I’ve been learning about a profound inner healing tool as part of Sozo training from Bethel called the “Father Ladder”. One of the basic ideas is that our relationship to the Father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit often mirror our childhood relationships with our earthly dad (Father), siblings and friends (Jesus), and mom (Holy Spirit). Those trained and experienced in using this tool can often discern the nature of our relationship with the trinity based on our childhood experiences or vice versa. One or more of those relationships is usually weaker than the others. What is revealed is how we often have an image of God which is faulty. In the trinity, the Father cares for the body and provides identity (including your sexual identity), provision, and protection.
I come from a long line of stoics. As a result, I didn’t experience my earthly dad taking an interest in the desires of my heart. I unwittingly projected my earthly experience towards God as Father and discovered that my ability to believe that God cared about the desires of my heart was lacking.
Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
The word for ‘delight’ is represented by the Hebrew word ‘anag’ (H6026), meaning ‘to be soft’, and ‘to be delicate’.
So, what does that mean?
Let me give you an example. I was part of a team doing dream interpretation a few weeks ago at a particular event. We interpreted dreams for two friends on Saturday, one that went really well, and one that was difficult for the dreamer to receive. On a particular assignment on Sunday, my friend Chris went out of his way to a particular Starbucks at an REI and whom did he encounter, but the very dreamer where we felt like things were left undone. Chris wanted to buy her a coffee and discovered that her order was unusual and definitely a special order. Chris felt like he had heard from the Father for her that there was invitation for her to “ask for her heart’s desire”. “What do you want?” Chris explained to her that just like her coffee, the Father wanted to make a special order just for her.
Part of us doesn’t believe that God is really interested in our hearts and meeting our hearts’ desires. We hear so much about “not my will, but your will be done,” but that doesn’t make room for God caring about our hearts.
If we think we have to delight ourselves in the LORD in order to get something, we’ve missed the point of this verse (Psalm 37:4). I see faith as the pivot point for releasing the desires of your heart. Why? If we are not in a posture of delighting ourselves in our relationship with God, will we recognize the goodness of the Father when it comes? Will we recognize the Father’s desire to demonstrate His love towards us? The Father wants opportunities to demonstrate His love to you, personally. Our hearts need to be soft to be able to receive love.
Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Faith is the fulcrum for the rewards of your heart being released. I believe I saw that with a friend of mine just this week.
How will we know when we’re delighting ourselves in the LORD?
In His presence is fullness of joy. One of the teachings that I heard recently was that there weren’t fruits of the spirit, but fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). We don’t get to pick just one, we get the whole bowl as part of a package deal. All the fruit of the spirit are components of love. It’s about abiding in the love of God. If I’m feeling joy, I’m also experiencing His love, peace, patience, kindness, … I get to have it all.
Eric Liddell (whose Olympic event was captured in the movie Chariots of Fire) said “God has made me to be a missionary, aye, but he has made me fast, and when I run, I feel God’s pleasure”. Today, I went for a bike ride, choosing to delight myself in God, having a conversation with Him, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin and having joy bubble up inside of me making me smile.
I think there’s a variety of expression in how we can delight ourselves in the LORD which will look different for each one of us. Some people can delight in the LORD through singing and other musical expressions. For others, it may be being outside with nature. For me, delighting myself in the LORD is something I do best being alone with God.
How can you delight yourself in the LORD and believe that he takes great interest in your heart?