Wednesday night 8-1-18
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
What does “Delighting yourself in the Lord” look like?
Allow feed back – how do you do this?
Cross references with this verse: Job 22:22-26
I’ve outlined what these verses instruct us to do in order to delight ourselves in God.
1. Receive the teaching from His mouth.
2. Lay up His words in your heart – meditate
3. Put away iniquity.
4. Then the Almighty will be your gold.
5. Then you will delight yourself in Him.
Then in Isaiah 58:14
“If you will honor the Sabbath (Lord’s Day) by not doing your own pleasure, THEN you shall delight yourself in the Lord.” Isa. 58:14
Make a special day that totally belongs to Him. Now you are giving God something to work with and He begins to place His desires in you.
Ill. With my son being home now I have noticed there are so many things that I want to do with him. Take him to certain places like Living Waters, go camping, fishing, things that we lost over the years that the locusts have eaten but God can restore.
As I was thinking about this it was like the Lord said, “This is the same way I feel about you. There are so many things I want to experience with you, places I want to take you, truths I want to teach you. When you place other things, desires ahead of your relationship with Me you are losing the things I want for you and I to experience together.
It is thought that David wrote Psalm 37 in his old age. He has learned through life experience what is most important.
Your heart desires cannot be trusted unless you are delighting yourself in the Lord first. Ill. As David was delighting in the Lord he had this desire come over him to build God a house, tabernacle. David talked this over with his pastor/prophet Nathan. Nathan said to David,
“Do whatever is in your heart because the Lord is with you.”
But later the Lord spoke to Nathan and said even though it was David’s desire – God has never told anyone to build Him a house. Instead God said that He was going to build David a house!
Point: David’s desire was not evil or wrong. This teaches us not to act upon every good desire but wait upon the Lord. After Nathan told David this look at what David did.
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord.” 2 Samuel 7:18
He is soaking, sitting, being still in solitude, meditating, listening.
How did David delight himself in the Lord?
- He sat before the Lord. He danced before the Lord. He sang and wrote songs before the Lord. He brought his plans before the Lord and asked God whether or not he should attack these or those.
“We may make our plans but God directs our paths.” Pr.16:9
Make a plan but hold it loosely and allow God to modify your plan without you getting bent out of shape or in a huff.
How do you know when you are delighting yourself in the Lord?
One way is by realizing the Lord is helping you accomplish His plans
“The Lord helped David wherever he went.” 2 Samuel 8:14
When we do God’s will, God’s way, He helps us.
There were 4 Levites carrying the 565-pound Ark of the Covenant but an additional weight of the poles, staves covered with gold also.
Pic Levites carrying ark
“And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the LORD's Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.” I Chron. 15:26
When you are delighting yourself in God first and confident He is helping you to do His will then, you quit worrying about the outcome of things beyond your control – you rest.
Ill. David’s commander of his army Joab was facing a battle not with one enemy but two at the same time. One in front and one in back. He divided his army and told them if the enemy starts to prevail against the front then you in the rear come up and help us and we will do the same for you. Then he said, “Be strong and fight with resolve.” But his last words struck me as having an amazing trust in the Lord. He said these words,
“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.” 2 Samuel 10:12
Without knowing how things would turn out – he just did what he knew he had to do and then rested the matter with the Lord.
- He trusted God with the outcome.
- He trusted in God’s goodness to decide the outcome.
- He rested in God.
Why is this verse in the Bible? Many times we face battles and challenges where we do what we have to do but we don’t know how it will turn out. If we strive then God cannot help the arm of flesh. But if we do what we should and trust God for the rest then, God helps us to do what He wants done.
Ill. Saturday we have had planned a neighborhood street cookout at our house at 4 pm. We set up the grill and chairs and tables all in the front yard under the oak trees. Rain forecasted. We prayed asking God to take away the rain. 3:45 the rain started. I was on my way to the store and started to think this is going to ruin a great opportunity God, if you don’t do something! Just then this verse I read in the morning comes back to my mind.
“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
I used it and rested the matter in His hands. Neighbors came and we moved the food inside our house and everyone came in, we gave thanks for the food and began to eat and fellowship. To my surprise even more came into our small home. It was close fellowship. After about 45 minutes the rain stopped and we all went outside to play a yard game and sat outside till dark. It went better than I could have ever imagined. All we did was host what God wanted to do.
- The outcome is never up to us. We host, and let God do whatever seems good to Him.
- I urge you to remember this verse and use it this week.
With every interruption, every disappointment, surprise, unexpected happening just say, “May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
Sometimes the issues of life are a lot more serious than a rain storm ruining our party. But this principle is still true for every situation.
Ill. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and an innocent baby was born but was sick and dying. David fasted, prayed, wept, for the child to be spared. He said, “Who knows maybe the Lord will be gracious.”
Then the child died. What happened next surprised everyone around David. “He entered the house of the Lord and worshipped. He then went to his own house and and ate food.” 2 Samuel 12:20
He did everything he could possibly do. The child died anyway. David worshipped meaning he surrendered to the will of God being done.
He was saying and living this verse, “May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”
When you delight yourself in the Lord and the scripture says that He will give you the desires of your heart – it does not mean He will give you everything you want! It means He will change your heart to accept His will as good and best even when you don’t understand, you can trust Him.
When we say these words and mean it then we release ourselves from stress and striving and we release ourselves into God’s rest.
“May the Lord do what seems good to Him.” 2 Samuel 10:12