I was always one of those kids who wanted to please my parents (or really anyone in an authority position). The greatest punishment my mom or dad could inflict on me would be to express disappointment. I would take a spanking or a grounding any day over that.
Of course, as I have grown older, this desire to please has spilled over into almost every other earthly relationship that I have. But it doesn’t end there.
I had an “aha” moment recently when I realized that, while I had never struggled with the false belief that I had to work to earn my salvation, or even to earn God’s love, I did live and think as if I needed to earn God’s pleasure in me. For me, salvation was a free gift, love was a free gift, but pleasure was earned. I subconsciously believed that if I did a lot of good things and earned a lot of “spiritual gold stars”, I would gain more of His pleasure. So I found myself getting very busy in spiritual activity, not thinking that it was going to increase His love for me, but surely it was increasing His pleasure in me!
The problem was this: during spiritually dry seasons, I felt like God’s pleasure in me had to have dropped. In other words, His pleasure in me was based on my performance for Him.
I recently realized that this had been a faulty belief system in which I had been subconsciously operating my whole life. I had to take it to the Lord and hear Him tell me that not only is His love and salvation not dependent on my efforts, but neither is His pleasure. His pleasure in me is solely based on the fact that I am His daughter. Period. I can’t increase it or decrease it. It’s firm. It’s secure. It’s unchanging.
He reminded me of how, when Jesus was baptized, the Spirit descended on Him and God said,
This is my son, whom I love; in Him I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17, NIV) Or my favorite version of this verse:
This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life. (Matthew 3:17, The Message) God said this about Jesus before Jesus had performed one miracle. Jesus’ earthly ministry hadn’t even started, but God’s pleasure already rested on Him solely because Jesus was His Son. God was pleased because of sonship, not because of behavior or accomplishment.
So I want to encourage you that God’s pleasure fully rests on you because you are His. Period. It’s steady and it’s secure. God is well pleased with you. My prayer is that this frees you up to move forward in life without striving to earn something that’s already yours. Move forward knowing that God’s pleasure in you isn’t going anywhere. Rest in that truth, my friend.
Zephaniah 3:17 says that God delights in us and rejoices over us with singing. Take a moment to ask the Lord,
What are You specifically singing over me today, Father?