One Word 2017: Delight

Last year I shared how I decided to pick a word to guide and define my year rather than create a New Year’s Resolution. I loved that approach so much that I’m eager to do so again this year. I’ve selected a word that I believe God has been leading me to lately, as He keeps bringing me back to some verses I’ve long loved that talk about God’s delight in us and our delight in Him.

Perhaps you’re familiar with this verse:

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

It’s so easy to read this verse as some kind of formula or promise. Yes there is a promise there. But it’s a directive too. And an invitation. Sometimes I think it should be written like this:

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD!
(and He will give you the desires of your heart.)

There is so much substance that grows out of that phrase “delight yourself in the Lord.” When we delight in Him—and when we do it for the sake of knowing God not for the sake off our wishes and desires—He will change our very desires. As our heart grows more like His, we will desire less of this world and more of Him. When we can lay down our own desires and pursue HIM instead of those dreams, when HE becomes our ultimate desire, we trade our striving and stress for His perfect peace.

In fact, I’ve written it this way in my journal:

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD!
(and He will give you His desires)
(and He will fill those desires at just the right time)
(and He will quiet your striving after lesser desires)
(and He will trade your discontent for peace and joy and renewed purpose)
Delight!—oh find your greatest joy in the LORD for He is the only true source of joy.

***

Isn’t delight such a powerfully evocative word? We hear a word like love with its wide range of application and sometimes it loses its potency. But delight? We rarely use that word in regular life. When I have used it a few times, it has been with my children. There are days when my heart just feels so full and happy and amazed when I look at my children, feel the weight of what an indescribable blessing they are in my life. (Not to imply that our family lives in some fairy tale that where it’s all smiles and giggles and snuggles!!!) I can recall a few times when I have looked one of my girls in the eye and said to her, “Do you know what? You are my delight! You make my heart so happy.”

When I think back to the emotions of that moment I realize that I grasp a glimpse of how God invites me to relate to Him, to be able to say “God—my joy and my delight!” (Ps 43:4).

How much more amazing to realize that God delights in me! God delights in you! The delight I find my children is a mere glimpse of Father God’s delight over His children.

For the LORD takes delight in his people. (from Psalm 149:4)

The LORD your God will take great delight in you! He will rejoice over you with singing. from Zephaniah 3:17

So this year, God is calling me to set aside some of my own agendas and focus on DELIGHT. Truthfully it’s hard to lay myself and my own plans and desires aside, but really, is it a sacrifice? When He calls me to lay something down it’s not usually for the sake of walking through some arid desert but to pick up something better. In this case, to pick up delight:

  • To first and above all else DELIGHT in Him
  • To judge myself not by my failures or accomplishments, but by accepting the truth that as His daughter, God DELIGHTS in me
  • To take DELIGHT in His Word as the Psalmists and the prophet Jeremiah do (Psalm 1:2, many verses in Psalm 119, and Jeremiah 15:16)
  • To DELIGHT in the gifts—especially the husband and children and friends—that God has given me

This type-A, set-out-a-plan-and-go-after-it girl can’t wait to see what God will do when my delight isn’t in a well-planned day and a fully check-off list but truly in the things He has designed me to delight in. I can already feel some of the tension I’ve carried in clutched hands falling away as I open them to DELIGHT in Him and let Him direct my desires.

Whether you have a resolution or a word or bypass all this New Year reflection all together, I pray that you would experience His grace in this New Year, that you would see yourself as His delight and find your heart’s delight in Him.

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