“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This verse sums up a very clear theme in my life right now. In prayer, in books, and in conversations with other Christians, the idea of delighting in God keeps cropping up. It’s shown up in various ways in previous posts, but it is so foundational that I feel the need to lay it out.
I’m not sure that Christians always “get” this. A classic mistake consists of sliding into sin, feeling guilty, repenting, feeling renewed, and starting the process over. This kind of life is frustrating, not to mention wrong. Ironically, God requires something much simpler than what we try to do.
What does God require of us? First, belief. But remember what James says: “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.” We are expected to act on our belief. But action with an impure heart is hypocricy. Like Isaiah says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” On the other hand, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
God desires that we desire him. I find the thesis of John Piper’s Desiring God so pertinent: That we glorify God by enjoying him. And I can tell you from experience that God’s presence is so enjoyable.
Bottom line: Don’t wallow in guilt. Don’t focus on works. Delight in God.