Psa. 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
What a strange concept, delight and God in the same breath! Most of us in the USA have a similar childhood experience. We sat in church with our parents experiencing the most painful hour of the week. We would color on the programs or fidget in our seats, counting the minutes until we could go free. Sorry to say, that’s the way most treat all their spiritual exercises. That is why most don’t find time to read their Bibles, pray, or even attend church regularly (you can forget a mid-week service or a Bible study). Spiritual things are seen by most as an obligation that we just don’t enjoy very much. Our joy is in other things. John Piper speaks powerfully about this in his book “Desiring God”. Check out this excerpt.
“Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel… but not God. He was an idea, even a good one, and a topic for discussion; but he was not a treasure of delight.
Then something miraculous happened. It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First, the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then a shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness. Then the stillness of joy that this is the soul’s end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever and ever.”
Piper is describing an experience with the grace of God. Augustine called it Sovereign joy. True conversion is just that, a TRUE CONVERSION. Suddenly, our affections, the things we love, begin to change. An internal, silent miracle has changed our heart. Shockingly, we now want to read our Bibles. We can’t wait for Sunday (especially Sunday night). We can’t understand why the services are so short (we really need to sing longer). We even find ourselves talking about spiritual things, football or politics are no longer our only interests. The presence of God becomes real to us and like David, we long for those precious times when we are caught up in Him. Now we know what the scripture means and it even makes sense, “Delight yourselves in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. The crazy thing about that verse is this, once we actually delight in Him our desires have already changed, He has become the desire of our heart.
I have to laugh now when I think of those times as a child, me squirming next to my mom, my mom correcting me through clenched teeth, and God sitting in the heavens, laughing. Why was He laughing? He was thinking “If he only knew how close to him I really am”. He is close by and He is more magnificent than you can ever imagine.