God Invites You to Delight Yourself in Him
Psalm 37:4 is one of those verses you just can’t help but love - “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Sounds pretty good, right? I delight in God, he gives me the good things I want! Well - maybe not. This, like Romans 8:28 and Philippians 4:13, is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted passages in the Bible. However, I think the real meaning of Psalm 37:4 is a whole lot better, and hope you do too!
Randy Alcorn wrote an excellent blog entry about this verse titled “God Invites You to Delight Yourself in Him.” How should Christians apply this verse? Here’s what Alcorn had to say:
Some people take this to mean that God will give us whatever we think we want. But the key part is “delight yourself in God.” When we delight in the Lord He often changes our heart’s desires to what most honors Him, then grants them to us. It’s not that we always get what we want, but that He teaches us to value and even want what He—in His sovereign and loving plan—gives us.
Now you may be asking yourself, “Ok, so how do I get to this place where my desires align with God’s?” Randy says its a whole lot like how we grow close to our spouse or a good friend - we spend lots of time in fellowship with him. The process is active, not passive, something that requires commitment and focus. I liked how Alcorn addressed this truth:
God doesn’t spoon-feed us His pleasures; we need to go to His banquet, reach out our hands, and select that delicious cuisine. As surely as it’s our responsibility to put good food in our mouths, it’s our responsibility to move our bodies to open His Word and move our minds toward God, and to seek to delight in Him!
As we move into the busy summer, are we in a place where we’re giving God space in our daily routine to take part in that banquet feast? It’s a good question to ask, and an area where I know I need to grow. As much as I’d like the idea of God giving me the things that I want, I know that having my desires replaced with his is a far better gift. Randy Alcorn leaves us with some great advice: "Let’s delight ourselves in Him so that we can enter into His happiness now, not just after we die."