THE DELIGHTFUL WAY
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives"
(Psalm 37:23 NLT).
We have been discovering what it means to walk the delightful way, so different to the downward way. There's more to learn yet. We are going to discover what God delights in and what we should delight in. Let's look at the people who God delights in . . .
1. Those who obey Him
After defeating the Amalekites, Saul thought he was doing something great when he saved some of the animals to sacrifice to the Lord, but God had told him to save to nothing alive!
1 Samuel 15:12, 23 says, "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." Just as we delight in our children when they obey us, so God delights in us when we obey Him.
Jesus says to us, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14).
2. Those who fear the Lord
Psalm 147:11 (NLT) tells us that "The Lord's delight is in those who fear him." The fear of the Lord is not very prevalent in our families or amongst the church today. We seem to be in a time as it was in Israel when everyone did "that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6; 21:25; Proverbs 12:15; and 21:2).
1 Peter 1:17 tells us to "Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." This is a strong word in the Greek and means "terror." It is living in a way that we would not want to do anything that would disappoint our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the same attitude children should have to parents. Growing up I had a wonderful relationship with my father. I received some severe and needed discipline from him but always knew I deserved it. At the same time, he had great faith in me and I feared to destroy his belief in me. I didn't want to do anything to disappoint him and it was a powerful keeping power upon my life. In the same way, because I love my husband, I don't want to do anything that disappoints him and his trust in me. I don't want to bring a cloud over our relationship. Instead I want to delight him.
F. B. Meyer comments on this Scripture. "The holy soul . . . passes the time of its sojourning in fear. Not the fear of evil consequences to itself, but to the fear of grieving the Father, of bringing a shadow over His face, of missing any manifestation of His love and nearness to Himself, which may be granted to the obedient child. Love casts our fear, but it also begets it. There is nothing craven, or fretful, or depressing, but a tenderness of conscience which dreads the tiniest cloud on the inner sky, such as might overshadow for a single moment the clear shining of the Father's face."
Alexander Maclaren, a contemporary of F. B. Meyer calls this fear "A lowly consciousness of the heinousness of sin, and consequently a dread of offending the Divine holiness. He who thus fears, fears to sin more than anything else, and fears God so much that he fears nothing besides."
May God bring us to this attitude of living in the fear of God in our own personal lives and in our family lives. To all live in such a way that we bring no clouds on our "inner sky." What difference it will bring to our families and ultimately to delight to the heart of God.
3. Those who are upright
Proverbs 11:20 says, "Such as are upright in their way are his delight." The word "upright" is translated in other Scriptures as "without spot, without blemish, undefiled, perfect, whole, and complete." The New Living Translation says, "The Lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity." Proverbs 15:8 says that even "the prayer of the upright is his delight."
Proverbs 11:1 (NLT) says, "The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights." God, who is constantly watching every thought an action, looks for honesty and integrity. God hates deception, but delights in truth and integrity.
Proverbs 12:22 (NLT) says, "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth."
4. Those who have a contrite and humble spirit
Psalm 51:17 says, "The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit - O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject." God makes it very clear in His Word that He hates pride and yet loves the humble and lowly. God dwells in the "high and holy place" but at the same time with those who are "of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
We are certainly getting the picture of the life that delights the heart of God, aren't we?
Blessings from NANCY CAMPBELL
"Dear Father, please teach me what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord. Please help me to live a life that brings pleasure and delight to your heart. Amen."
We are a family that walks in the fear of the Lord.