Gold in the Dust

Gold in the Dust

Introduction

  • Psalms 37:4 – “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
  • Job 22:24-26 – “If you lay gold in the dust and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed, then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.
  • Delight or What?
    • Our lives need a MOTIVATION. What as Jesus’ Motivation? Psalms 40:6-8; Hebrews 12:2 (Romans 12:1)
      • Sacrifice – an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy (giving up, abandonment, surrender, foregoing, renouncing, forfeiture, loss, relinquishment, abdication, signing away, yielding, ceding, waiving)
      • Delight – a cause or source of great pleasure  (pleasure, happiness, joy, glee, gladness, relish, excitement, amusement, captivate, entrance, thrill, excite) Notice the emotions!
      • Charles Spurgeon – “They pay to religion an observance of the character of a tax, or a toll, which custom demands; but the free will offerings they know not, and loving enjoyment of hallowed fellowship they cannot understand! They serve God as Cain did, who brought his offering, it is true, but brought it late; brought it because it was the family custom, and he would not be outdone by his brother; brought it of the common fruit of the ground, and with a sullen, loveless heart. These Cainites bring such as they are forced to bring, and mingle no faith in Jesus’ blood with their offerings! They come with lead heels to the house of God, and they go away as if they had feathers on their feet! They serve God, but it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do otherwise. The thought of delight in religion is so strange to most men, that no two words in their language stand farther apart than “holiness,” and “delight.” Ah, but believers who know Christ, understand that delight and faith are so blessedly married, that the gates of hell cannot prevail to divorce them! They who love God with all their hearts find that His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths are peace. Such joy, such delights, such overflowing bliss do the saints discover in their Lord, that so far from serving Him from custom, they would follow Him should the entire world cast out His name as evil! We fear not God because of any compulsion—our faith is no fetter—our profession is no prison; we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, sirs; our religion is our recreation, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight!
  • What Does it Look Like to Delight in God?
    • Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
    • John Piper – “Delighting in God means savoring the diverse excellencies of God, especially as they are manifest in Christ.
    • Charles Spurgeon – “But there is another wonder in our text to worldly men, though it is a wonder well understood by Christians. The text says, “He shall give you the desires of your heart.” “Why,” the worldly man says, “I thought religion was all self-denial; I never imagined that in loving God we could have our desires; I thought that godliness consisted in killing, destroying, and keeping back our desires.” Does not the religion of most men consist in an open abstinence from sins which they secretly love? Negative godliness is very common in this age; it is supposed by most men that our religion consists in things which we must not do, rather than in pleasures which we may enjoy!”
    • What else do enjoy and delight in and how does that affect us?
      • Friends (Talking/Fellowship)
      • Entertainment (Free Time)
      • Sports (Excitement)
    • David is perhaps the best example of this delight in God. Perhaps this is why he was a man after God’s own heart? (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22)
      • Psalms 32:11 – Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
      • Psalms 16:8 – I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
      • Psalms 18:1 – I love you, O Lord, my strength.
      • Psalms 42:1-2 – As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
      • Psalms 66:3 – Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.
      • Psalms 119:47 – I shall delight in your commandments. Which I love.
    • Q: What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism) 
    • Examples
      • Marriage (Commitment)
      • Children (Care)
  • How Does Delighting in God Change Me?
    • Charles Spurgeon – “We do have joy; we do have delights, such that we would not part with one ounce of ours for tons of yours; not drops of our joy for rivers of your delights! Ours are no tinsel or painted joys, but solid realities; ours are joys that we can take with us to our bed in the silent dust—joys that shall sleep with us in the tomb, and that shall awake with us in eternity; joys that we can look back upon, and so live them over again in retrospect—joys that we can anticipate, and so know both here and hereafter. Ours are not bubbles which only glitter to burst; ours are not apples of Sodom, turning to ashes in our hand; our delights are substantial, real, true, solid, lasting, everlasting!”
    • St. Thomas Aquinas – “No man can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to evil pleasures.
    • Our delights can hold our delight in Him Hostage
      • Leave our Gold
        • People
        • Success / Goals
        • Reputation
        • Grief / Loss
      • The Almighty will be our Gold
        • Our delight in God is a relationship with Him FIRST – NOT what He DOES first.
      • Delight in the Lord
        • Psalms 16:11 – You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Conclusion

  • Charles Spurgeon – “You must take the word and spell it over, letter by letter, and then you must pray God to put your hearts into a sweet frame of mind, made up of the following ingredients—a perfect rest from all earthly care; a perfect resignation of yourself into God’s hands; an intense confidence in His love for you; a divine love to Him, so that you feel you would be anything or do anything for Him! Then, there must be added to all this, a joy in Him; and when you have these, they must be all set a-boiling, and then, by His grace, you have delight in the Lord your God!
  • Matthew Henry – “Desire is love in action, like a bird on the wing; delight is love in rest, like a bird on its nest.” Such is the meaning of the word, and such the duty prescribed. “Delight yourself also in the Lord.”
  • Jonathan Edwards – “God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by it being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it…”
  • Andrew Gray (1634-56), a remarkably gifted Scottish preacher who went home to be with Christ at the age of 22, stated that “often our delight is in this present life, and not upon God. Our worldly mindedness, as it were, has eaten up all our love to God and has consumed all the delight that we had in Him.”

Other Helpful Quotes:

  • Jonathan Edwards– “The person of Christ brings together infinite highness and infinite condescension, infinite justice and infinite grace, infinite glory and lowest humility, infinite majesty and transcendent meekness, deepest reverence towards God and equality with God, infinite worthiness of good and greatest patience under suffering evil, exceeding spirit of obedience with supreme dominion over heaven and earth, absolute sovereignty and perfect resignation, self-sufficiency and entire trust and reliance upon God.” 

Other Helpful Examples:

  • A man bought a new hunting dog. Eager to see how the dog would perform, the man took him out to track a bear. No sooner had they gotten into the woods than the dog picked up the trail. Suddenly he stopped, sniffed the ground, and headed in a new direction. He had caught the scent of a deer that had crossed the bear’s path. A few moments later he halted again, this time smelling a rabbit that had crossed the path of the deer. On and on it went until finally the breathless hunter caught up with his dog, only to find him barking triumphantly down the hole of a field mouse. 

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