Wednesday, March 20, 2013
This is one of the verses I lovingly refer to as "throw pillow verses." You know what I mean, verses that are so commonly used they're plastered all over throw pillows, tapestries, and coffee mugs at your local Christian bookstore. People that only know God from a distance can even quote that verse. It's one of those that really is a borderline cliche'...if it wasn't God's holy word and all. People quote it often, and a lot of times it is used to promise that if you just do what God tells you to, He'll give you everything you want. Really? Who wouldn't want that?! I know that I believed that interpretation as a teenager trying to figure out the whole "relationship with God" thing. I kept thinking if I could just do everything right, life would always be perfect and I'd have everything I could possibly need. ("Need" really meaning everything I could possibly want.)
As I've grown up though, and realized what a total joke that is, I've come to see this verse very differently.
First of all, "delighting myself in the Lord" doesn't really mean, "be good, live right, say all the right things." What is really means is find your satisfaction in God alone. Be content with Him and only Him. Realize that no matter what worldly things you think you need, HE ALONE IS ENOUGH. He is big enough to solve your problems. He is gracious enough to provide. He will make a way.
Secondly, I think when you realize that "delighting yourself in the Lord" is really about being satisfied with Him, those "desires of your heart" change drastically. They are no longer a new car, a bigger house, a better job, or even a long-awaited baby. The desire of your heart becomes more of Him. He is what you crave. His peace and his presence are what you come to want the most. Everything else pales in comparison. You begin to be okay with whatever comes your way...whether you get that house, that car, that job, or that baby, it doesn't really matter because at that point you know all you need is Jesus. With Him, you have everything else. And when you want more of Him, and seek more of Him, He is more than happy to deliver.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't a one-time lesson for me. It's something I have to remind myself over and over again. It's so easy to let what I "want" out-weigh my need for Him. Sometimes they are really legitimate wants too. Sometimes I want healing, or freedom, or peace-for myself and others. It doesn't change the promise though. If I delight myself in HIM, I will want more of HIM, and be satisfied with only HIM. In being satisfied with Him, I will either be healed/freed/find peace, or I won't. Sometimes He doesn't heal or give peace because those very things are making us more like Him...which is the ultimate desire of our hearts.
So wherever you are today, whatever is is you are wanting, lay it down and seek Him. He doesn't want you to carry around the burden of "want". He wants you to rest in Him alone.