Psalm 37:3-5 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
Dang it these hives. It seems that when stress overload sets in they begin to well up just under my skin. You cannot see them as one might as if an allergic reaction just a subtle flushing but boy oh boy do I itch. From my head to toes, any place that is touched by fabric seems to become agitated. I hate when they come on. Since they are exacerbated by stress or anxiety, I feel like such a spiritual failure when I succumb. I do trust the Lord. I do rely on Him. I am not exactly sure why I experience times of such an overload. I want to do what is right. I want to do a good job. This is a reaction to my current workload and inability to complete all these tasks well. I know that it is self-imposed because through all the stress of our son’s battle with cancer never once did I get hives – not once. I can berate myself all I want that. I can remind myself of every scripture about giving our cares and burdens to the Lord and accepting His Peace in my life but that is not helping. So with a strong dose of Benadryl, I laid in bed and prayed Lord since I cannot control this physical condition would you please change my heart’s condition and show me what I need to do? He did. Of course, He did. He always does it.
The word I woke up with in my head was “delight”. I do not find mornings delightful so I knew immediately that it had to be the Holy Spirit whispering this in my ear at 4:30 AM. Seriously, delight is not the thing that I was thinking in this moment. It was obedience as I stumbled out of bed to spend some time with the Lord before enduring another day in my current situation. I do not share this to whine, moan and complain but simply to remind you that we are all human and have bad days. We get stressed out even though we love the Lord. We are overburdened despite our relationship to Jesus Christ. We have anxious thoughts even with the Mind of Christ. Even the strongest Christian and most dedicated believer will experience days that seem too much to bear. Other people offer advice and opinions while fellow Christians drop some scriptural clichés. Like a vase full of flowers that are slowly dying before our eyes, the situation and setback are momentary unless we stay in the stagnant water of obedience without true love. When I try to serve God strictly in obedience but do not take delight in Who He is, I will not survive. I am not truly connected just superficially placed. Lord – I want to delight in you today.
Deuteronomy 30:9-10 (NLT)
“The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.”
The Lord delights in obedience that comes from a heart connection rather than head knowledge. Jesus confirmed this when Peter identified Him as the Messiah from heart knowledge as well. The empowerment of any believer is not in our ability to do everything the Word of God tells us to, but rather to want to enough to try. This desire must come from a desperate desire to be connected to Jesus in love alone. The Lord will delight in being good to you when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. God doesn’t need anyone to do anything for Him. He wants us to delight in Him as He has shown that He delights in us. He lavishes His Unfailing Love on the clearly useless. We cannot stay committed long enough to make it through this brief life into forever with Him. He gave us His Love, His Son so that grace could deliver us to that place of dependency that allows us to live in His Kingdom despite our sinful inability to act in total obedience. Anytime we think that there is something we have to do or assume that we have anything to contribute other than our love to the Work of God through Jesus Christ in our life – we fail. He is all that I need. The Lord is my everything. He perfects all that concerns me – I can do nothing apart from Christ. The obligation that I have to Jesus Christ can only be fulfilled by love and trust. That’s it. I can add or subtract nothing only give all of my love.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Do I delight in my walk with the Lord? That really is the question. Do I love to love Jesus or serve Him because I think that I am supposed to or have to in order to be blessed? What do I want out of this relationship? Is it contractual or a covenant? There is a difference. If I trust the Lord and do good, the Word of God says that I will live safely and prosper. This is the principle of sowing and reaping at work in my life. What I plant in my life, I will surely harvest. However, there is more to it than that. It says that those who “delight” in the Lord that He gives them their heart’s desire. Whoa! There is a difference between God’s Permissible Will and His Perfect Will. When you serve the Lord from your head, it is contractual. You are doing what it says so you can expect a return. But when you do it from your heart, now it becomes a heartfelt covenant like a marriage. Now we begin to have a satisfied heart! There is no better reason to commit everything we do to Jesus than this promise.
Ephesians 3:15-19 (NLT)
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
When we become less enamored with what the Lord can do, and become totally enraptured with WHO He is and HOW MUCH He loves us – it is then and only thing that we will begin to experience the prosperity that satisfies us soul, mind and body. It is an endless love that motivates us by faith and trust to do the impossible. To experience true prosperity that will eliminate stress, worry and anxiety in our life is to become so connected to Jesus and His Love that He becomes our soul/sole source of happiness. He is the One who we depend on certainly not others or even our self. This love is so amazing it is something we will naturally never fully comprehend. Yet even in its infancy in our life, it is overwhelming and empowering. When we allow Christ to make His Home in our heart rather than simply contemplating our next step to have what He offers, things begin to change. God’s Love roots us and grounds us so the storms of life cannot move us from that spot where He is going to bless us. It is His Love that completes us and give us the Power to hold on. As our soul begins to prosper and delight in the Lord, so will we from the inside out. (3 John 1:2)
Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Godly people stumble…it says so right there. These hives may or may not be a direct result of my own inability to trust God – it would only make sense. The greatest part of this verse is the grace implied that catches us when we stumble not allowing us to fall. His Grace wraps around us and shields us in life so we are free to try and even trip along the way. His Grace is always sufficient for me because God delights in me. I must learn to delight in Him. God delights in me no matter what I do today because I belong to Him. I do not have to do another thing to have His Love but only to accept it in my heart. Are you still contemplating God’s Love in your head or have you accepted it in your heart today? Those who delight in the Lord will prosper. Psalm 119:77 says that the Lord surrounds us with His Tender Mercies. He knows how much we struggle. He knows our every weakness and provides protection before we stumble to shield us. His Love is always there to catch us. A prospering soul restores, replenishes and renews our life from an endless source rather than a limited supply.
Psalm 147:10-11 (NLT)
He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
The Lord has not designated me to be the strong one. He has not called me to carry a certain load. He is not expecting me to be flawless without imperfection or grace would not be necessary. The Lord delights in my dependency. I don’t have to be perfect. Lord, knows that I sin every single day. This whole thing is not about my ability or even my willingness to try to do everything that His Word implies. It is all about love. Do I love the Lord enough to trust Him? Do I depend on Him? Do I love Him so much that whether I succeed or fail in my attempts at obedience I must keep trying because I love Jesus so? Who are you trying to please today? Who is the one or what is the thing that you think will satisfy your heart and prosper your soul? There is no point in trying to be good, God is the One who is always good. I must depend on His Goodness and Grace. When Jesus becomes the Source of my life and the One who I delight in – I will thrive and prosper in this life simply because He loves me and He delighted in me first.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”