[The study you are about to embark on is intended to be a journey. A journey is not completed in a sitting, in a day. To be successul in this endeavor, take your time to draw away to discover that quiet place within yourself where truth resides. Then linger there, for as long as needed, going back as oft as God calls, until you've traversed this soil together with Him, finding His heart, then weaving it together with your own.]
A JOURNEY INTO GODís HEART Ė A Study of Psalm One
Lesson One:Visions of Delight
To know God is to lay hold of His heart.
God uses the Psalmist to uniquely
capture that heart on the canvas of asoul.
Within the pages of this study,
I pray you will begin a personal journey
of your own that will prove but the beginning
of a lifetime of exploration into Godís own heart,
a heart that beats for you moment by moment
1) What constitutes delight and how is it reflected in or important to your day-to-day walk with God?
2) When you envision a blessed life, how does the picture unfold, in the secret honesty of your heart?
VISIONS OF DELIGHT
( A study of Psalm 1:1-2)
As you begin this study, I feel a quickening, a relentless urging, to lay a question before you, at the on-set. Are you seized, at this moment, by delight? Embraced by contentedness? Or does it ebb and flow, anchorless Ö just outside your grasp?
The capacity for delight is part of your makeup, buried in your genetic code. When God, before laying a single foundation of the world, planned for this orb that would be your home, He had delight in mind. Not merely a passing notion. Your delight proved so important to Him, as He thought of you, that He mixed it into your very clay.
Genesis tells us God planted a garden (2:8). He fenced it in, filling it with everything necessary to know delight and blessing. Travel with me there, for a moment, and envision the King of the universe, dressed in the splendor of His goodness and holiness, walking the garden Himself. Carefully He stoops, stirring the soil with tenderest care as He plants each and every seed of delight your heart was ever to hold. Perfect seeds. Seeds designed to produce rich harvests, abundant beyond your imagining.
How could God know what would delight you?
Easily, for you were created in His very imagine, designed to walk in delightedness with Him, by His side. So plentiful were the seeds of delight that the garden, hand-planted by God Himself, carried its promise woven into its very name Ė Eden (Pleasure).
Eden represented God's plan for you: unadulterated fellowship, companionship with Him, and He with you. What you were designed to live for, live in, by God's design held only blessing.
Have you ever stopped to realize that the Almighty God of the universe delights in you? * His desire has not changed....desire for you to know true delight and its rich, manifold garment of blessing. For as you walk in that delight, His delight knows a fullness unmatched by anything else. Joy abounds in this Divinely designed completeness.
Echoes of Eden remain today, both in its intended heart, and the drama unfolded there that uprooted delight, or at least initiated its uprooting.
The Psalmist's heart understood well the scenario that played itself out when Eden's sod still held God's footprints. It's the same scenario that plays out daily in the soil of your own soul ... in the soil of mine.
Blessed is the man
Who does not walk
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
Delight began to explore new territory. A soul created in God's image mistook a 'pretender' seed for the genuine article, and a crop began to spread roots that would yield a joyless harvest.
Have you ever thought about the cool of the evening? When a breeze picks up in the quiet closing of a day, when its whisper weaves through the trees overhead and finds its way to my ear, the cool of the evening in Eden falls softly upon my heart. Can you imagine it? When the Almighty walked in full, unadulterated harmony with the first man and woman, their delight rivaled their Creator's. My heart hungers for that fullness. Does yours?
According to Genesis one, evening marked day's beginning, and it was there that the Almighty, Ever-Existing One began His walk with man. Fellowship directed their steps, laying out their path. How I would love to eavesdrop on their special time together. Was it instruction filled? Did the Lord share with them His perfect plan for their day, delighting in the union He felt with their hearts? As they would set out to tend the garden He had placed them in so lovingly, had He poured out His heart's desire for their own delight in Him, to be walked footstep by footstep? Did they drink in it?
When did Eve first begin to walk to the whisper of the pretenderís voice, a counsel at enmity with the true Lover of her heart? What cherished longing prevented her from recognizing the falseness of the pretenderís heart? How long did she walk outside of the Lord's longing before her own feet laid down a new path? A path she found herself standing in more and more often, until soon her wandering footsteps had taken her to a forbidden tree upon which her heart gazed hungrily?
Sitting, comfortable now in the presence of another voice, she began to question the fellowship born in the cool of the evening. Delight knew a kind of death and a hunger taking on the guise of delight, though never satisfied, took its place.
*Proverbs 11:20 ... the blameless in their ways are His delight
Isaiah 62:4 ... for the Lord delights in you
Proverbs 15:8 ... the prayer of the upright is His delight
Equipping for the Journey:
(Designed for in-depth discovery and journaling)
1) Honesty tends to be a difficult lens through which to look at oneís own heart. But prayerfully, hold it up to your own eye, and with a cry for honest discernment, ask the Lord to reveal to you where you seek to feed desireís appetite. Record all the Lord shares with you on this journey with Him.
2) All journeys are progressive, moving through a multitude of terrains. The writer of Psalm 1 lays out the path away from blessing. Contemplate each aspect of this journey, noting any and all insights that come to mind:
counsel of the ungodly -
path of sinners -
seat of scorners -
the progression of walk, stand, sit -
3) Reflect on your own spiritual journey for a moment. Undoubtedly, on many occasions (maybe even within a single day) you find yourself somewhere along this road. To which are you most apt to fall prey? The pretender desires to waylay you at any and every opportunity, so take the time for honest introspection. With the Lordís guidance, explore what feeds those areas of your life?
4) Using a concordance perform a word study on delight, recording each treasure God reveals as you search His word, then feast on it. For a broader menu to dine upon, continue your journey into the Lordís desire for you by taking another word study into blessed.
5) The Psalmist writes that finding your delight in the Lord brings a harvest of blessing. You were created for true delight, it was all part of Godís design for you Ė for your life with Him. In the cool of your own evening ask the Lord for a tangible way to plant this truth deep within your own garden called Delight right now. Maybe He will lead you to write a poem, or a prayer, paint a picture, or simply journal your heart with Him as you walk quietly together.