I love running. Well, not physically. LOL. I mean running in more of a spiritual and mental way. I like having things to do. I like feeling like I’m doing something (or a bunch of somethings) to impact the lives of other people. I like to feel like I’m achieving things and for me, I’ve always had to feel like I’m running in order to feel like I’m achieving. For a very long time, I thrived off of business. Just running around living a life of being busy, not necessarily being busy living life. If I didn’t have a thousand things to do, I didn’t feel like I was impacting anybody. The thing about business though is if it’s not focused and purposeful and controlled, it’ll distract you from what’s really important.
For me, business always kept me from spending intimate, purposeful, and controlled time with the Lord. It kept me from truly abiding and delighting in His presence. For a long time, I never really felt at peace or felt sure of all the things I was doing – because for the most part, I shouldn’t have been doing a lot of those things. Not because they were bad or I was sinning, but because I couldn’t really focus in on the Lord or focus in on what He was truly calling me to. The truth is if being busy or being “successful” is keeping you from spending time with God, it ain’t really that important and it ain’t really going to feel like “success” for much longer. For the better part of my life, I’ve been in this constant cycle of busy, busy, busy. This cycle consists of giving away some of the better parts of me to other people, expecting the giving to be satisfying and fulfilling. I also expected them to give back to me in the ways I was giving to them. I was waiting for people to fill me like only God could. That just goes to show that delighting in PEOPLE will not give you the same satisfaction that delighting in the Lord will give you.
For a while, I told people that Psalms 37:4 was my favorite scripture not really knowing what it meant. LOL. Silly me. The verse says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. The message translation of the bible/the ghetto version/down to Earth version/keeps it real translation says “Keep company with God, get in on the best”. So for a long time, I believed that knowing God and having a relationship with Him was enough to receive the desires of my heart. I thought I could get God’s best by just giving Him a little bit of my time everyday, going to church, and even telling others about Him. SIKE. Recently, I was challenged with figuring out what the word “delight” actually means.
Delight within itself means joy, happiness, etc. If someone or something is a delight, it means people enjoy it – it makes us happy. But TO delight (using it as a verb) means to take pleasure in something, and when you take pleasure in something, you take your time with it. You savor it. Taking delight in something means to abide in it, to rest in it, to be slow and deliberate with it. Kind of like me when I’m eating cake tbh. To abide means to remain, continue, stay, and to LIVE in something. It means to dwell. So if God calls for us to connect with Him and to spend deliberate time with Him, we have to remain in His presence, continue in it, stay in it, and LIVE in it. So do you think our little 15 minute chats with God are really effective and can be considered us “dwelling” in Him? Especially when most of the time we are thinking about other things anyway. Do you think reading a few scriptures and saying a quick, rushed prayer is enough for God to truly reveal what His best is to us and to really give us the desires of our heart? The truth is we will never have God’s best if we can’t even give him a piece of our day. Not a quick prayer and reading a couple of scriptures but a REAL, good chunk of our day needs to be devoted to dwelling in the presence of God.
So I guess my real question is are you spending enough time with the Lord to be filled up? Spending time with God is sort of like going to a gas station. (lol please bare with me and keep reading). God is like the gas station, the gas is His love, His word, and all of the beautiful things He wants to give us – His time, His plans, our desires. We are the cars, designed to take all of the things God gives us in our quiet time to the rest of the world to fulfill His plans. But if we treat God like a quick pit stop, only putting five dollars in to get us to our short distance destinations, we will surely run out of fuel way quicker than expected. We won’t get very far in fulfilling our purpose, and we surely won’t have His best. But just like we go to gas stations to fill our cars to get us everywhere we need to go until the next time, we must do the same with Jesus. We have to spend enough time in Him in order to feel full, satisfied, restored, healed, peaceful, loved, and full. To truly experience the best He has to offer, we have to delight in Him. We have to spend enough time with Him to be full and satisfied. We can’t RUN through our time with God. We must WALK through it.
When considering what we must do to delight in the Lord, here are some things to consider:
Achieving isn’t always better than receiving. Sure, accolades and success are cool. But if you’re running on empty, you can’t fill nobody. And you also can’t give if you’re not receiving. So running around with a lot to do is cool, but receiving all that the Lord has for you when you delight in Him is better. Achieving is better than receiving, friends.
Something else to consider is the fact that we can’t possibly know what God wants from us if we don’t spend deliberate time with Him. How can we know the heart of Jesus if we don’t delight in Him? We won’t know what our true purpose is (which is God’s best) if we don’t take our time and communicate with our Father.
Something else to consider is the fact that if we don’t fill up on Jesus, we’ll be running on empty for awhile until we eventually just cannot move. Let’s go back to my gas station metaphor. When a car runs out of gas, it can drive for a little bit but it eventually cannot sustain itself. The only way it can move is it someone pushes it. WE ARE THE SAME WAY. If we don’t fill up on the fuel of God, we are basically putting ourselves in a position that pressures the people in our lives to push us like they’d have to push a car. They’ll have to push us until we can get to a place where we can fill up on God again. And that’s only if you have godly friends. Worldly friends will push you even farther away from the gas station (God) and most likely will LEAVE YOU if pushing you becomes too great of a burden.
Delighting in Jesus isn’t something that really comes easy – at least not doing it consistently. Not at first. It’s something you have to become disciplined in doing. Then it becomes something you literally look forward to…like can’t make it through the day without doing it. I promise this is NOT something I have perfected by any means. Some mornings, I wake up, go about my day and watch everything fall apart. Only then am I reminded that I didn’t spend time with the One who is the center of my life, who KEEPS ME CENTERED. I can’t even experience a GOOD day without spending time with Jesus first, let alone a BEST day. I don’t know what it is God would have me to do with my day if I don’t talk to Him. I can’t even keep my emotions in check without talking to Him before I talk to other people. There is something so sweet and special about lingering in the presence of God before you linger in the presence of anything or anybody else. Remarkable strength and courage can be found in abiding in Jesus. Love that no one can take away from you can be found there. A fullness like none other can be found there. Not just stopping by to tell Him hey or get a quick fill-up but waiting patiently in His presence for His glory to come. THAT is the place where you find all you are desperately looking for. That is where you find His best.
So I’m trying this new thing where I walk…. not run. I’m going to be slow, deliberate, and enjoy life but that can’t happen if I don’t spend deliberate and purposeful time with the Lord. I’m not going to busy myself with business but be deliberate about how I choose to spend my time – which for me means spending more time with Jesus. I now know that in order for my life to slow down, I need to be slow and intentional with the time I spend with Him. All of us do.
So do it.
As always love God, love people, and choose to spend more time delighting in the Lord in 2018.