3 Things That Happen When We Delight in the Lord

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Several years ago, I was invited over to a friend’s house.

They had just moved into a new place and had purchased new furniture. Everything was so new and color coordinated; it looked like they had lifted every room right out of a magazine and put it in their apartment.

Tinges of discontentment started to play on the corners of my heart.

person in hat running along the beach

Our home was still a renovation project. Our furniture was tired and starting to look very worn; much of it didn’t exactly match.

It looked more like a second-hand shop than a beautifully decorated magazine ad.

It was in that moment that God spoke to my heart and gave me a challenge: Would I learn the art of being content with what I have so I can spend my energies learning to delight in Him?

You see, when we learn to be content with what we have now, our heart doesn’t have to choose where to delight.

Things like houses and furniture, clothes and cell phones, degrees and job titles….all of these things are tools for our daily lives, not our source of identity and self-worth.

We are then free to delight in the One who is … or should be our identity and self-worth.

When our identity and our worth and value are secured in Christ, we are free to enjoy the things here on earth with simplicity – whether they are new or worn; whether they are modern or old-fashioned.

Because we don’t delight in things that are so disposable and easily ruined.

Our delight is in the One who is everlasting!

And this should be the challenge for every Christian. If we accept the name of Christ, we should accept the challenge of Christ.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

Isaiah 55:1-2 NIV

God is calling to all of those who still have a sense of dissatisfaction, something inside that drives them to try to find joy or happiness.

  • I would feel so much better about myself if I lost 10 pounds.
  • Life would be so much easier if I had a better car.
  • I could finally settle down if I had a better home.
  • I would be much cooler if I had newest iPhone.
  • People would like me more if I dressed in better clothes

The thing is this: we will go to great lengths, and amass great debt trying to gain that sense of satisfaction; to boost our sense of self-worth, to change how we identify ourselves.

To find that happiness that comes with something new, modern, and pretty.

But it never lasts.

And God is saying, here in Isaiah, “Come, get satisfaction! Come find fulfillment and freedom from that longing inside. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s free! So, why on earth are you going in debt to buy satisfaction and joy that doesn’t really satisfy you or bring you lasting joy? Listen to me. Delight in me. And you will be rich beyond your wildest imagination.”

There is no richer person on earth than the person whose identity and self-worth are not enslaved to things.

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:6-9 NIV

Huge corporations, the media, and fashion culture have devised a very manipulative plan to keep us unhappy, dissatisfied, and in debt, while running around in circles chasing after the illusion of an ever-changing image that we’re supposed to live up to.

The images they create are beautiful and enticing….and not at all real.

They are photo-shopped and air-brushed. What’s worse is that we know this is true, and yet we still spend money, time, and energy chasing after a mirage that promises to make us happy and fulfilled.

Not only will this promise never come true, the image itself doesn’t exist. We reach out and grab it, and all we have in our hand is emptiness. An empty wallet. And an empty heart.

And most people’s response to this is predictable. They try again to grasp a holographic image, hoping it will give them the identity and self-worth they so long for.

And God says, “Come to Me. Find your worth and value in Me. It costs you nothing and sets you free!”

3 Things That Happen When We Delight in the Lord

But for this to happen, we must realize that delighting in God requires us to abandon everything we’ve been taught about our value, worth and identity.

Accepting God’s identity means rejecting the narratives we’ve grown up beleiving.

God says that His thoughts and ways are completely opposite to what we’ve always known. And so, delighting in Him will require renewing our mind.

We will need to completely destroy the root of every worldly philosophy we’ve been taught, so we can see life through an eternal lens.

He also says we need to do these two things:

  • Seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near. Don’t procrastinate, because if you feel Him tugging at your heart right now, He is here now and will be found by you. However, if you procrastinate, if you shrug off His call, you will harden your heart. It’s not that God abandons you or hides from you; it is you who abandons Him and hides from Him.
  • Forsake wicked ways and unrighteous thoughts. The idea that our identity and self-worth can be found in anything man has created is wicked and unrighteous! It is a perversion of truth. Not only that, it utterly devalues Christ’s work on the cross. Jesus died so that we could have a new identity in Him. He died so that our worth and value would be wrapped up in Him. He died so that we could delight in Him. Seeking for an identity, our worth, value, or delight in anything man has made insults Christ’s work on the cross!

1. You will never feel empty again

“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

Isaiah 54:1-3

When we choose to delight in the Lord, not only will we no longer feel empty and dissatisfied, but God will fill us so full His joy and pleasure that the blessings He gives us will be more than we can currently contain!

We will need to make our “tents” bigger and stronger to contain the amount of blessing He will pour into our lives.

In fact, it will be so much, it will spread to all those around us.

And dear sister, by blessings, I mean eternal blessing. I don’t mean temporal blessings of a better car, a better house, a better job, a bigger bank account…..fame, fortune, and fun.

When God blesses, He doesn’t bless us with things that “moth and rust can destroy, and the thief can break in and steal”. He blesses us with blessings that will never go out of fashion and that no economic crisis can wipe out.

2. You will never feel shame again

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

Isaiah 54:4-8

There are times when God will allow us to feel the pain and emptiness of a life without Him. In those moments, He doesn’t abandon us; He’s just stepped back for a moment so that we learn a very important lesson.

A Christian who chooses to delight in earthly things more than they delight in the Lord is a Christian who is empty.

This is abnormal Christian living.

It is as abnormal as seeing a storefront, thinking that when you open the door you’ll find fun treasures inside, only to discover that it just a film set and there is nothing behind it at all but an empty lot.

And what God is saying here in Isaiah is this:

If you will learn to delight in me, I will take away your shame, your emptiness, your hollow-feeling, your disgrace, your grief, and your brokenness.

You will no longer have to strive to keep up an image on the outside that you don’t feel on the inside.

You will no longer have to work hard to live up to a standard that you can’t afford.

Instead, I will fill you with a deep satisfaction and joy inside that will finally put you at rest, so that you no longer feel the need to look to anything other than Me for your identity and purpose.

3. You will never feel vulnerable again

In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.

Isaiah 5414-17

When we learn to delight in God and God alone, we have a heritage from God. He will be our vindication from the enemy.

Never again will we be vulnerable to the enemy’s attack on us.

Instead, we will have a supernatural confidence that whatever threatens us here on earth only threatens what is temporal and passing. It doesn’t shake us, because we know that this life is only for a short time.

Flesh and blood can take away our homes, livelihood, money, safety, and everything we have and everything we’ve ever known – but there is one thing they cannot take away from us.

They cannot take away our eternal home.

They cannot take away the peace that God has established in our hearts through delighting in Him more than anything this world can give us.

This is what Paul meant when he said, “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Dear sisters, I have the feeling that society has come to a place of uncertainty that cannot be resolved. There is unrest all around the world, and everything we’ve known in our lifetimes is no longer stable.

If we’ve built our confidence, trust, identity, worth, and value on man-made things, we will topple.

But if we will choose to reestablish our confidence, trust, identity, worth, and value in Christ alone, in His work on the cross alone, and in eternal values alone…leaving behind the narratives of

  • an ideal body image
  • a dream home
  • financial security

or anything else we’ve been told will give us peace of mind and heart, we will find true blessing, fulfillment, joy, and rest in our souls.

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