What makes God happy?
Many of us might say it’s our good behavior. That would be true if God subscribed to our reward-based system.
In our world, free gifts come with hidden agendas.
God doesn’t need what this world has to offer. He is not motivated by money, or power or acclaim.
So what is He motivated by?
I believe one of His greatest desires is to know and be known by us, His kids.
Why do I say this? Let me ask you a question: What does love desire?
I believe love desires to be given to the one who will clasp it close and then freely and joyfully given back to the giver.
Love desires relationship. Both a vessel to pour into and a vessel to receive from.
Isn’t that what we long for with our children? We love them beyond mere words and our hearts nearly burst when they spontaneously do or say something that reveals their love for us.
So do we really grasp that God is love (1 John 4:8)?
And 1 Corinthians 13 describes who He is to us. He is kind. He is patient. He keeps no record of wrongs. He protects and He never fails us.
Love laughs. Love enjoys. Love desires more of our hearts.
Love grieves at our pain and longs to comfort.
In God there is no lack. We have EVERYTHING we need in Him.
So why do we struggle to connect with Him? To spend time with Him? To go to Him when life has thrown us a curve ball?
Is it because we don’t think He truly likes us? Or maybe He’s completely dissatisfied with the way we live our lives? The choices we make?
We listen to the accuser of our soul who constantly points out our flaws and messes. We try not to listen, but too often agree when the lies ping against our hearts.
Why do we think God would agree with the one who hates us and seeks to torment us? Our sins are covered, our flaws have been washed clean (1 John 1:9).
God didn’t forgive us with the caveat that we had to promise never to sin again. It’s almost like we believe that if He forgave us once, we have to live spotless lives—–completely sin free, or we aren’t worthy to be His.
Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). His love covers our sins and our love should cover others (I’m not implying that we water down God’s holiness and become accepting of sin. I’m talking about the worthiness of the person despite their sin).
God looked at each of us, covered in the filth and stench of our failures and ugly choices and said, “I choose her! And I’m going to rescue her!” (John 3:16)
Then He wrapped us in the love of His most worthy and precious son. We were draped in a righteousness we didn’t have to earn. And STILL don’t have to earn.
Maybe our biggest challenge is receiving the love and the gift that has no strings attached. And then learning to love ourselves and others with that love.
Father, give me eyes to see myself as You do, not as a sin-riddled beggar of Your love, but a dearly loved child. Your precious child. Enable me to love myself as You do and to view others through Your eyes and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sad Child – Portrait by George Hodan via Public Domain
Gift photo via Pixabay