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Monday, December 4, 2017

Advent Journey: Day 4, Delight

Delight


The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him.
(Psalm 37:23)


I have to ask myself the question, "In what do I delight?"  But before I answer that question, I must ask myself, "What does delighting in something truly mean?"  So I turn to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and find this:

A high degree of gratification or pleasure
joy
extreme satisfaction
something that gives great pleasure
the power of affording pleasure

The common theme seems to be finding pleasure.  When I think about this world and all the pleasure-seeking that is rampant, especially during the holiday season, which is so commercialized, I have to truly look into my heart and search my own desires...Do I seek out worldly pleasures, goods, and experiences more than the pleasure, good, and experience of knowing God?  Am I chasing after material charms instead of chasing after the treasures of Christ and His Kingdom?  I can so easily get caught up in purchasing gifts, desiring things for myself, seeking fulfilling experiences, wanting attention, and finding satisfaction in merely temporary happiness...that I forget in Whom my true delight is found.

There is no greater joy, no greater fulfillment, no greater beauty, no greater love, no greater gift, no greater experience than knowing Jesus Christ and finding true life in Him.  

And the amazing bonus is this promise earlier in Psalm 37:4:

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Sometimes we forget how much the Lord loves us, and that He cares for our every desire.  He wants to fill us with delight and He wants to meet our desires.  When our delight is in Him, He will place beautiful and righteous desires within our heart.  Yes, the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9), but when Jesus gives us a new heart and removes our old heart of stone (Ezekiel 36:26), the righteousness of Christ becomes ours (Philippians 1:11). And when we clothe ourselves in Christ's righteousness (not our own attempts at measuring up) it is amazing how suddenly we begin to desire that which He desires for our lives.  Along with that, we find the greatest, deepest delight in Him.  

I am challenged this Christmas season to turn to Jesus to meet my deepest desires, and turn to Him to be my one, true delight.  Cookies and carols, shopping and gift-giving, hallmark movies and holiday concerts, red and green and all the decorations...these things do bring a measure of cheer and joy, but nothing can satisfy the soul like the deep, deep love of Jesus.

And something incredible happens as we turn our delight toward Him...He delights in us as well. 

"The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love."
(Psalm 147:11)

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free.
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In it's fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward
To my glorious rest above.
(Samuel Trevor Francis, 1875)

"I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
(Psalm 40:8)