Choosing Delight Over Fear
by Adam Wittenberg
In this season, as global tensions rise and the U.S. Presidential race heats up, there’s no better time to get reacquainted with (or press deeper into) the beauty of Jesus!
As the world clamors after new leaders, Christians have the privilege of gazing upon the Lord of all creation: Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, King, and Judge.
IHOPKC Director Mike Bickle, along with other IHOPKC leaders, is teaching a series from the Song of Solomon on the beauty of Jesus. In a recent Sunday message, Mike shared a message entitled “The Power of Delighting in God’s Beauty.”
King David, who wrote many psalms, including Psalm 27, did this regularly.
“One thing I have desired . . . all the days of my life, [that I may] behold the beauty of the Lord” (Ps. 27:4).
“David connected seeing the Lord as ‘beautiful’ to having ‘delight’ in his relationship with Him,” Mike says. “One of his life goals was to intentionally look for God’s beauty, though most were oblivious to this.
“God’s beauty, excellencies, or glory speak of that which is attractive about Him. It includes how He thinks and feels, what He does, how He looks, and the power and knowledge that He possesses. God’s beauty is displayed in creation, redemption, and His leadership over history.
“All the beauty that we see in this world is a reflection of the source of the ultimate beauty—God. It is a dim foretaste of the perfect beauty that will be openly displayed when Jesus returns.” This helps us find hope today, in the face of a dark and hostile world.
When David faced trials and threats, he found confidence in God’s unfailing love and plan for his life.
As Mike says, “David responded to trouble by seeking God’s face and drawing on a history of beholding His beauty (Psalm 27:2–8). A measure of our intimacy with God is seen in the measure of how much we rejoice in God and trust Him without complaining, being offended, or quitting when all we have left is God.”
The context of David’s delight was great adversity. The wicked came against him (verse 2), and an army threatened him (verse 3), but his heart was set on the Lord—to praise and seek His deliverance.
This made David unshakable:
“In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?”
Despite mounting threats against our nation, and the Church, we can have the same confidence. Rather than giving into fear, or placing all of our hope in a certain man or woman to save us, we can turn to Jesus, to the God who is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1; Zephaniah 3:17).
Our Lord has promised to shine brightly in the darkness. In the generation in which Jesus returns, Isaiah prophesied that the Spirit would emphasize Christ’s beauty to His followers.
“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17).
We will see God more as we meditate on, praise, and declare His excellencies (Psalm 34:3; 69:30). To meditate is to search out and think deeply on who He is and what He has done.
To praise is to speak what we see back to God with gratitude and delight. To declare His excellencies is to share with others what we see so that they may delight in Him.
What’s amazing is the more we verbally proclaim God’s beauty, the more our insight and our delight in it increases. The Spirit will enrich our understanding and help us encourage others.
And greater insight into God’s beauty dislodges the strongholds of lust in our hearts and empowers people to be faithful with perseverance—something greatly needed in our day and age.
While we cannot control world events or eliminate every threat we face, we can choose—like David—to delight ourselves in the Lord and His beauty. This will give us the same hope and confidence to rest in God’s plan, regardless of how things turn out on earth.
“I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty [or beauty] . . . I will declare Your greatness . . . Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom . . . to make known to the sons of men . . . the glorious majesty of His kingdom” (Psalm 145:5–12).
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.