Psalm 37: Delight Yourself in the Lord

September 24, 2020 at 11:59 AM 2 comments

Last time, we introduced this short series by highlighting the first three verses of Psalm 37. You can read that article by clicking this link: Psalm 37: Do Not Fret

In this article, I’d like to continue with the next few verses and briefly discuss some thoughts about them.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

What should our reaction be when we see things happening in the world that potentially signal the “birth pangs” Jesus foretold in Matthew 24 or when we see and even possibly experience general upheaval throughout global society as has been happening recently? The tendency for most is to become fearful, apprehensive and frustrated. But what does the Lord want us to do?

He wants us to delight in Him, as we learn in this part of Psalm 37. To delight yourself in the Lord means simply to adore Him, to lift up worship and praise to Him, being thankful for His unceasing love for us. The idea here is that we should be filled with an overflowing appreciation for all that He has done for us. This cannot happen unless we first learn to cultivate the truth about God revealed to us in Scripture. From that will come a more natural focus on Him and the things above.

Without God’s Word, we cannot begin to know God at all except in a very general way (through Creation’s expression of His work, etc.). In fact, as we read through and study His Word, whether it’s the Psalms or other portions of Scripture, we learn more about God, His character, His plans, and how He put His love for us into action. These truths need to permeate our lives in order to make the needed change within us.

Christians who do not read or study His Word are left with nothing to go on except feelings stemming from guesswork. We’ve discussed this subject many times and noted its deceptive nature causing people to believe they have embraced a truth, but in reality, have simply embraced the way they feel about something. Feelings are terrible barometers to determine truth.

The only real, constant source of truth is God and His Word. Remember, there are only two worldviews: God’s view and the Humanistic view. That’s it.

So, rather than simply thinking about God based solely on how we might feel about Him, the Psalmist is actually telling us to be delighted in the Lord. That comes from actual knowledge we have about Him, which again, is gained from His Word.

When I first met the woman who became and remains my wife (going on 35 years), I may have thought I knew her. In reality, I knew something about her, but I did not truly know her then; how she thinks, what her interests were and her goals and aspirations. All I know was that she appeared very intelligent and beautiful and that she was a Christian. That interested me enough to want to get to know her.

We began dating and eventually got married. Some 35 years later, we continue to actually like and love one another and I can certainly say that I know her much better today than I did when we first met. I’ve studied her, got to know her personality and quirks so much better as she has done with me. This doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over time and a person must actually want to get to know the another.

The Psalmist promises that if we delight ourselves in knowing the Lord, “…He shall give you the desires of your heart.” This actually goes with the next verse which states, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (v 5).

You’ve probably heard the first part of the verse above used by many people in the “word of faith/name it, claim it” movement. They insist that God is telling us that He longs to give us carte blanche; whatever we want. Don’t go small where your desires are concerned! Go big! The more “faith” you have, the bigger the results. This is diametrically opposed to the truth provided by the Psalmist.

In this case as in other cases throughout Scripture, the idea here has nothing to do with me wanting whatever I want to have and then expect God to provide it. The Psalmist is clearly saying that the order of events is this:

  1. delight yourself in the Lord
  2. trust also in Him
  3. commit your way to the Lord

And then for those who have done and continue to do these things, the Lord will:

  1. bring it to pass

So what does that mean? It means quite simply that as we dedicate ourselves to delighting ourselves in the Lord, which only comes through committing ourselves to Him and His ways, the Lord will bring our requests to fruition because those desires will be based in His will. Our “wants” will be conformed to His will. Our desires will be what He desires for us.

Recall in verse 3 of this psalm, the writer tells us to “trust in the Lord and do good.” We talked about that last time. It means simply that in the face of evil, we must continue to trust that God has a plan and it is working and because of that we should not faint because of the evil, but continue to do (the) good (things) God would have us do.

In essence, we are to live the Christian life whether we feel like it or not; whether it’s convenient or not. I just read about two Christian pastors in Iran who have been sentenced to death because they refused to convert to Islam. They cannot recant Jesus. They’re unwilling to turn their backs on God because they know the truth. God will also bless them mightily even if that means they are put to death as martyrs for refusing to deny Jesus. They will not be the first or last to do so before Jesus returns.

But too many Christians today believe that these verses in Psalm 37 tell us to ask God for whatever we want! That’s not what it means.

