What delights you? The word “delight” means to “take great pleasure in.” Do you take great pleasure in a vivid sunset? Brilliant stars on a clear night? Hearing a great story?
Perhaps you delight in the gathering of family on a holiday, or the feeling of success at the completion of a difficult task, or in your team’s winning of a national championship. Perhaps the giggle of your grandchild or the hug of a loved one delights you. The blessings of the Lord toward men abound. Along with the trials and tragedies, the world is full of delightful people, situations, possessions, pleasures, and experiences.
What about obedience? If you were to list the delights of childhood, would “obedience to parents” be on that list? It wouldn’t be on mine. More’s the pity. As an adult, submission and obedience are still not always easy when my own desires are crossed.
We live in a world that rages against the idea of submission to authority. When saved out of that mindset, biblical thinking requires a mental one-eighty. How often is it that believers view obedience to God as a delight? (Hopefully, an increasing frequency.) Jesus did, and that under the most difficult of trials. Speaking on Christ’s obedience in His sacrifice, Steven Charnock wrote:
Obedience ran through the whole web of his life, he submitted to a body fitted for those dreadful strokes of wrath which we should have endued; a body made under the law (Gal. 4:4). He delighted in the thoughts of performing the will of God in our flesh; he came not do his own will. Whatsoever the Father ordered him, that he spake, that he did, that he suffered. He laid down his body when the hour was come appointed by his Father. It was not a simple but an affectionate obedience: ‘I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do’ (John 14:31).
(Christ Crucified: The Once-for-all Sacrifice, Christian Focus Publications, reprinted 2013, p. 202-203)
Jesus delighted to perform the will of God. What difference would that same perspective make in your thoughts and actions (and mine)? What would it take to put on this attitude?
“I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:31).