“…if any among you delight in God, I conclude, without hesitation, that you are a saved soul. But if any of you, on the other hand, never have any delight in God of any kind, I question whether you ever knew God at all…” – C.H.S.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
1. A precept written upon sparkling jewels – 13:05
2. A promise priceless beyond rubies – 36:20
The following are select quotes from this sermon.
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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 brimful delights, such overflowing bliss, do the saints discover in their Lord, that so far from serving him from custom, they would follow him should all the 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.
Now, it is true that religion is self-denial; it is equally true that it is not self-denial. Christian men have two selves; there is the old self, and therein they do deny the flesh with its affections and lusts; but there is a new self; there is a new-born spirit, the new man in Christ Jesus; and, brethren, our religion does not consist in any self-denial of that. No, let it have the full swing of its wishes and desires; for all that it can wish for, all that it can pant after, all that it can long to enjoy, it may most safely obtain.
It is hard to delight in God when everything goes well with us. “Oh,” I hear you say, “I cannot understand that; that is the time when I do delight in God most.” Brother, I am afraid it is the time when you delight in God least. “Well, but when my comforts are round about me, when providence smiles upon me, then I can delight in God.” Stop! are you sure of that? Is it not likely that often you are delighting in his mercies rather than in Him? delighting in the creature rather than in the Creator? I fear, brethren, it is our sunshiny days that are the greatest times of temptation.
You have seen sometimes a man with a dog of a breed that does not like the water, and he throws it in; how quickly it gets out again. But there are some of a different breed, that will swim by the hour, and delight in it. So, now, there are some professors who are known to be hypocrites by the fact that their religion is against their will. You have put them into it, and they soon get out again. But the true Christian takes to his religion by grace with ardour and delight. He loves it, he delights therein. This is one of the best tests to discern between a hypocrite and a true Christian. Job says of the hypocrite, “Will he delight himself in God?” No; the hypocrite will pull a long face; the hypocrite will look wretched; the hypocrite will make himself as miserable as ever man can be when the time has come for it; but he never did, and he never can, and he never will delight himself in God as a rule. He may have some joy in the outward means, for even Herod heard John gladly. But that is only a spasm. Only the true believer can have a constant and an abiding satisfaction and delight in the service and love of God. This is an evidence so sure and infallible, that if any among you delight in God, I conclude, without hesitation, that you are a saved soul. But if any of you, on the other hand, never have any delight in God of any kind, I question whether you ever knew God at all, for if you have known him you must in your degree have found delight in him.
If I had my desire of my God this morning, it is not much for me to say I have no earthly thing that I would desire, “for I have all things and abound.” But if the Apostle Paul were here, who had nothing, who was often naked and poor and miserable, I am persuaded if he had his wish, he would say, “I have nothing to wish for, nothing upon earth, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” But if I must have a wish, brethren, I know what I would wish for. I would wish to be perfect, to be free from every sin, from every imperfection, from all self, from all temptation, from all love of the world, from all care for everything or anything that is contrary to God’s Word. Is not that your wish, you that delight in God?
But I hear another say, “If I might have my desire it would be that I might live nearer to Christ; that I might have constant communion with him till I knew him, and the power of his resurrection, being made conformable unto his death.” Brother, I join you in that desire. I am sure if you had ten kingdoms offered in the one hand and this fellowship with Christ in the other, do not I speak the desire of your heart when I say you would choose to have communion with Christ rather than these kingdoms.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon