glory, should leave us unaffected. We delight in it because we delight In God! We delight in what God has made because it takes our attention back to the One in whom is all our delight.
Our delight in God is an open display of our worship of Him and a declaration of His worth. This is where we start if the desires of our hearts are going to be the right ones!