Delighting in God

Gwen Smith Abiding, Blog, Christian Living, contentment, Control, Devotions, Faith, Fear, Focus, I Want It All, Influence, Maturity, Worship 6 Comments

In C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, a young Edmund Pevensie is a fictional character who, at one point, almost traded his soul for a Turkish delight. He naïvely gave into cravings that ended up costing him, and his loved ones, way more than he anticipated.

Initially, the evil White Witch was shocked by Edmund’s presence in Narnia, but she quickly implemented a crafty plan to destroy him, and her plan of destruction began with temptation.

First, she pretended to care about him. Then, like the crafty serpent in Eden’s garden, she warmed him up by providing a sugar-coated death delight. And just like the first Adam and Eve, Edmund, Son of Adam, took the bait.

Similarly, our very-real enemy tries hard to get you and me to place our delight in things other than Jesus and His Word. Peter wrote about this to the believers of His day, “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist Him, firm in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8-9a, CSB)

Our enemy whispers toxic lies to churn discontentment and promises the things of this world will solve our problems, numb our pain and bring a sweet reward.

His mission is to get us to delight in and focus on anything other than the mission of Jesus.

You and I were created to be in relationship with God.

To live and love according to His ways and word. With all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls.

The psalmist embraced the tensions of this and celebrated God’s Word as a point of goodness in Psalm 119:43. “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.” And again, later in that same chapter, “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.” (Psalm 119:174)

It’s sounds good and right when I read this, but I know all too well that it’s easy to feel restless and unsatisfied sometimes. Even as a Christian who loves Jesus.

I think most of us would say we want to delight in God’s commands and laws, but we wonder what that really looks like. How can this play out practically in the messy middle of our average, over-busy, complicated days?

I’m learning that God wants more than my good intentions, and He wants more than my attempts at good behavior.

He wants me to pursue Him as He pursues me.

He wants me to seek Him. To care about knowing Him more deeply. To connect with and worship Him.

In doing these things, I delight in Him.

Let’s be honest… while you and I may not have normal run ins with a freakish White Witch, there are tons of things that tempt us to find delight in other than Jesus.

But none are greater.

Dear Lord,
You are my delight. Forgive me for turning to the left and the right when I should be turning straight to You. Teach me Your ways, Lord. Grow my love for Your Word and guard my heart from temptation.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

What two directives did Peter give to believers in 1 Peter 5:8?

What would it look like for you to “be alert and be sober-minded” about the plans of the Tempter for your life today? Let’s go deeper together. Tell me about it in a direct message on Instagram or on my blog.

Love doing life with you!
GWEN

 

PS. Special congrats to my friend, author and podcaster,Monica Swanson on the release of her new online character course! The Character Training Course is a self-paced course to equip parents with what they need to inspire and nurture godly character in their kids. The course includes video lessons, expert interviews, and packed resources — from prayers for your kids to book and movie lists, help with consequences, questions to help teens make better choices, and so much more.

Comments 6

  1. We were created to know God in a personal way—to have a relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ! May the Lord bless you as you seek His face! 🙏🏻

    As the burdens grow— the power and the presence of God need to grow [intensify] with it! – Pastor Don McClure
    Hallelu Yah!

    -John 3:30 (NLT)
    “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”

    peacewithGod.net

  2. To be alert and sober-minded for me would be to yield my want for companionship to the Holy Spirit and be cognizant of tricks from the devil to introduce or reintroduce distractions with men whom God has not called to that special role of husband, caretaker and provider in my life. I am 43, and I have had failed marriages due to stepping outside of God’s Will. It is important that I’m discerning in all my interactions.

  3. To be alert and sober minded would look like me minding my business at all cost. It would be me staying connected in Christ through His word and prayer. I know life can get busy and it can be tough at times, however God is always with me. He will never leave me, I can cry out at anytime. Even when I am sad or when the enemy is at my gate, I can cry out to God. Just by keep my eyes on God, ensures I don’t stray

  4. I really enjoy reading your emails. I have even shared them sometimes with my husband.
    My Bible version says:
    Discipline yourselves, keep alert. I’m reminded how important it is to set apart time to be in the Word to start my day. So I will be alert when the devil does come I can fight with the word of God my sword.

  5. Thank-you, Gwen. I needed to be reminded to delight in the Lord & pursue Him alone as my Source of joy, provision, hope, strength, etc. I am going to he more alert & sober-minded where the enemy is concerned by keeping my mind on the Word of God and being thankful for God’ s goodness.
    Tracy R.

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