You’re probably familiar with Psalm 37:4 – “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire.” This verse has been a personal favorite for years. I thought I understood it, but I gained a fresh insight recently upon learning the true meaning of the word delight.
In this verse, the Hebrew word delight comes from a root meaning “soft and pliable.” To delight ourselves in the Lord, then, means more than loving Him and spending time in His presence. It means we allow Him to mold and shape us. To work us like putty. To change our character.
When we’re soft and pliable in the Lord’s hands, He’s able to transform us. And as He does so, our desires change. We want to help others succeed rather than push our way to the top. We want to give rather than receive. We want our lives to bring Jesus pleasure rather than live as pleasure-seeking people.
Taking delight in the LORD—becoming soft and pliable in His hands—means we live surrendered to His will. We follow Jesus’ attitude example when He willingly died on the cross even though the thought of impending crucifixion and bearing the weight of the world’s sin caused Him to sweat drops of blood. “Father, not My will but Thine be done,” He prayed.
Loving Jesus translates into action, and that means choosing to make ourselves soft and pliable in His hands. Saying yes when He asks us to give generously to those in need. Agreeing with Him when He asks us to forgive an offender. Obeying His command to love others even when it hurts.
Delighting ourselves in the Lord—making ourselves like putty in His hands—guarantees that He’ll give us our desires. As He transforms us, we become more like Him. Our hearts are cleansed and renewed and aligned with His. It’s a win-win situation. Why, oh why, would we withhold and try to do life our way when He’s clearly shown us how to have our heart’s desire fully satisfied?
What does becoming soft and pliable in the Lord’s hands mean to you personally?