Delight of My Life
There was a crowd that’s for sure. Everybody had shown up down by the river. It was actually becoming the popular thing to do. Sure, there were many whose hearts were true and who were fully engaged at a deep level. But there were definitely others who just wanted to fit in with this new “movement”.
It was in the midst of all of this that he showed up. He arrived just like everyone else, wanting to do what was right. But he was no ordinary man. And that certainly became evident as soon as the proceedings got started. However, it was what happened after that sent a shock wave of awe through the crowd of spectators.
He went down into the water just like everyone else, but when he came up out of the water the heavens opened, the Spirit of God came upon him in the form of a dove, and God spoke audibly. Yes, audibly. Everyone heard it. And the surprising thing was what God said,
“This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”
A Father expressing His love for and delight in His son – Jesus.
The Father didn’t say anything about Jesus being the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. No, He said what Jesus needed to hear. He said what we needed to hear. “You are my son, I love you and I am delighted in you.”
This was validation, and it’s the example for what all men need to experience – the affirmation of our Heavenly Father’s love for us. This is the critical revelation that each and every man needs to experience. We must know that our Father loves us and delights in us. We must know that we have been born again into the family of God. We have been adopted as sons – beloved sons. We must understand the Father Heart of God toward us.
Most men live with a performance-based mentality. No matter how absent, awful, abusive or awesome your father was (or is) you have been seeded with the belief that you are only as good as you perform. It is a lie that is strategically sown into our hearts when we are young. We are not good enough and have to accomplish, achieve and acquire in order to be worthy of love, acceptance, significance, honor, praise, etc. The trouble is though, no matter how much you accomplish, achieve or acquire it’s never enough.
How much is enough? A little more…
With a performance-based mentality you spend your life trying to prove yourself – but you never can, it’s never enough. You try to prove yourself in work, in relationships, in education, in the community, in church – whatever. And the strength we try to bring into these realms is not our authentic strength, because our authentic strength is only found when we are rooted in our Father’s love.
What we are all hungry and thirsty for; the only thing that will quell that driving restlessness seeking affirmation and validation, is the Father’s love. To hear and experience at a deep heart level the Father saying to us, “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”
You don’t need to worry that this is not God’s heart toward you – it is. Scripture tells us that we are His beloved sons. This is the critical Truth we must allow to penetrate deep into our hearts. And, it starts by simply asking the Father to reveal His heart toward us.
“Father, would you please reveal your heart toward me. Who do you say I am?”
Then, journey with ‘Dad’ in this. Create time to listen in prayer. Set aside time to be alone – walks, hikes, drives, sitting in your favourite chair. Soak in Dad’s presence and listen. Soak in Dad’s Word and listen.
Your authentic strength, your authentic life, all that you hunger for, is found in the validation and affirmation of your Father’s love for you as His son. To know that you are chosen and marked by His love.
The delight of His life.
Matthew 3:16, 17
“The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit-it looked like a dove-descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: ‘This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.'” (The Message)
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.” (The Message)
“He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”