As we learn more about God through His Word, as we see how He leads us through this life, as our focus transitions from ourselves to God, our desires will also change. We will find ourselves aligning our wants with God’s wants. These are the things He will bring to pass.

Let me give you an example. I started playing drums in fifth grade. Throughout life, I’ve played in numerous bands and I’ve even played in churches. I used to love it. It was a bit of a emotional high for me and I thought at the time that I was showing God how much I loved Him by using my musical abilities to lead others in worship.

When I first began playing drums in churches, the style of music was simply based on the old Maranatha music. The choruses were essentially Scripture put to music. It wasn’t overbearing nor was it monotonous.

Over time, the music that churches decided was “needed” became very similar to the world of rock music. It was all “upbeat” and designed to make people happy about being in church. Never mind that many of the songs were not based on Scripture but on how the writer felt about something. Never mind that over time, the music got louder and louder and a longer part of the church service.

Eventually, I got to the point where I thought that I might as well be playing in a rock band at a bar. The only things missing were the alcohol and cigarette smoke. It became very frustrating.

I eventually came to a point where I simply refuse to play drums in any church. I don’t believe today’s church music brings Him glory. That’s me. Maybe you have a different opinion. Did God change my attitude? I think He did and I’m fine with it.

I’m sure heaven is filled with music and instruments. The huge difference there though is that no style of music will have any sinful tendencies like much of what is played in churches today and the only music in heaven will be thoroughly glorifying to God. That cancels out a good deal of music today. I’m sure in heaven, I’ll be joining in song to the Lord and if there are instruments there, I’m sure I’ll be participating in that. It is enough for me to understand that and not worry about it now.

Over time, our desires and aspirations should change as the Lord works from within us to conform us to His image. This will naturally mean that certain things will take a back seat or leave our life altogether. Other things that we did not necessarily anticipate will rise within us, as He leads.

Right now, my wife and I are involved in AWANA at our church. Frankly, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m not a big “working with kids” guy. However, the reason I’m volunteering my time is because of verse 3 of Psalm 37: “Trust in the Lord and do good.” This verse tells me that if there is a need that I can fill, then I should continue to “do good” by filling it, whether I “feel” like it or not. If I move ahead in that vein I fully believe the Lord will transform me so that my involvement in young people’s lives will not only benefit them but will benefit myself and my relationship with God as well because of my obedience.

Notice in verse 6, we are told what God will do when we deliberately follow the guidelines of the two previous verses. “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”

If we are willing to submit, commit and learn to delight in and to the Lord, He promises to reward our righteousness and prove that our decision to Him was the correct choice. Ultimately, that will find total fulfillment in the afterlife because our sin nature tends to veil a portion of our righteousness.

While it is often difficult to eliminate an obsession with why evil people seem to flourish, God is telling us through David the Psalmist not to worry about that, not to focus on that because evil ultimately is fleeting. One day, evil will be completely removed from the earth. For now, we must retrain our minds to think correctly as God outlines.

For each of us, this can be a process that is only accomplished when we purposefully decide to refocus our energies on what God wants us to focus on. This is really the only way to overcome an erroneous focus. We must deliberately oust the wrong focus through a deliberate redirection of our mind. Doing this will also cause our emotions to follow instead of leading us.

There is great evil in the world today and it is increasing. No one can doubt that unless they are part of that evil. We Christians know that evil is something God will ultimately use to bring Himself glory. When He says “Enough!” where evil is concerned, that will absolutely be enough.

In the meantime, God wants us to focus on Him, His character, His truth and His will. Doing this will means that He will give us the desires of our heart, which He will recreate within us to reflect His desires.

It is difficult getting there and it is difficult remaining there but that is the Christian’s obligation.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, Eastern Mysticism, emergent church, Emotional virtue, eternity, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , .

News and Notes Update: September 24, 2020 News and Notes Update: September 28, 2020

2 Comments

  • 1. Psalm 37: Rest in the Lord | Study - Grow - Know  |  October 15, 2020 at 12:15 PM

    […] Last time in this series, we highlighted verses four through six of Psalm 37. This time, we’re going to look at verses seven, eight and nine. […]

  • 2. Maranatha Today  |  October 5, 2020 at 11:30 AM

    “In the meantime, God wants us to focus on Him, His character, His truth and His will. Doing this will means that He will give us the desires of our heart, which He will recreate within us to reflect His desires.

    It is difficult getting there and it is difficult remaining there but that is the Christian’s obligation.”

    Amen!!!! Thanks Modress


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