A Heart That Delights

October 13, 2014  - By Gretchen Saffles

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” ~Psalm 37:4

In high school, I took comfort in this verse in the wrong ways.  When I discovered it, I took it as a chance to “get what I want” from God. I believed that since I was in church, involved in the youth group, and went to a Christian school that every desire in my heart was “of God.” Therefore, if I was in so many Christian places serving God, wouldn’t He grant me all the desires of my heart? It took years of prodding, searching, and digging deeper to unveil the true meaning of this verse. In discovering what the Psalmist meant by these words and God’s intentions for delighting, there is great joy and freedom from being attached the things of this world that will not last.

Delicate Delight

The word used for “delight” in the Hebrew means to “be soft, be delicate, be dainty, the be happy about, and take exquisite delight.” God calls His people to a sort of dainty, or delicate delight. This kind of delight rejoices in God Most High and is changed by the rejoicing. Have you ever held something delicate? Something that is delicate is changed easily – it is moldable or can be easily altered. The same is for our hearts. When we rejoice in the Lord, when we find every bit of our strength in Him, when we choose to give thanks rather than whine or complain, when we love our neighbors as ourselves, memorize and obey the law of God, and deny ourselves daily, we are being molded into His image. 

My husband surprised me two years ago for my birthday with a pottery class. We were taught by a potter to mold the clay into certain shapes to be fired into a kiln. We also used the wheel to throw pottery and created bowls that we use to this day. One of the most beautiful images was seeing a lump of clay, shapeless and purposeless, become a usable, beautiful piece of art. We are that clay. Until God’s thumbs mold us, make us new, and shape us into the image of His Son, we are useless and purposeless, running after the things of this world. When we delight in God, we allow Him to throw us on the potter’s wheel and make us into a vessel for His Kingdom – a vessel that shares the Gospel and lives with the end in mind.

Delight is a delicate process. It involves focusing our eyes each day on the Word of God rather than the words of man. It requires us take up our cross each day and follow Christ rather than follow the latest trends in the world. It means that we spend our time cherishing God’s law and meditating on His Word rather than spending meaningless moments on social media, watching TV, or texting without end. We are all delighting in something. Take today to evaluate where you spend your time. I know for me, I can easily start spending too much time on Instagram. I could easily justify it by saying I love pictures and I want to encourage each other through commenting, etc. BUT, the Lord knows the intentions of my heart. I confess that there have been mornings I wake up and pull my phone out first and scroll through my emails or IG before opening my Bible. This is part of the reason God has brought me back to the core of this verse – so my heart delights in the Lord first and foremost and my joy would come from Him, not the things this world has to offer.

A Promised End

“…and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When we delight in God, when we choose Him above anything this world has to offer, when we talk to Him, worship Him, sing to Him, and live for Him, He changes us into the images of His Son. We become like Him and want what He wants. This verse is not a way to pry God, or to convince Him to give us what we want, because the truth is, we don’t know what’s best for us. There have been desires in my heart that wouldn’t have been good for me. God is gracious enough not to allow us to have many of those things because He sees the big picture. He knows what is best. Isaiah 55:8-9 is a verse I take so much comfort in!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s ways are best. The joy of delighting in Him is knowing that His plans for us are for good, but they look so different from the world. The more we delight in Him, the more the “things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Delighting in God is the way of the cross. It is self-less, hope-filled, and eternal-minded. Sister, I know firsthand, that those things you long for and think are best for you are best left at the foot of the cross. God is able to care for the desires and petitions of your heart. He calls us to delight and He promises to answer in the end. The verse does not read “and you will answer the desires of your heart.” The focus is God who does the giving. We are called to do the delighting.

May we be women who delight in God with every breath, every moment, and every fiber of our being. In Christ, we have true life! Those things that distract you each day will become the last things on your list when we you have tasted and seen glimpses of the glory of God each day. Delight and He will mold. And the vessel He will create will be more wonderful than you could ever imagine.

being molded with you,


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  1. Rachel Julian says:

    Absolutely loved this message. Before I read this blog, I was sitting on my phone scrolling through Twitter when God told me that my desire needed to be on Him – not on Twitter, or any social media for that matter. This blog made me ask myself where my true desire was and if it’s distracting me from the One who wants all of my attention. It made me ask myself “what am I delighting in?” I

    • gretchensaffles says:

      Rachel, I cannot tell you how much your comment blessed me. That is my heart in this blog and in Life Lived Beautifully! Thank you for sharing with me! May we choose to delight in Him today and find all of our hope in Christ alone!

  2. Cheryl says:

    Hi Gretchen,Thanks for sharing! This is encouraging to me. I know it is best for me to delight in God but often times it’s really hard as I desire so many other things. You shared a little bit of what it looks like practically to delight in God. But I wonder…when my flesh wants to fight against delighting in God, what can I do? How do you fight the battle?

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