Someone made a statement recently that really hit home for me. It is one of those things I know from an intellectual point of view, and that I know to be true from the Word of God, and yet, I realised that I needed reminding of who I am in God. The statement was, “We are in relationship with the Lord as sons and daughters, not as workers.”
I did not grow up with the understanding that I needed to earn God’s love. I was never told that God would only love me and be pleased with me if I worked hard and served Him as well as I could. I do know that I am, first of all, a child of God before I am whatever role I fulfil in my daily life, or the sum of the tasks I perform for God’s Kingdom. But I have noticed that ever so subtly I could fall into ‘performance mode’, where my life becomes consumed by ‘serving the Lord’.
As a parent I expected my children to help around the home, and they were given chores to teach them a sense of responsibility and the value of serving others. Yet they were treated as a son and a daughter, with all the privileges that come with it. They were loved for who they were, and my fondest memories of my children’s growing-up years are definitely not of the times they did their chores. The times I remember fondly are times when we had fun together and enjoyed each other, outside of the responsibilities of everyday life.
Ephesians 1:6 tells us that we are ‘accepted in the Beloved’. Someone said, “Trying to earn God’s approval is like getting into a chair you are already sitting in.” We do not need to strive for God’s acceptance through constantly busying ourselves with ‘chores’ we do for the Lord. He did not lay down His life for us and reconcile us back to the Father because He needed more workers. Ephesians 1:5-6 (Amp.) says, ‘For He … planned in love for us to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Another translation (NKJV) says, ‘He made us accepted in the Beloved’.
Our relationship with God is that of a beloved child, not that of a servant called to impress the Master. He already delights in us. Zephaniah 3:17 speaks of a God who rejoices over us with singing. Perhaps we need to take a page out of Mary and Martha’s book, put down the ‘stuff’ we often feel compelled to do, and sit at the feet of the Lord more often to simply enjoy Him, and to allow Him to enjoy us (Luke 10:38-42).
Prayer: Lord, how wonderful to be reminded that You delight in me as Your beloved child! I am sorry for allowing my acts of service for You to become the gauge of Your acceptance of me. I love You, Lord, and I love the times we spend together. Thank You for delighting in me. Amen.
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