In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Christ warned that they had left their first love (Rev. 2:4). Though they had maintained the truth, their delight in Christ had lost its shine. No longer did they possess a child-like wonder and faith for the Master (Matt. 18:2ff). And so the Lord begged them to “repent and do the first works” (Rev. 2:5).
How can we rekindle a love for God? How can we renew our dedication to his blessed Son?
Perhaps we might ponder that question as we consider a little gem tucked away in Psalm 40. The Psalmist declared,
“I delight to do your will, 0 my God;
Yes, your law is within my heart” (Psa. 40:8).
What a marvelous exclamation!
The Hebrews writer declares by inspiration that this passage is fulfilled in the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 10:7ff).
Jesus: Our Example of the Delightful Servant
Christ was ever involved in the things of his Father (Lk. 2:49) He once confessed with amazing frankness, “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (Jn. 8:29).
And when vicious Jewish leaders so desperately sought to find in him something worthy of condemnation, he challenged, “Which of you convicts me of sin?” (Jn. 8:46). Befuddled, they could only mumble the absurd charge that he was demon-possessed.
John the baptizer introduced Jesus as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). He was a Lamb, which Peter affirmed to be without blemish or spot (1 Pet. 1:19). Yes, Jesus “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22).
That perfect obedience he maintained unto death, hence “without blemish” he offered himself to God (Heb. 9:14).
Truly, Jesus delighted in doing Heaven’s will.
Do We Delight to Do His Will?
One of the great tragedies of our time — of all time — is this.
How many really delight in doing the will of their Creator? The answer is sad — fewer than should.
Do we meditate day and night upon heavenly oracles (Psa. 1:2)? Do we long after, even pant for, the commands of our God (Psa. 119:131)?
“How sweet are your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psa. 119:103).
“I love your commands above gold,
yes, above fine gold” (Psa. 119: 127).
How many of Jehovah’s children can genuinely express these sentiments today? The answer might be frightening!
Christianity: A Blessing or a Burden?
It takes only a casual observer to note that religion as practiced by some members of the body of Christ seems more of a burdensome drudgery that is but painfully tolerated.
There is that type of “saint” who drags sleepy-eyed into the Sunday morning service, having skipped a Bible study because it does not pique his interest. The hour’s worship activities are endured with a zombie-like stare revealing maximum boredom.
These poor souls do not scruple to absent themselves on Sunday evening or from a mid-week Bible study. Once a week is sacrifice aplenty!
Do they ever talk of spiritual matters? No, more often their interests are confined to the worldly. Social media is proof enough of what their heart treasures most. And their financial support of the Lord’s work wouldn’t even pay for the communion bread they absent-mindedly consume.
They are listless, lukewarm and lifeless. They grumble and actually, are just plain miserable.
The question is — why?
How to Delight in the Will of God
The answer lies in the very text with which this discussion was begun, Psa.40:8.
The Lord delighted in doing Jehovah’s will because the law of God was in his heart!
Many brethren know the truth from an intellectual standpoint, but their hearts are far from their Master. The heart, as well as the head, needs conversion.
In other words, service needs to be motivated from love as well as a recognition of duty. It is this love, this fervor, this passion for daily serving God, that makes life delightful. And legions know it not!
The world, like an octopus, tries to get its deadly tentacles around the hearts of God’s children. It is as quicksand that would suck us into the destruction of hell.
If the Christian is to survive, he must store the word of God into his heart daily.
“Your word have I laid up in my heart,
that I might not sin against you” (Psa. 119:11).
“The law of God is in his heart;
none of his steps shall slide,” (Psa. 37:31).
Every facet of Christianity is designed to strengthen the disciple of the Lord, to prevent the erosion of his soul by the world. Praise, prayer, Bible study — these and other spiritual things are sources of divine strength.
Regretfully, however, we often neglect to give attention to spiritual things. It is possible to be lulled into a spiritual numbness and thus be forever lost.