When was the last time you used this word? It’s a word that’s thrown around and not used much today unless we’re telling someone that we’d be delighted to do something. Even then, I’m not sure we would hear someone on the upward side of the hill using that expression very often. I can say that because I’m cresting the hill right now as we speak. Honestly, I can’t think of the word without thinking of Turkish Delight which is not one of my most favorite things to eat. In fact, in one recipe, it said that it’s a great dessert to surprise someone with. Well, ‘surprise’ is one word for it. Please don’t ever surprise me with it. I will not trust you again. All of that to say, ‘delight’ is not in my arsenol of words that I use regularly.
I am finding though, there is a certain richness to some words that just can’t be captured any other way. My brother knows several languages and reads through the Bible in each language he knows every year. He tells me there is a richness there that can’t be understood reading it in only one language. I’m sure that is true, but truthfully, I only really know English and Pig Latin thanks to having four children in the house, and I don’t think Pig Latin would broaden my view much so I stick to English. I must have left all of the language learning skill genes for my brother because I have none. Since I don’t understand multiple languages, I really enjoy taking words and studying them out with some extra help thanks to my Hebrew/Greek study Bible that is written in English. Now onto the word ‘delight’ but first, I need to load us up with some verses about delight before we look at what that little word has to do with us.
Psalm 18:19 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT) For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
Delight means extreme satisfaction, pleasure or joy; or something that gives great pleasure. In Hebrew, the word is ‘hepes’ and means ‘to bend toward or be inclined toward.’ Another word is ‘rasa’ and it means ‘to delight or take pleasure in.’ To get to where we’re going, I am going to have to go nerd on you and list out both the synonyms of delight and the antonyms. Do you see why I have stacks of journals?
SYNONYMS: contentment, joy, pleasure, satisfaction, enchantment, fruition, gladness, gratification, hillarity (cheerfulness, fun), jollity (fun) and to relish (to enjoy or to love)
ANTONYMS: discontent, dissatisfaction, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, unhappiness, dislike, hate, hatred, depression, disappointment, dismay, misery, pain and trouble
After having read these words, do you TRULY believe that God delights in YOU? Do I TRULY believe that God delights in ME? Do you truly believe that He bends toward or is inclined toward YOU. That is an amazing thought! When I look at those lists, even though I know I have come a long way in understanding His love, I still detect undertones in my life that measured up against His truth, look suspiciously like lies. We know it to be true if we are His, but do we KNOW it to be true? Do we LIVE out of it? I think if we did, it would affect absolutely everything in our lives from our moods to how we treat people to how we approach our normal, everyday life. It is so important to believe the right thing. The enemy loves to blind us so that we can’t see things as they really are. When we can’t see things as they really are, we choose differently than we would if we were seeing clearly.
There are some reasons we sometimes can’t see clearly.
The first is sin. If we have untaken care of sin in our lives, we will never be able to see clearly. Sin blinds and is a cancer of the soul – both for the believer and unbeliever. If one has never surrendered their life to God and entered into His Kingdom and the way He does things, freedom will not be an option. Jesus’ blood bought freedom for all who will come to Him. Others have surrendered, but along the way have allowed areas to be untaken care of, and little sin is not a big deal any longer. This is a dangerous spot to be in. Sin always destroys. It destroys intimacy with God and it destroys intimacy with others. It is a cancer that makes us less than who God created us to be. Sin goes with brokenness like holiness goes with wholeness. If you have ‘small sins’ that you won’t let go of whether it’s inward attitudes or addictions that no one sees, those things will still crumble and erode your soul. God’s deep love for us and desire for our wholeness is precisely why He hates sin so much. It is the very same feeling, but on a much grander scale as when I heard the angry voice of someone whose loved one’s body had been ransacked with cancer say with intensity and loathing, “I HATE cancer.” God says the same thing, “I HATE sin.” If we are seeing clearly, we will too.
The second is unhealed places in our heart. There are way too many wounds and heart issues to deal with here, but many of our beliefs about ourselves that we hold to be true are as old as we are. I don’t have to tell you that life can be brutal and people have been through some pretty horrible things, but you don’t have to have gone through horrible things to have wounds. Life is just like that. It’s easy to ignore our wounds and our hearts and not allow God to do the healing He needs to do if we’re comparing our lives to others. We can always find someone with a worse life and we can always find someone with a better life (at least from our limited view). Sometimes it’s hard to be honest in dealing with our hearts, but it is so important. If you find yourself stuck in mindsets, ruts and reacting to things in ways you don’t understand, Friend, you need God to heal something. Our actions are indicators of our hearts and an unhealed heart will always show up in some way, even if it’s just inward depression. A book that I found tremendously helpful in dealing with my own heart issues was “Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge.
The third is that the enemy is a liar. He knows that if you really believed what was true about God’s view of you, you would be unstoppable. His lies and temptations would have nothing on you. People’s opinions wouldn’t matter as much. Depression wouldn’t hang over your head. Shame wouldn’t be biting at your heels keeping you up at night. You would enjoy your relationships rather than watch in regret as you say the very things you wish you wouldn’t. Lies would be clear because the truth would be clear. A person who believes the truth is a threat. If he can keep you feeling that you are a disappointment, God dislikes you (He loves you, but doesn’t LIKE you), you bring Him misery and trouble, how are you EVER going to lift your face to the One Who knows Your heart, can heal it, make it whole and set it free? You see? This lie is very important for you to believe, because when you stop believing it, you will find freedom.
The fourth is that perhaps WE are delighting in the wrong things. It’s not wrong to enjoy things other than God. He gave us many beautiful things to enjoy in this life, but when we find our satisfaction in things other than Him, we can’t possibly hope to live the abundant inward life that He promises. We can’t possibly think that we will be able to decipher truth from lies when we don’t take time to know Him and learn truth. We are meant to live with Him at the center. When HE is center, the wheel goes straight. Life may get a little crazy and take sharp turns and even go in places where we don’t want to go, but we will be centered on Him. Like David said so many times through out the Psalms, we will be able to say, “My hope is in You.” We will see our lives through the filtering of His hand. Things that should throw us won’t because we will be anchored in Him. If we’re not anchored in HIM, our own ideas, other’s ideas, our past, our fears, our failures and the lies will all be louder than the truth of what HE says.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.”
Friend, we can have all we want of God. He says to delight ourselves in Him and He will give us our desires. We don’t have to wait until we die to experience Him and His life. His Kingdom is for now and this exact moment. If you desire to see how He delights in you, ask Him. He knows how to show you His heart.
Father, Thank You that You take delight in me. Even though I can’t always see it, please reveal Your heart for me. I want to know You. Show me what stands in the way of me seeing clearly. I give those things to You and choose You over sin, the lies and the distractions. Please heal those broken places in my heart that cause my view of You to be distorted. Show me what they are and give me the courage to give them to You for you to heal and to forgive where I need to forgive. I trust You and know that You are good and that You love me. Amen.