Marks of a Christian: Delight in God

The transition one experiences when they become a Christian could be described in many different ways.  One way by which we can describe this transition is in the sense of delight.  A change of affections has taken place, from delighting in self and the world to delighting in God and His ways.

What, then, does it mean to delight in something?  To delight in something is to have an intense amount of pleasure or enjoyment in that thing.  In other words, that which captivates your affections is that which you delight in.  While it is good for us to delight in many things, such as creation, family, and friends, our ultimate delight is to be found in the Creator and Provider of all these—God.

This mark brings us to the primary purpose of our existence.  The first question of the Shorter Catechism asks,

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Both glorifying and enjoying God go hand-in-hand.  When we take pleasure and enjoyment in God, then God is glorified in us.  This is the purpose for which God created us, to delight in (glorify and enjoy) Him.  Take a look at these Scripture passages on delighting in God:

Psalm 16:11 “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Psalm 73:25, 28 “Whom have I in heaven but You?  And besides You, I desire nothing on earth… But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”

Philippians 4:4 (cf. 3:1) “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

This transition we have experienced—from delighting in self and the world to delighting in God and His ways—is due to the blessing of the Gospel.  The grace and power of the Gospel causes us to live in this great and glorious delight in God.  This is, after all, the end of the Gospel—that we would be brought near to God and delight in Him (Rom. 5:2; 1 Pet. 3:18).  Through Christ we have come to exult (rejoice exceedingly) in the glory of God (Rom. 5:8-11).  The Bible knows of no Christian devotion that is devoid of joy, pleasure, and delight in the God who has stooped down from His heavenly abode to love, serve, and save corrupt, wicked, undeserving sinners.  The sheer grace and mercy exhibited to us in and through the Gospel of Christ causes to well up within us a concentration of delight, bursting forth in a symphony of adoration.  True devotion and worship consists of delighting in the One to whom devotion and worship is due—God (Rev. 4:11).

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