The depth that we know God’s love for us is the foundation for how much we love others. When I say ‘know’ I mean both in knowledge and in emotion. This is shown in John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” It’s very important that we continue to grow in deeper knowledge and feeling of God’s love. It’s the fuel for us to go out and love others. So, let me ask a question.
“Do you feel that God delights in you?”
When I say feeling it’s a combination of both appetites and emotions. I choose the word feel, because we are primarily feeling based decision makers. This often seen in dieting. We eat based on what we feel like eating rarely what we need. Dieting often is a struggle because what we enjoy eating is sometimes bad. What a lot of people do is recreate their feelings toward certain foods or food levels. “Ugh, carbs!” “All that grease is disgusting!”
Many Christians seem to have a strong understanding of the obligation side of love, but less of God’s delight in us. Obligation love seems to be rampant in Christian culture. Many Christians treat salvation as a contract deal and they did their part, so God does His. Other Christians mostly know love as obligation that has held or holds their family together. Some Christians are so aware of their continual sins that they can’t possibly see God as taking delight in them because of their disobedience. In that belief, the person believes that God is simply putting up with us until we are a “better” Christians.
There’s nothing wrong with obligation in love, but it is not the fuel for it. Think about it though, does obligation lead to delight? Does delight lead to obligation? From what I’ve seen, obligation leads to resentment. On the other hand, delight leads to obligation, but it doesn’t feel like obligation but an expression of one’s love.
That’s why I pick the word delight. So do you believe and feel that God delights in you?
For most Christians, they can believe God delights in them on a good day. They forget God’s delight on a normal day, and they can’t believe God delights in them when things are bad or they failed. Though our circumstances change God’s delight in us doesn’t. He’s not putting up with us until we become “better” Christians. We have all of God’s delight now.
When someone delights in a person, they want to spend time with that person. The degree of the person’s delight is most often judged by their sacrifice to be with the object of delight. God delights in us so much that He sacrificed His son to be with us. The curtain was torn that separated God from communing with us. We no longer needed to purify ourselves through sacrifice because Jesus was the final sacrifice.
The next step though is that we must take advantage of this delight. We must put ourselves into situations where we can feel God’s delight. We must interact with God, and not forget Him. We must pray and we must let Him know what we need and thank Him for what He has done. We must not give up on meeting together for the Lord as some already have. Simply just ask God to let you feel His delight in you. We should also look for places where God is active and put ourselves in those places.
I’ve known Christians who don’t want to feel delighted in. Such emotions may be strange for them, or the fact that they have to address their rebellion towards someone who delights in them. It can be awkward, but the reward is so great.
If we know that God delights in us, we can trust Him. We can trust that even though our circumstances aren’t good or desirable; we can trust that the one who delights in us is doing a good thing. When you delight in someone, you don’t hold good things back from them unless that good thing isn’t good at this time. That trust, a peace that surpasses understanding or circumstance, is more valuable than gold, and that’s just one of the benefits of knowing that God delights in you.