(This week I am including the song “Grace Unleashed”. As you listen I invite you to consider how much God wants to unleash His power and grace in your life, no matter what circumstances you are in right now. )

The dictionary defines the word delight as a high degree of pleasure, joy, or enjoyment.

Taking delight in the Lord is not only an important component of worship; it is also a fruit of a life of authentic worship of God.

Psalm 37: 4 states,

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”

I delight in my wife, my four grown children, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. When we are togetherOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA my heart is filled to overflowing with love. Because we can’t always be together as much as we would like, I deeply enjoy their presence and savor every moment with them.

I’ve attached a picture my wife Terese took of our granddaughter Ruby and me a few years ago. I will never forget Ruby’s laugh as we played together, and I treasure the delight and joy we had together in that moment.

I’ve also included a picture of my mom and me that was taken shortly before she died. As difficult as this time was, I delighted in being with her at that moment, and thank God for the time I had with her on this planet.

God has given us the capacity to delight, because He is the God who delights in all that reflects Him in creation and in us.

One of the big disservices we have done to God is painting Him as being joyless and stoic, and uninterested in us. John Piper once wrote,

“ … God rejoices in our thinking and feeling and doing what is right… he delights in our seeing, savoring, and showing his own supreme value. God values our valuing him. God delights in our delighting in him.”

(John Piper, Why God Tells Us He Delights in His Children)

God is the source of all true joy, and wants us to come to Him so we can drink from His fountain and enjoy His presence. Delighting in God isn’t just about enjoying the things He has done for us, although it’s good for us to be thankful and take pleasure in the blessings and gifts God gives to us. The danger in focusing solely on the things God gives us is that they can become more important than Him. This is what the Bible calls idolatry because we’re really delighting in created things over God, the One who created them for His own pleasure and our enjoyment.

Delighting in God is a choice we make. It is a heartfelt act of worship, an act of God-given love that says “More than anything I want you, God, and desire to be with you and reflect back to You all You are.”

The promise of Psalm 34 is that when we delight in God He will give us the desires of our heart.  In other words, when we delight in Him, He will give us the object of our desire: HIMSELF!

That’s real worship: enjoying God’s presence, delighting in Him because we know He is everything, our all in all. In this delight we simply entrust everything else to Him, because we know He can and will accomplish whatever is needed in our life and circumstances. The essence of this relationship is that as we are focused on delighting in God, He takes care of us… because He delights in us!

At the core of worship is an experiential encounter with God, one that will lead us to delight in Him and His presence through this life and into eternity.