Mostly, we are well aware that we get our life in focus by concentrating on the most important things. But do we live our life in such a way that the things most important to us are obvious to those who observe us? The most important thing is to glorify God and enjoy Him. We can only glorify Him by grace and we can only enjoy Him by glorifying Him. Delighting in God is what makes seeking to glorify Him a pleasure. When we have discovered this, we will know that there is no satisfaction to be found in seeking other things in place of God. True pleasure from created things comes through delighting in God. Even affliction and adversity are sweetened for the soul that seeks its delights in God. Since we are to glorify and enjoy God forever, delighting in God gets our life in eternal focus and prepares us for that unending activity. These are some reasons for delighting in God but there are many more. We also need to know what we mean by making God our delight.
Andrew Gray has a sermon on delighting in God that expounds Psalm 37:4. It something enters into the deepest parts of the heart mastered by gospel grace. The following is an updated extract from the sermon.
What is Delighting in God?
Delighting in God consists of the following things:
(a) Loving God
A soul should be much taken up in exercising the grace of love. To delight in God is to have love smoking in a Christian’s heart towards God. Love is only a bruised reed; but delight is love coming up to perfection.
(b) Esteeming Christ
A soul delighting in God has a high esteem and account of Christ. One whose delight is in God will have a matchless estimation and high considerations of Him.
(c) Thinking on God
The soul that delights in God has all its thoughts running towards God and exercised on Him. His thoughts are only terminated on Him; He is the object of them all. Now, Christians, on what are your thoughts fixed? Is it not certain that they are all confined within this rivulet and span-length of time? Does the world not have your first thoughts in the morning and your last thoughts at night? Then certainly, your delight is not in God.
(d) Desiring Fellowship
One who delights in God is consumed with desire for communion and fellowship with God. Then try yourselves by this test. If your main desire is not fellowship with God, your delight is not in Him. If God is the object of your delight you will strongly desire communion with Him and it will be refreshing to you.
(e) Mourning for the Absence of Christ
Such a soul will often lament and grieve the absence of Christ. Certainly, if your delight is in God, His absence will be your greatest affliction and His presence your main joy and pleasure.
(f) Striving to Please God
The person who delights in God will strive and endeavour in all things to please and give satisfaction to God. If we delight in any person, certainly we will attempt to please Him in all things. We can test whether we delight in God; our main design and endeavour will be to please Him in all things.
1. Delighting in God is a Foretaste of Heaven
Dear Christians, do you desire to have the noble activities of those that are above around the throne? Then delight yourselves in God. To delight in God is the only activity of the saints above. I will point out three differences between the saints in heaven and the saints that are below on earth.
(a) The saints above are in the higher room, and we are in the lower room.
(b) The souls of the saints above are in a higher degree of love than we are; their praise is higher than ours. They are delighting themselves in and praising Him through all eternity.
(c) Those above are enjoying Christ by sight and fruition, we on earth enjoy Him through the veil of faith. They have the immediate sight of God, and behold Him face to face. But we behold Him through a glass darkly. Oh, Christians, if you desire to delight yourselves in God, you would bring down heaven upon earth. What is heaven, but a soul’s delighting itself in God, and God delighting Himself in the soul?
2. Delighting in God is Incomparable
Be persuaded to delight yourselves in God for it is an exceedingly commendable pursuit. I would commend delight in God in four ways.
(a) It unites us with Christ
What is it to delight in God? It is the soul of a Christian embracing the soul of Christ by the two arms of love and desire. Is not that an excellent thing which may commend it unto you?
(b) It lifts us above ourselves
The soul of a Christian that delights in God is more where it loves than where it lives. It is more where its object is than where its own abode is.
(c) It brings us to adore Christ
By delighting in God, a Christian achieves three acts of admiration.
First, Christian, you will say, “Oh, how far is Christ above the report that I have heard of Him!” You will be constrained to say, “The half was never heard of Him that now I see.”
Second, you will then experience and remark, “Oh, how far is Christ above the love that I have had to Him! He is far above it.”
Third, you will be forced to say, “Oh, how far is Christ above the admiration and amazement that I have had of Him!” Now, if your delight is in God, you will be compelled to such admiration and astonishment.
(d) It helps the soul towards a more spiritual and holy life.
3. Delighting in God Makes Duty Pleasant
Delight in God makes all duties pleasant and heart-warming. Without delight in God, all the duties of religion will be most unpleasant and burdensome (Job 22:26-27). There are four advantages in the exercise of duty that waits on delighting in God. These four advantages are as follows:
(a) Increased Boldness in Prayer
He that has his delight fixed on God has boldness to speak to Him (Job 22:26).
(b) Increased Prayer
Delight in God will help a Christian to multiply his prayers (Job 22:27).
(c) Increased Fervency in Prayer
Delight in God will help with great fervency in prayer. The word rendered prayer may also be rendered as “many strong prayers.”
(d) Increased Freedom in Prayer
Delighting in God will help a Christian to tell all his mind to Him (Job 22:27).
4. Delighting in God Helps us Bear Affliction
Delighting in God will bring a Christian to bear patiently any cross or affliction that he encounters. This is clear from the scope of the text. It will be an excellent help and guard against fretting at the prosperity of ungodly men.
5. Delighting in God is the Most Excellent Delight
Consider the excellence of the object of the Christian’s delight – the Lord. He is the most excellent object of delight. He is the fountain from which all our streams come. Oh, then delight in Him who is excellent and majestic!
6. Delighting in God Gives us the Desires of our Hearts
If you delight yourself in God, surely He will give you the desires of your heart. I say, they will lack nothing that is for their own welfare and God’s glory. If you delight yourself in God, you will lack nothing that is fitting for you.
Oh then, be persuaded to give obedience to this most soul-concerning commandment of delighting in God. Christians, it is of your everlasting concern. Oh, do it while it is still being offered. Do not neglect this excellent work any longer. Oh, do not delay any longer, for delays are dangerous, especially in the matter of our eternal salvation.