I’ve been keeping a very close eye on those budding plants still. Day after day, sometimes several times a day, I’m a little enamored by seeing life unfold. You could even say I get slightly gitty. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be anything new developing, not to my visible eye at least, but I know that those roots are firmly planted in rich soil, showered with water and light, and drawing in nutrients. In those conditions, change is only a matter of time. It’s amazing to think that things are actually stirring and happening below the surface, deep in the roots. Eventually new growth up above will witness to that. As I see life and eagerly wait for more flourishing, I sense a deep down delight. There’s just something so delightful about new growth and the process of it!
Laying in bed one night this reality of God’s delight in us and our growth started to dawn on me. It was as if God began to peel back a layer to show me that the way I felt toward those tiny buds of life doesn’t even begin to compare with the delight He feels towards His children! God wholeheartedly delights in us and our process! His Father-heart is overjoyed, excited to see His life and grace in us! He sees the budding growth as we choose to walk in truth. He sees the victories however small. He sees the littlest movement of life stirring in our hearts and minds. He sees the small steps of obedience. He sees the new risky life-giving choice we made. He sees us looking to Him and placing faith in Him. He sees us serving those around us. He sees us when no one else does- crying out for help, thanking and praising Him in secret. He sees us choosing to water our hearts with His Word. He sees the hunger and desire for Him. He is with us in it all, and HE is delighted! He truly delights in you and me!
To know that God is with me and for me (Rom. 8:31), willing that I grow, delighting in me (the new me created in Christ Jesus) and my process, is deeply reassuring and comforting! Don’t you think? I’ve often wondered lately, are You pleased with me God? I know that you love me (you want my highest and best, you showed this sacrificial love on the cross, giving everything for me), but do I please You? Am I a delight to You!? He started to show me that all those things I just mentioned, all that He sees done in faith according to His Word, is pleasing to Him (“without faith it is impossible to please God,” Heb. 11:6). If you are His, the Spirit of God lives in you enabling you to please Him. As we walk in His Spirit we are pleasing! And not only that, He delights to give us everything we need for life and godliness, to empower us to live in a way that is right and acceptable in His sight, just like Jesus!
If we are seeking to be pleasing to Him, if that’s our heart and intent, He will help us! And even if you find yourself in a place where that is not your desire, you can start asking Him for that heart! Paul said to the Philippians, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12). God is at work in us, because He loves and delights in us! He is motivated by deep love, and this love should be the bedrock we build our lives upon! By His faithful covenant love (commitment) He says that He will never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). “For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people” (I Sam. 12:22). We are not alone in this life and battle- far from it- we have a God who rescues us because He delights in us (Psalm 18:16-19)! We have a God who beautifies the humble with salvation… and why, because “the Lord takes pleasure in His people.” (Psalm 149:4-6). We are His workmanship created anew in Christ Jesus, we are His treasured possession, we are the sheep of His pasture, His children, His beloved, His delight!
He wants us to know that we are delighted in and deeply loved! His love (and truth) in our hearts is the only rich soil to grow from. It all starts with Him! We love because He first loved us. We grow up into all He is, because He first planted in us His Holy Spirit, and gives us grace that empowers a new way of living. It always starts with Him, and He is with us in the growth process to the very end. We have this assurance in His Word that as we continue in Him, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). The more we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and follow His lead, the more we will grow! So let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us this love and delight that God has for His children (for you)! When our eyes are opened to God’s delight in us, it changes us at our core! As we embrace this truth it causes our hearts to want to know Him and please Him more. That’s the Kingdom… to know His love and delight, to receive it, and then to live from that place in a way that pleases and glorifies Him!
Lord open our eyes to see that we are your delight, the apple of your eye, your treasured people, accepted in the Beloved! It is your good pleasure to accept us in Christ, to forgive us and cleanse us, restoring us to right relationship to you, adopting us as Your children! Your love and delight is a banner over us. You are all around us delighting to love us to wholeness, healing what’s broken, filling us with light and truth, so we can be Your light in a dark world. You take pleasure in those who fear you and hope in your mercy, so help us become those that are awe-inspired and hope-filled to worship and obey you. Help us to see with new eyes your extravagant goodness Lord, and all your promises for our growth and life! Your grace is truly sufficient in our weakness. You see the weakest glance in your direction, and YOU delight in this. You make us strong in spirit and action so we boast in our weaknesses with gladness, knowing your power will rest upon us! Lord we want to have a testimony that we walked with you and pleased You! Help us look to you in faith! Help us receive your love and delight in us! Thank you for loving us, for saving us always, and working for our good to the very end Jesus!
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, finding out what is acceptable [pleasing] to the Lord.” Eph. 5:8-10
“…that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to His glorious power…” Col 1:10-11