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What makes God happy with us?
- Jacob Ninan
Is it how much money we give? Is it how much we read the Bible or pray, how busy we are in serving Him, how many others we have led to Him, or how holy we have become?
All these things are good. But the fact is that all of them can be done with wrong motives. If we measure ourselves by these we may see how 'important' we are, or how much greater we are in comparison to the others. But how does God think about us?
At one time I used to think of what the Bible says about Jesus, how the Father anointed Him greatly because Jesus loved righteousness and hated sin so much (He.1:9). I thought that was the way to go -- fight hard against sin in my life and work for a holy life. That was fine, except that the more holy I wanted to be, the more ugly I found myself to be inside (Ro.7:21). I was corrupt inside, even though I was born again, didn't want to sin, and wanted to serve God. This is the flesh (Greek sarx, and not soma, the body), in which dwells nothing good (v.18), even though I have the new man also in me as a child of God!
I was really puzzled and perplexed by the fact that God called David a man after His own heart long after he had committed adultery and murder (Ac.13:22)! All the explanation I could find from scholars was that David acknowledged his sin immediately after God confronted him through Nathan the prophet. I could see that this was certainly an admirable and rare characteristic. But still it didn't completely satisfy my heart or mind on this issue. Then as I was reading something it just struck my mind that David was special in God's heart because God was the delight of David's heart! It was a love relationship!
Imagine reading the Bible to fulfil our duty, to get some promise for ourselves, to get a word to preach to others, etc., and think of reading it to get to know more of this God we love! Think of giving our money because we want our name in the list or on the plaque announcing what we gave (the modern equivalent of the Pharisee's trumpet -- Mt.6:2), and because we want others to know Him! What if we are working hard serving the Lord because we want to head the institution before long, and not because His burden is heavy on our heart too? And what is so great if we become known as 'great saints' because of our holiness and we secretly think we are greater than all the others?
It wasn't so with David. The Lord was everything to David. He was the One David used to think of day and night, like a man in love, so much so that songs (psalms) just overflowed. The Lord was his strength, help, fortress into which he would run in trouble, friend with whom he would share his heart and the instructor who would guide his path. David had such close fellowship with Him and the resulting trust enabled him to go against bears, lions and Goliaths without fear. God delighted in David because David delighted in Him! David's heart was so much in tune with God's that God gave him that rare certificate!