God enjoys being with you!
“The Lord your God…will take great delight in you…he will rejoice over you with singing,” Zephaniah 3:17.
“The Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession,” Deuteronomy 26:18.
“You are precious and honored in my sight and…I love you,” Isaiah 43:4.
“I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,” Isaiah 49:5.
“I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine,” Ezekiel 16:8.
Obviously, God created you to enjoy you.
Look at the beginning of human existence recorded in Genesis. First, God goes through the trouble of creating a universe which sustains humans. Second, he created male and female so he could be with them. “The Lord God…was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you,’” Genesis 3:8-9? God yearned for human companionship! The entire Bible describes God’s effort to bring rebellious humans into loving fellowship because he wants us near himself.
The Bible ends by describing the new heaven and new earth where God eternally enjoys being with us. “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God,” Revelation 21:3.
God Sets Time Aside for Being with Us
Private time with us is God’s highest priority. Consequently, in the very beginning of human history, He set aside the seventh day of the week and called it “holy” Genesis 2:2-3. “Holy” designates this day as special to the Lord. Why special? Because this day provided time for God to enjoy fellowshipping with the humans his hands made. Under Moses’ leadership, the Lord designated lots of other days and weeks as time for his people to set aside to be with him. He called these days “Passover,” “feast of unleavened bread,” “feast of Pentecost,” and “feast of tabernacles.” (Other feasts are listed in Leviticus 23.)
Is there any doubt that God wants special time with you, when he can enfold you in his arms and love you? Truly he wants to speak to you, to soothe you, to appreciate you and be appreciated by you! Now let’s look at our part in giving God time to enjoy us.
Quit Belittling Yourself!
It’s so easy for humans to diminish their own importance to God by ignoring what he says about them in his Word. Even Jesus during his absolutely horrible suffering, called himself “a worm and not a man,” Psalm 22:6. We quickly forget how God feels about us during difficult times. We effortlessly disparage ourselves when we’ve failed to obey our heavenly Savior. Nevertheless, we can only give ourselves to God’s enjoyment by conquering the tendency to belittle ourselves.
By accepting God’s assessment of our value we become empowered to believe what God’s Word says about us.
“The Lord was pleased to make you his own,” 1 Samuel 12:22.
“Your hands shaped me and made me,” Job 10:8.
“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” Psalm 139:1.
“This is what the Lord says—he who created you…he who formed you…. ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,’” Isaiah 43:1.
Then there’s Jesus, heavenly Father’s ultimate expression of his longing for our company, our fellowship! 2 Corinthians 9:15 designates Jesus as heavenly Father’s “indescribable gift.” Through Jesus, heavenly Father freed us from our sinful insignificance and elevated us to share Jesus’ throne in God’s eternal kingdom (1 Samuel 12:22).
Giving God What Belongs to God
Time is a gift from God because time came from God. Concurrently, our lifetime is a gift from our heavenly Maker. We exist because he wants us to. He both brought us into being and sustains our years in these bodies. They are his property on loan to us!
God gives us time so we can give it back to him!
Shouldn’t love for God motivate us to give our time back to him? Shouldn’t love for God seek to rejoice his heart by spending time in private fellowship with him? Church attendance and other forms of fellowship with believers express our desire to rejoice the Lord. However, I’m specifically emphasizing your private communion with the God who loves you and wants you near himself.
Since God created us to rejoice in our love, we set time aside for loving him. Praise, thanksgiving, adoration and serve as instruments for loving him, but these instruments are only useful as we pull away from life’s busyness and enter His presence.
“You’re not praying,” the Lord’s Spirit spoke to me when I was about 28 or 29 years old. I didn’t care to hear this, but I understood what the Lord meant. I was busy with lots of things, but I set no special time aside for being with the Lord. So I chose a specific time of my day and set it aside for spending time in God’s presence. I remained faithful to this appointment with God even when I couldn’t sense his nearness. But persistence paid off!
After several days of disciplined private time with Jesus without feeling him near, I blurted out, “God, you have me whether or not you want me.” Immediately the Lord honored my determination to rejoice his heart with my presence by pouring his presence into me. His Spirit energized me with praise feelings and praise words that flowed from my innermost being. That day began an ever-deepening fellowship between the God who rejoiced in me and the God in whom I rejoiced. The same experience awaits every one of God’s children who give him time to rejoice in them!
Start now. Choose a small segment of your day for being alone with the God who enjoys your presence. Persist in keeping this appointment with the Lord and he will reward you with an ever-greater awareness of his nearness. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised,” Hebrews 10:36. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can hardly wait the thrill of your presence!
Be greatly encouraged,
Pastor James Fields