“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
This wonderful Old Testament promise reinforces 3 John 2: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Delighting in the Lord and soul prosperity are two ingredients of overcoming, joy-filled, influential followers of Jesus. They are the evidence of winning the inner victories necessary to experience the outer victory described in these two verses (prosperity in all things, being in health, and experiencing the desires of your heart).
When I speak of soul prosperity, there are two key phrases/truths I love to share:
My response to something is almost always more important than the “something”
What is happening in me is more important than what is happening through me
Both of these phrases inspire me to win the inner battles by giving me a vision for the long-term benefits of doing so. Soul prosperity dramatically increases the likelihood of seeing the promises of God in our lives. It is the catalytic component that makes our faith declarations unstoppable.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” To delight means to “take pleasure in.” Pleasure is a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. We could rephrase the verse, “Enjoy yourself in the Lord.” To do so is an incredible sign of faith and Christian maturity.
Just as we need to let go of something to laugh, the same is true for delighting and enjoying ourselves in the Lord. We cannot do this unless we are letting go of perfectionism, works of the law living, unworthiness, excessive introspection, and worry.
Intentional delighting in the Lord is a way to overcome the spirit of heaviness that is referred to in Isaiah 61. “The Spirit of the Lord God . . . has anointed me . . . to give . . . the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:1-3). Heaviness is a feeling that everything seems harder than it really is. It is a feeling that does not really have a thought attached to it. A spirit of heaviness makes circumstances feel worse than they really are. Often there is no real thought or logic behind it, but just a feeling and sense that there is no solution, and that things will only get worse.
Delight has the word “light” in it. I know there have been many times I have had to just lighten up. Childlikeness is a key to delighting and lightening up. Jesus states the importance of this. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). There are many aspects of kingdom life that cannot be entered into unless we become childlike, and delighting is one of its greatest expressions.
“Woo hoo, Jesus, I cannot wait to see how you are going to turn this situation around!”
“Yippee, I am so excited to see how You, Lord, are going to move in my family, my finances, and my nation!”
“Father, I am jumping up and down with exhilaration!”
“I am so excited to see what You are going to do” is the key phrase for delighters. Delighters manifest a childlike faith in God, so let’s strengthen our delighting muscles
Delighting is a powerful spiritual weapon. My book, Crucial Moments, is a great resource to help you in your delighting journey.
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Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.