How to Delight Yourself in the Lord Psalm 37:4

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

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83 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. Jared Alushula says:

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

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