Delighting In The LORD
By Kim Jaquish
Has anyone ever asked you to name the Fruits of the Spirit? I don't know how you do it, but there's NO WAY I can name them without singing a song either in my head or out loud. It's not going to happen. Songs can be a great way to remember things but they aren't always helpful. I was thinking about this the other day as I was reading through Psalm 84 because I know a song that is based on it. So I read the Psalm and finished my devos. The next day though, something hit me like a brick. I went back to that same Psalm and realized that the only parts I had really focused on were the ones that were in the song I knew!
I read it again with fresh eyes and suddenly all sorts of things started popping out at me that I never noticed before! Psalm 84 is beautiful and is widely quoted. It starts out:
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God." v. 1-2
But the part that stood out to me this time is verses 5-7:
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion."
I don't know how you are, but sometimes if I see a weird place or name in the Bible, I tend to skim over it. (I know, it's terrible.) But this time I wanted to know what the Valley of Baca had to do with anything here. So I did a little bit of research.
The psalmist here is picturing some travelers who are on their way to Jerusalem to worship. He has already talked about how he LONGS to be in God's temple and his presence. These pilgrims had to journey sometimes from far away places to get to the temple and it was hard going. The Valley of Baca was a dry and arid place they had to go through. It can actually be translated "weeping."
But if you look at the second half of that verse, it appears that they turned that valley into a place of JOY! They made it a place of springs! In fact, as they drew nearer and nearer to Jerusalem, their hearts got excited to worship the Lord and their strength increased!
I thought about this in my own life. First of all, do I LONG for the presence of the Lord? Can I truthfully say that ONE. DAY. with him is better than any other day I can think of? I think sometimes as believers, we settle. We settle for salvation and think we are good after that but the Bible proclaims so boldly that GOD HIMSELF is actually the best thing ever! Salvation is not about getting out of hell, but it’s about about glorifying, enjoying, TAKING DELIGHT in our Savior!
Secondly, I thought about my attitude towards my quiet time and church. Is my heart SO excited to spend time with the Lord that I get strength from him just thinking about it? Does it make the dry times in my life fill with joy? Or is it more of my morning routine and something that I do because I've done it every single Sunday of my life?
Whoa, conviction from the Psalms, right?? What about you? I would encourage you this week to make sure that Christ is really what you take the MOST delight and joy in!