There are three topics I am currently focusing on in my study time. I usually only study one passage, book, or topic at a time, but somehow I ended up with three which I pick up individually for a day or week, set aside to pick up another, and then return to. One of these topics, which I really hope to post a series about in the future, is communion with God/abiding in Christ. Really, that’s two topics, but I have found that they are very much interwoven.
John Owen, in his work Communion with God, outlines four key ways in which we commune with God: reverence, obedience, rest, and delight.
I have a rather wide church background, and I find it fascinating how various local bodies and even whole denominations tend to either be either overly focused on reverence and obedience at the expense of rest and delight, or overly focused on rest and delight at the expense of reverence and obedience. Both camps are in their own ditch, and both have forgotten key biblical teachings which would provide the balance they lack. That’s a subject worth discussing another day, though…
Today I am pondering delight. Not so much how one delights, or what delight is – though that could certainly be discussed – but in what or in whom do I delight?
We know from experience that the object of one’s time, energy, money, and other resources reflects what is most important to her.
We each have people and activities to which we are drawn when we have some free time to spend how we choose. Those close to us know where to find us during these times. Whether it’s the mall, the craft room, the library, or the mountains; alone, with our family, or with our friends, they can easily describe to others what we delight to do, or who we delight to be with.
We each have people and activities which cause us to ‘light up’. When they come up in conversation, our eyes become a little more sparkly and our attention is heightened. Others can sense our affection and enthusiasm. Our delight in discussing that activity, topic, pursuit, or person is obvious to those around us.
Part of ‘keeping my heart’, according to John Flavel, is a ‘constant and holy jealousy’ over it, evaluating the objects of its delight and whether those objects are those in which a child of God should delight.
One question I must regularly ask myself, then, is in what or in whom do I delight?
What type of people? What type of activities? What type of entertainment or refreshment? What type of goals and pursuits?
Do I delight in God Himself? Do I delight in the finished work of Christ? Do I delight in His Word? Do I delight to serve Him? Do I delight to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Does the thought of His amazing grace light me up? Does the mention of His character or ways bring a sparkle of enthusiasm to my eyes? Have I ever gotten over the fact that He saved me, or does it still blow my socks off?
Where do I find myself in my free time – and what do I find myself doing then? What or whom do I find myself talking about enthusiastically, time and time again?
If someone were to ask those closest to me where I find my delight, how would they answer?
Would what they see in me be delight in God and His Kingdom and His ways?
Would what they see in me bring glory to my Savior?
I hope so. I also pray that God will expose areas of delight I ought not to have, and help me in His strength to redirect that delight back where it belongs – which is, at the core of all things, in Him.