Katie has written a beautiful, refreshing finale to this ABIDING DELIGHT series! If you’ve wrestled with feeling drained and joyless, listen close to this remedy she discovered…
A year ago I found myself completely worn out trying to resolve conflicting desires.
I desperately wanted to love the Lord with all my heart, to gladly serve Him without distraction. But truth be told, my heart was divided and my mind distracted.
Other desires took priority in my time and affection, and try as I might, it felt impossible to rearrange things into their proper order. My desires seemed out of control; anxiety threatened my joy and my emotions wouldn’t be ignored.
That’s when I stumbled across an article that set me free to simply enjoy God.
I clearly remember sitting on my bed and feeling the worry, confusion and frustration melt away. Suddenly I realized that my longing to love the Lord was His great joy to fulfill and that taking control of my thoughts and emotions actually was possible.
This realization hinged on an understanding of two simple words; delight and desire.
We’ve all seen her (some of us have been her). That girl who secretly longs for a certain boy’s attention. She’s often caught daydreaming or sighing wistfully with that tiny smile on her lips and glass in her eyes. She gets dressed up for this boy, and appears at events simply because he’s there.
A desire is defined as anything we long for or crave. It consumes our thoughts, directs our actions and frequently deceives us into believing it will make us happy.
Delight on the other hand, is the action of dwelling on or taking pleasure in something until it becomes a desire.
Imagine you’re at the beach when a kid walks by, holding a triple scoop ice cream cone. Immediately you’re thinking about ice cream. And if you continue to think about that waffle cone, mentally savouring the rich, chocolate fudge and refreshing, creamy liquid, you’ll eventually find yourself standing in line at the ice cream truck, diet buried deep in the sand.
That’s how delight works; it’s always a choice to think about, stare at, or listen to something with pleasure. And it always births a ferocious craving or desire.
Delighting in God
In my room that night I realized that though I wanted to desire God, I wasn’t delighting in Him. Instead I found myself delighting in lesser joys.
I was preoccupied with maintaining my appearance and my friends, and daydreaming about the adventure in my most recent novel, or my future. All the while ignoring God’s good gifts, rushing through prayer, and distracted while reading His word.
In order to increase my love of Jesus I knew I needed to replace my time dwelling on other things with a conscious delight in Him. At first this wasn’t easy, but with practice I learned that delighting in the Lord is quite simple. It’s done the same way you delight in anything else – by taking pleasure in Him.
Here are just a few ways I have learned to take pleasure in God.
1) Express thanks
Shortly after God revealed these truths to me I was working late and happened to glance outside. Peering back at me through the window was the most brilliant moon. Generally I don’t get super excited about nature, but this time I decided to use the opportunity to praise my Creator.
“God, you did an amazing job creating that moon.” I whispered.
The simple act of expressing praise to God filled my heart with such joy.
God, like all of us, loves it when we are thankful for the work He has done. Start expressing thanksgiving to Him.
2) Pray through Psalms
The psalmists are very honest about both their triumphs and fears, yet they never cease to delight in the Lord in the midst of both joy and pain. Using the Psalms as a springboard to prayer has helped me put words to the worthiness of my God even when it’s very difficult to praise Him.
3) Sing and listen to worship music.
Music has a way of getting stuck in your head. Worship has a way of getting your eyes onto God. The combination of worship and music takes the promises of God and the truth of scripture and burns it into your mind and heart in a way that few other things do.
4) Memorize scripture
You can’t stop distractions from coming. And if your mind is empty they will certainly fill it. That’s why it’s so important to occupy your mind with God’s truth. Memorizing the words of God gives you something to meditate on when other thoughts clamour for your attention.
It isn’t always easy to love the Lord with an undivided, undistracted heart. But understanding how delight feeds desire has launched me into the most fulfilling, joyful year I have experienced yet. Delight yourself in the Lord dear sister and He truly will meet the desires of your heart in Himself.
Katie is a 20 year old girl from Canada who has a passion to declare the goodness of God, the power of His Word and the joy that is found in knowing Him. When she’s not writing Katie spends her time running, singing, reading and laughing way too much with her amazing friends and family. Find more of Katie’s writing on her blog https://allmyaffections.wordpress.com