How to Delight Yourself in the Lord: How Psalm 37:4 Works

Here’s how to delight yourself in the Lord while waiting on that desire in your heart that hasn’t yet materialized. Learn what Psalm 37:4 means and discover some other great verses on delighting in God.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 6, 2011 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


What are the desires in your heart? That certain one that you are still waiting on to come to fruition? You’ve probably asked God when is it going to happen? How is it going to happen?

It all so frustrating, right?

When I was in a long season of waiting, specifically to be married, the Lord provided a few verses that were an anchor for my spirit. He began with the foundational verse for that season, which opens up a wonderful promise:

Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NKJV

Why Our Focus Matters

We can easily make the desires of our heart an idol when our focus is on what we want, instead of pleasing God. It brings a weariness to our spirit.

Focus on this phrase:

Delight yourself in the Lord.

So what does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord? In delighting yourself in the Lord, it takes your focus off of what you’re waiting for and places it back on the Lord. Waiting brings strength, not weariness, if you are waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31).

The key is choosing to live yielded to God, and in this case, delighting yourself in the Lord.

How Psalm 37:4 Works

I remember wanting to get married more than anything else in life. Every waking thought was about the latest guy I was enamored with. I found Psalm 37:4 one day and “held it over God’s head” as my ticket to get what I wanted: my husband—now.

He gently replied, “That’s not how it works, Daughter.”

What I was thinking was, Okay, God, fine. But I’m pretty sure You keep Your promises.

I’m fairly certain I was still trying to manipulate Him. But I wanted to get to the bottom of it. So I prayed:

“If that’s not how it works, then how does it?”

There was no immediate reply, but He did give me an immediate response. I sensed His sweet presence near me when I would think about a guy.

That verse about God being jealous of our love (2 Corinthians 11:2)? Yeah, He was reminding me of His continual pursuit of me. And the realization of that made my heart sing!

I decided to look up verses on delighting in the Lord and ones that talked about who He delighted in. That was probably the Holy Spirit giving me that idea.

With new fervency for those verses, and a little more falling in love with the Lord, I copied each one into my journal. I started praying them over my life and asked God to help them become a part of me.

He answered that prayer, and one day I was startled to realize I had been thinking about God more than a guy! I smiled and people around me thought I was in love with a man when really my heart was just captivated with my Love.

How to Delight Yourself in the Lord

The word delight is a verb. It is an action of taking great pleasure in God, to please Him or to be His pleasure.

When a man’s heart is tender toward a woman, in wooing her he will want what he is, does and says to be pleasing to the woman; he is delighting himself in her. In the same way, you can be God’s pleasure.

The Bible talks about many ways to delight yourself in the Lord (see below).

It’s not about a list to follow to make sure we are being righteous, but we delight in Him because we love Him. This is a specific way to live yielded to God.

As you dive into the verses below that describe ways to delight yourself in the Lord, and let them become a part of your life, God will begin to transform your heart. The result is that you will want to give your heart fully to Him and delight yourself in Him where you didn’t before.

As you dive into the verses below that describe ways to delight yourself in the Lord, and let them become a part of your life, God will begin to transform your heart. Click to Tweet

Ways to Delight Yourself in the Lord

It doesn’t matter what season of waiting you are enduring. God will take that time to draw you closer to Himself. The following verses can help open your eyes to delight in Him, your heart to live yielded to Him — and ultimately thrive in Christ. Here are some biblical ways to delight in God:

Doing His Will

I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8 NKJV

Meditating on Scriptures

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV

Having an Honest Heart

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:22 NKJV

Obedience

So Samuel said: Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV

Prayer

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. Proverbs 15:8 NKJV

Being All About His Word

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love. Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; For Your law is my delight. Psalm 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 77 NKJV

A New Heart Cry of Delighting in the Lord

When I learned to delight myself in the Lord, I thought about how my heart looked to God more than how my hair looked for a guy. That was a huge change in my heart! He did that in me!

When you catch onto this concept, your heart cry becomes, “Yes, I want the desires of my heart, but I want You even more than those desires.”

And through the process of delighting yourself in the Lord, you see that He delights in you! You have His whole heart and will always have His love!

Are you in a season of waiting?  Look up these scriptures on delighting yourself in the Lord in your Bible and begin to familiarize yourself with them. Highlight them, write them in your journal, pray them, but mostly get them in your heart! And He will give you the desires of your heart!

When I learned to delight myself in the Lord, I thought about how my heart looked to God more than how my hair looked for a guy. Click to Tweet

Need more encouragement while in a season of waiting? Check these out:

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83 Comments

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Your welcome. Blessings to you as well!

      1. Wilma Surrett says:

        I love your article but the lettering is so light and thin lined that I have trouble reading it. Thank you for sharing.

    2. This was Awesome thank you

  1. Charlotte Findley says:

    Kelly, thank you for reminding us to delight ourselves in the Lord. During this hurried season it is truly a time when we should concentrate on delighting ourselves in Him.

