He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 18: God Delights in You!
The words of the Old Testament prophet seemed only a distant dream, "He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Except for fleeting moments, few and far between, I couldn't imagine that this is the way God felt about me. How could he with the temptations that I battled?
I don't think it takes any of us long who probe such questions honestly to see enough failures and wasted time that would give God ample justification to set us aside and to ignore the requests we make of him. Jesus warned us that there would be people who would prophesy, cast out demons and work many miracles in his name, who he would turn away at the judgment. "I never knew you. Depart from me." If that isn't a great example of climbing the ladder that's leaning on the wrong wall, I don't know what is. I didn't want to be caught with that crowd.
These moments of insecurity would drive me to my knees in repentance, and make me redouble my efforts to be more committed to God. Though I could sustain the increased burden for a few weeks or months, I never had any certainty that the things I was doing were enough to cause him to be delighted with me. Eventually, I would slide back to where I had been before.
I'll never forget when all of that changed. A few years ago, through a painful betrayal and a fresh insight into God's work for us on the cross, I began to see how much my Father loved me and to understand how much delight he took in his children. It has radically changed my life and it is my hope that the telling of it in the pages ahead will help transform yours as well.
God doesn't need us to serve him as a means to attain his love or affection. He wants us serving him out of the love and affection he already holds in his heart for us. If you have never tasted that reality, you cannot imagine the freedom that is yours.
My Father brought me to the place where I realized that even if I never preached another sermon, never counseled another person nor ever led someone to Christ again, he still delighted in me as his child.
That doesn't mean he approves of everything I do, but it has freed me to know that he loves me-absolutely and completely. I had served God for 34 years always with an undercurrent of trying to earn his favor. It has only been in the last four that I've learned to live in that favor and I'm never going back.
That's when it became clear. It is not the fear of losing God's favor that takes us to the depth of fellowship with him and transforms our lives with his holiness. It is our certainty of knowing that favor, even in the midst of our weakness and failure, that lead us to the fullness of his life.
Fearing had never taken me to the depths of his life or his transforming power; discovering his delight has. I now know that the key to God's favor doesn't rest on what I could give him, but what he already had given to me.
He delights in you, too. Can you see him that way over you, exalting and dancing with joy? No? Do you think your failures and doubts diminish his love for you? Are you afraid you can't bring enough to make him notice?
Then come with me and let me show you something. He doesn't delight in you because of your deeds or your gifts. He delights in you simply because you are his.
The Lord your God is with you...he will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17