Salt and Light
By Brent Davis
In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis, 1950), the witch tempts Edmund with Turkish delight. Which is quite delightful even when not magical. Recently we observed the International Day of Happiness, and in my media post for the day, I mentioned that one of my favorite verses is Psalm 37: 4 (NLT): “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Pastor and theologian John Piper (2013) wrote: “We are admiring creatures to the core and I think we are wired to be satisfied by admiring the most admirable and the most admirable is God. Therefore, “delight yourself in the Lord” means delight yourself in seeing his infinite admirableness” (para. 1).
Piper goes on to cite Jonathan Edwards who wrote a classic work on Religious Affections. Edwards (edited by Houston, 1996) wrote:
The exercise of true and holy love in the saints come in a very different way. It is not primarily that they first see that God loves them and therefore He is to be loved, but rather that they first see that God Himself is lovely. God appears so glorious and excellent that their hearts are enraptured by Him alone. (p. 93)
Personally, I am still working to get there, and this little article is for my benefit as well. I, too easily, find my delight in Turkish delight, and French fries and science fiction. But, our affections can be molded by God’s grace. Edwards, again: “… a love of divine things because of the beauty and sweetness of their moral excellence is the beginning and source of all holy affections” (p. 97).
True spiritual and gracious affections are not aroused in this way. They come from the enlightening of the mind in order to understand the things that are taught of God and Christ in a new way. This comes through a new understanding of the excellent nature of God, His wonderful perfections, or from some new view of Christ in His spiritual excellencies and fullness. These are entirely different in character from any ideas or stimuli that come naturally to man.
Some day we will join a mighty of chorus of all created beings delighting in God:
And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.” (Revelation 5: 13, NLT)
Delight yourself in the Lord!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation. (2015). Tyndale House Publishers.
Houston, J. M. (Ed.). (1996). Religious affections: A Christian’s character before God. Bethany House Publishers.
Lewis, C. S. (1950). The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. HarperCollins.
Piper, J. (Pastor). (2013, July 9). How do I delight myself in the Lord? (No. 128) [Audio podcast episode]. Ask Pastor John. Desiring God Ministries. https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-do-i-delight-myself-in-the-lord