      1. yata elizabeth sheyen says:

        thank you for reminding me to delight in the lord first . i am so encourage with this right top .i was just praying to day that God should grant to me the desires of my heart then the spirit of God took me to this page.thanks again.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. All too often, I so easily delight in my free time, which usually leads to me feeling stressed out because I don’t have enough of it. But I want the Lord to be my delight. Reading Psalm 1 in my devotional time, I took particular notice that delighting in God is connected to delighting in his law, something that I intend to explore more fully. Your thoughts have given me some food for thought.

    1. KellySinging says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad it was helpful!

    2. Beautiful! I often like looking up Words in Hebrew for deeper meaning too, this read was so encouraging thanking Abba for you.

      1. Hi, Kesh! I’m so glad this was encouraging to you! Praying you stay nourished and thriving this week!

  3. thanks kelly, really touch with this message, i am asking God to give me the grace to delight in him more than my personal desire or pleasure.

  4. Thank you so much kelly. Your message has helped me

    1. This really helps me and now I come know the definition of Delight and how to delight my self with God.. thankyou.

  5. Great post….the rationale being as we delight in him….our desires become more in line with his will for us, rather than our will for us

  6. Thank you so much but one question I have is did you get married? And were you praying for a husband. Did you just ask God or did you just meditate on the scriptures you listed?

  7. this was amazing Thank you!!

  8. Thank you very much for this word. I find it very helpful. ive been struggling to understand this scripture but now I have a clear view on what to do. Thank you VERY, VERY much! God bless you and continue the good work.

  9. Not only do the verses you have provided given me insight, into this area of my life but also coming from a sister in Christ it reminds me that I am not terminally unique and that fellowship (even online) can be a blessin gto someone enduring some trials or hardships. Thanks Kelly.

  10. Tina Payton says:

    Thank you for Defining the word Delight I have understanding of DELIGHT be blessed.

    1. This is an awesome teaching, I have a great perspective plus your teaching is practical

  11. thank you for this devotion Kelly! ive meditating on what it means to really delight myself in our Lord, as I am in a time of waiting. And our Lord directed me here. This devotion had truly blessed abs helped me today! I’ve bookmarked it to re-read. thanks again sister!

    1. Thanks, so pleased that it blessed!

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    2. Damaris Addo says:

      I love love this!! I found it as I am preparing to teach inspiration to others to delight themselves in the Lord to help their relationship with God And their families… I may share some what u wrote. Do u mind ??

      1. Hi Damaris, thanks for stopping by. This material is copy written, so please only share according to what you would do with any copy written work. God bless you!

  12. Brittany smith says:

    Thank you very much for giving me more understanding of ways I can delight myself in The Lord..

  13. Sometimes we just need a handle, to simplify the word in our everyday lives. Waiting becomes much easier when we focus on God, and not the situation. Delighting, in the above mention ways, brings peace. Thanks for such an uplifting article.

  14. Wow ! I needed to read this today. Thanks for posting this

    1. Thanks for reading Jessica! God bless you!

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  15. Rita Coker says:

    This is exactly what one must do when they are waiting! Delight ourselves in the Lord this is the most happiest moment for me! Even before I knew it what I was waiting on had come and it even seem like it wasn’t a wait at all! There is no other joy, peace and assurance that you could do as the devil trys to make you doubt our Saviour! God’s word kept me through the whole process because I made a point to STAY in His word!! Oh, oh what a friend we have in Jesus!

  16. Oh yes. I love how you put it, to put our focus back on him. Which means at some point we took it off of him and that is where we go wrong. I know we won’t live it out perfectly, but keeping our eyes on HIM is what will keep our hearts content in the waiting.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Truth! And the enemy will vie for our attention daily. Keeping these verses forfront is helpful. Blessings, friend!

  17. I am just encouraged and empowered by your sharing. Thank you and may God bless your ministry

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      You’re welcome, Rose, and God bless you, too!

  18. Thank you for explaining how to delight yourself in the Lord in so much depth and giving an example of your life and how you sought to change. God bless you for sharing

  19. Thank you Kelly for defining how to delight in God. The statement “ when a man’s heart is tender …. was the pearl I was looking for. Your article has become a blessing in my life. God bless

    1. I’m glad it was helpful to you, A P! Saying a prayer for you right now as you delight yourself in the Lord!

  20. Jared Alushula says:

    Great read there about delighting yourself in the Lord. God bless you Kelly. Pastor Jared Alushula from Kenya.

  21. Thank you so much Mrs Kelly for your insights .God bless you . I am really blessed by your insights

  22. Opeyemi Adebiyi says:

    Thank you for the insight Kelly!
    I’ve been staring at this scripture for a while now and a thought crossed my mind: how do I delight myself in Him again?…
    Your write up was very explicit.

    1. God bless you too, Rosemary! I love how God speaks to us at just the right time. 🙂

  23. Li was looking for something about ‘delighting the Lord’ for my daughter. She is struggling with feeling like she’s a failure in spite of His great provision for her. Came across this article, and it really spoke to me! I’ve shared it with her. Thanks, Kelly! Spot on.

    1. I will pray for her! Thanks for sharing it with her. So glad you stopped by!

  24. Thank you so much for the article.Very well said. A burden to search more on delighting the Lord and stumbled on your article, which was just on point for me as I journey into the New year.

  25. Tonya Marie says:

    This was very helpful, thanks

  26. Tumu S Newell says:

    This was RIGHT ON TIME.

  27. Antonio Liberta says:

    I had a venting and argument session with God last week. I know He just shook His head and just laughed at my voicing out to Him. Anyway, I had a dream last night and all I saw and heard was” Delight yourself in the Lord ” I am still i shocked that God actually showed me this in my dream. Now im looking everything up to actually know what the scripture really means. That’s how I landed here. Great advise!!!

    1. Wow, that is so cool! God is really getting your attention. So glad you landed here, Antonio! 🙂

  28. Thank you very much for sharing, the breaking down of the scripture made a huge difference. I like the practical way you have share it. Two weeks ago during fasting, I dreamed about this very scripture Psalms 37:4. It has been in my heart to search in depth what it means to delight oneself in the Lord, that’s how l landed here. Again, thank you for your outstanding gift, May the Lord keep on blessing your ministry.

    1. It sounds like God is certainly drawing you closer to Him! I’m so glad you visited and hope you will visit again, Angel!

  29. I thank the Lord for your life. And may He continue to use you mightily, in the name of Jesus. Amen

  30. Damaris Jebiwott says:

    Wow. I bless the Lord for you. I received a conviction about delighting myself in Gods ways this morning, but i didn’t know the scriptures where delight is highlighted. So I was researching and I thank God I landed on your page. I have learnt more than enough information about delighting myself in the Lord. Thanks for the Insightful exposition on Delighting ourselves in the Lord. Very Impactful, God bless You.

  31. Josiah jackson says:

    Hey did you ever get Married and how do I get god to help me get my degree in high-school if I’m not smart enough I’m really far behind on work and I’m worried that I’m not going to pass and school is almost over

  32. Angela Choo says:

    Thanks very much for your writing. I have received this verse from the Lord & others over the years. I just recd it but never dwell further on it. After another person gave this verse to me yesterday & thanks to God for giving me the grace to ponder longer, i realised that i have gotten it all wrong. Today is like i suddenly got illuminated – I have always thought that God knows & i know that my desire was Him, deeper intimacy, love, obedience & trust. But, actually the desires in my heart is my family’s salvation & others who are in my life. I want to make God happen for them & i want them to be open to the Lord. I realised my wrongs. Looked to me like i was putting my cart before the horse (not sure if i see this right). I then goggled to find out more about this verse & chose to read your posting. Thank you very much, Kelly. Thank God for bringing me back on course. Thank you.

  33. Thanks Kelly, while praying for someone, I got emotional before I prayed the words. “Lord help them to delight themselves in you.” And then I got anxious about my son’s salvation, and He (God) reminded me to delight myself in Him and He will give me the desires of my heart.. May the Lord continue to bless you abundantly.

    1. Thanks for reading, Janet. I’m saying a prayer for your son’s salvation right now.

  34. Angela Cooper Abrea says:

    Wow the scripture psalm 37:4 Has been one that I have been meditating on so helpful to have an article that is practical that deals with it. thank you so much. I found other scriptures that were helpful to my growth as well as I delved into looking these up. Thank you again.

    1. You’re quite welcome, Angela! I love practical application of the Word!

  35. Thank you for this article I recently left my job where I was employed for 12 years, it was very demanding and stressful at times, it always interfered with the time I needed to spend with my family, I have been heavily pondering and needed understanding on how to delight myself in God, so that he can give me the desires of my heart. I need clarity on what I need to be doing in my life, and how I can still bring in income and be here for my kids, I’m married and I have 2 beautiful children my daughter is 12 and my son is 8, I am literally taking a leap of faith!! I have peace in my life now that I am no longer with the agency I was working for. I want to be happy and still fulfill my purpose on this earth. I dont want to have any regrets once I am older. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Thank you, one request, I’m reading from my phone and the text is so feather light, could you use a heavier font, I can’t see to finish it

    1. Hoping to fix that with a new blog theme later this year. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  37. Thank you for this encouraging words kelly

  38. Hi Kelly and thank you for sharing this life changing Word. Yes, delighting in Him causes us to wait well and wanting nothing until it’s time. I also discovered that delighting myself in Him daily transformed my desires into His desires for me. I no longer desired what I wanted, I desired what He wanted for me, His Best! I believe this is the outcome when we become one with Him. What are your thoughts?
    Blessings
    Sharon

  39. Thanks , I have been getting it all wrong. You have tought me well. God bless you.

  40. GETRUDE PHIRI-MOYO says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this, exactly what the Holy Spirit was pressing upon my heart….He placed Psalm 37:4 when I thought I was done with the long wait. Thanks for obeying God to write this article.

  41. Thank you for sharing. Your post has bought clarity and explained where our gaze should be continually. May you be richly blessed.

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