READ: 2 Samuel 22-24, Psalm 98, Matthew 9, 1 Thessalonians 5
It is difficult for must humans to believe God delights in us. We can accept that He forgives us (because He is magnanimous); we can accept that He provides for us (because He is generous); and we can even accept that He loves us (because in our minds God is big enough to condescend and love what is unlovable). Love is clinical, we tell ourselves, a decision. Delight is spontaneous joy, and there is nothing about us that would cause God spontaneous, a-clinical joy. We can accept other great acts of God because we recognize they are sourced in who He is, but when it comes to being delivered because God delights in us (2 Sam. 22:20), we somehow think the eternal equation shifts and we are the center of the question. We think we need to earn God’s emotional joy. If God forgives, provides for, and loves out of who He is, why should He suddenly shift His method of being and delight in us because of who we are? God delights in us because of who He is. To be delighted in by God because of who we are puts unbearable pressure on us to be delightful (which we are not in our fallen nature), a pressure we were not created to sustain.
The fact that we are delivered because of God’s delight in us increases the majesty of God and propels us to a place of glorious liberty. The pressure is gone! The pressure to perform, the pressure to be perfect, the pressure to be worthy, all are lifted off me. Rather than trying to deserve the delight of God, we can revel in the wonder of God’s delight and live a response of thankfulness. Surely we must be disciplined, consecrated, and intentional, but when our action is a response to being delighted in, it is of an entirely different nature than that of trying to earn God’s pleasure.
God delights in us because He knows we bear His nature. God delights at the “Himself” He sees in us. Yes, we are fallen. Yes, we are marred. Yes, we are foolish. But God can see past all our folly. God remembers what the first Adam was like before the fall (and how we carry his genes); and God knows what the second Adam has done for us in allowing converted men and women to partake in the divine nature. God can see past the tarnish to the treasure (Himself) within, and God delights in us for He sees Himself in us. These are strange and glorious realities. I am delighted in by God, because of God, not because of me. I bear no pressure to be worthy, for I am delighted in by God!
This delight of God in us becomes the source of our strength, our power, and the gentleness, which makes us great. We are not naturally able to do anything glorious, but the glorious God who lives within us shares His nature with us. Due to God’s indwelling, we live under His delight and with His powerful favor to bless others. God’s delight in Himself in us is the gift that keeps on giving — delight breeds delight. When God is delighted in us, we are delighted in Him and we become the delight of others who are drawn to the God who has come down to live with and in mankind. How delightful to be delighted in by God.