99.99% of the time, if someone advertises a one-sentence, cure-all, “answer to everything,” ….they are lying to your face.
This post represents the .01%. Learning to delight yourself in Christ REALLY is the secret to everything, not because I said it, but because God said it.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalms 37:4
If you didn’t read any of my other posts on this subject, it would be ok. This principle of treasuring Christ is the axis on which the success or failure of your love life hinges. It is all other 4 points, and all of life, wrapped into one succinct (and delightful) command.
We must be careful to exercise caution in our interpretation of this verse. A lot of well-meaning people have frankly butchered its application and experienced a great deal of confusion and distrust as a result.
So, for clarification purposes...
WHAT THIS VERSE DOES NOT MEAN: If I make God my delight, I will immediately get every material thing that I ever wanted! Kind of like popping a magic coin into a Heavenly vending machine.
Ferrari, promotion, Prince Charming, white-picket fence, and 7 beautiful children …HERE I COME!
This erroneous idea can lead to the false theology that God exists as a cloud-dwelling Genie, just floating about, waiting to grant our wishes if we behave correctly. This is both a misrepresentation of God’s character, and a misunderstanding of how the Kingdom of God works. God does not exist to serve our needs, we exist to serve Him. Our status in this life–trial-free or full of trouble, member of the golf club or the paycheck-to-paycheck club–does not correlate with our spiritual maturity. Jesus Himself lived like a pauper, was betrayed by those closest to Him, and ultimately died a brutal death. We don’t cash-in on the Gospel to up our social standings and fill our bank accounts, we cash-in on the Gospel to get Jesus. If we’re serious about knowing Him, then we need to accept the inevitable trials that come our way and not assume they are a result of a lack of faith. ((7))
WHAT THIS VERSE DOES MEAN: When we purposefully make knowing more of Jesus the supreme goal and chief joy of our lives, we will become satisfied in who God is, and begin to want what God wants. Our purpose will become clarified as we become living instruments of God’s will. Sounds sweet….and perhaps a bit too simplistic doesn’t it?
The secret to everything is really not all that complicated, but it requires all of us in order to become a reality.
God promises that when we seek Him with a sincere heart, we WILL find him. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you WILL find.” ((8))
God also promises that what we will find in Him will quench our deepest soul-thirsts and lead to the discovery of the design for our existence–a continuous delight in God which overflows into a lifestyle of worship and adoration.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you…
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.”
Note David’s progression here. He goes from seeking, to finding, to praising,…to ultimately living out this heart of God which he had discovered. All people who are currently living out God’s plan for their lives have followed this same path to peace.
As theologian John Piper puts it, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” ((9))
We cannot conjure up passion, purpose, or true satisfaction by concentrating, gritting our teeth, or trying REALLY hard. (Trust me, if it were possible to attain these things by human effort or sheer willpower, I would have done it.)
We find true life only by going to its Source.
If you are struggling to find joy in your single season, go to the Joy-Giver.
If you are struggling to find peace in your single season, go to the Quieter of Souls.
If you are struggling to find purpose in your single season, go to the Creator of Destiny.
If you are feeling struggling to feel loved in your single season, go to the True Lover of your soul.
If you are struggling to feel valuable in your single season, go to the One who died to demonstrate your worth.
It’s really not that complicated. All of our strategies and therapeutic programs will ultimately prove to be fruitless if they are not rooted in seeking the undying life that only comes from the Living God.
And as you grow to experience Christ in a real way for yourself, you will discover…
1)The “Failure” label will not stick to anyone who has already been labeled such things as, “Beloved,” “Bought With A Price,” and “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” ((10)) A large and vital part of delighting in and loving God comes from understanding His love for us. As we dig into His Word and begin to more fully comprehend His heart towards us, the term “failure” vacates our vocabulary. A soul that is filled to the brim with the love of God has no space left over for doubting its value.
2) There is no such thing as an intermission for someone who is actively dedicated to knowing Jesus more. When every detail of life is put through the matrix of knowing and experiencing deeper oneness with Christ, then absolutely everything, even the seemingly insignificant details, have a purpose. Everyday becomes an adventure when we are expecting Jesus to show up… because He will.
3)We can trust the heart of God with our soul’s deepest desires. Surely, “He who did not spare His own Son,” ((11)) will grant us what we dream of in His perfect timing and way.
4) Mangriness and desperation fade as we spend time in the Presence of God. When we begin to see and savor Christ, our spiritual tastes change. Unhealthy activities that we previously engaged in no longer present a temptation. The idea of entering a romantic relationship that could possibly damage or estrange our relationship with God is unattractive and plain old, not worth it. When we hang close to God’s heart, our overcomplicated thinking fades and fears dissipate. As incredible as it may seem, John 15 suggests that when we make our lives about abiding in Christ, we can literally, without even realizing it, become the living will of God. ((12)) As He infuses us with his own heart, the things that we want will be the very things that God wants for us. We can trust that He will not allow us to continue down a path that is displeasing to Him, without alerting us to a problem.
As Oswald Chambers so eloquently puts it, “If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live.” ((13))
You don’t have to wait to act on this life-altering secret. Don’t linger until you feel a certain emotion, motivation, or achieve a certain level of “godliness.” GOD will give you all that. Just come as you are with the an open heart and the open Word. Come with your broken dreams, your disappointments, and your doubts, and you will discover the not-so-secret, “secret to everything.”
It doesn’t mean you find your soul-mate tomorrow, or suddenly be struck with good fortune, but it DOES mean that you will be ready when he comes, and that you will have the courage to live fully-alive in the meantime.
Above all, remember…
When you seek God, you will get the “desires of your heart,” simply because you will GET GOD.