Can you imagine what it would be like to hear the voice of God saying, "I am so very pleased with you"?
Would there be anything greater than this in all of life? Would any one moment ever be so indelibly written on your memory? Nurtured in your soul? These would be words you would treasure above all else, words you would ponder over and over and over. If you never received any other accolade in life, this would be enough-more than enough-because these would be words that satisfy the deepest longing of mind, body, soul and spirit. This would be a moment you would savor forever, for no other words spoken by any creature on earth would satisfy like these: "I am so very pleased with you, My child."
Oh, the inexpressible peace...the unfathomable joy! The confidence! The assurance! The sense of fulfillment! The abiding satisfaction! Just to know this is what God says about you!
To know that you heard it-to not wonder whether it was an imagination of your heart, a delusion because you wanted nothing more than to please the One you loved and served and called Father.
...The One who rescued you from death and destruction out of grace simply because He loved you.
...The One who chose you and revealed Himself to you when you were yet in sin, ungodly, without hope — His enemy.
...The One who turned you from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to the kingdom of God, from the second death to everlasting life.
...The One who granted you forgiveness of all your sins, who absolved you of condemnation, who breathed into you life that would never end, who assured you He would never leave you nor forsake you, who by His Spirit enabled you to call Him, "Abba, Father!"
Oh to know with an absolute certainty you had heard Him say, "This is My beloved child with whom I am well-pleased."
The other day in a moment of anxiety over a book I had written and felt was so critically needed, I found myself tormented, wondering if I could have done better, written it more powerfully, made it more gripping, more compelling. I had to know because there it was in my hands, being sent to bookstores across the nation. Would it do the job? Was it strong enough to accomplish my purpose in writing it? I went to the phone to call a dear friend who was employed by my publisher. She had read it chapter by chapter. But was it really good? Adequate? I craved her evaluation. I knew she'd be honest, and I longed for her approval, anything to relieve the anxiety I was dealing with. As I stood at my desk late at night waiting for her to answer the phone, Jeremiah 17:5-8 came to my mind and then the words, "Trust Me!" Not once, but twice, "Trust Me!" Then again the words of Jeremiah washed over me, bringing a holy fear: "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength."
The words came again, "Trust Me!" I didn't want to, but I hung up the phone. If these thoughts were from God, I didn't want to be disobedient, yet I longed for the arm of flesh. Words of another are so wonderfully audible — there's no doubt you've heard them.
What if I heard, "Trust Me!" because this is what I wanted to hear? The words, "Trust Me!" didn't mean God was saying that book was the best I could do. Being "best" didn't matter, because God was greater than my impotence as an author. He's known for taking nothing and making something out of it. 1 Corinthians 1:27,28 came to my mind: God chooses the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised to nullify the things that are. He makes Jesus to be everything we need so no flesh can glory in His presence.
Again the words were there, "Trust Me!" O God, I will. I will trust, but what if it the words were words of my imagination? What if...
I couldn't do another thing. I could't talk to another person about this; I was afraid of missing God if I did. So I talked to God. I found my latest journal — which I so seldom write in — and began to write. I would record the words, along with my thoughts, my fears, my questions; then like Habakkuk I would wait to see if the Lord really said it. Time would tell. Although I didn't want to wait, although I wanted to know immediately so I could change the book, I knew I would have to wait to see if I had really heard God say, "Trust Me!" or if it was my imagination. I'm still waiting. Whatever the answer, you can rest assured it will not alter my relationship with my Father.
Jesus didn't have to wonder if it was His imagination the first time He heard the Father say, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." The voice that came out of the heavens was a voice Jesus had no trouble identifying. It was the timeless Voice of eternity past, the voice of the Father.
When you stop to ponder this in your heart, the timing of the Father's words to His Son was incredible. This happened on the eve of Jesus' public ministry! Jesus was about thirty years old. He came to the Jordan where His relative John was baptizing and asked John to baptize Him. The only reason John complied, even though he felt Jesus should be baptizing him instead, was because Jesus told him it was "fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.' Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Up to this point, Jesus hadn't performed a single miracle. No sign had been performed by Him, yet the Father himself said He was well-pleased with His Son. Jesus hadn't successfully resisted the devil; yet the Father opened the heavens and said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."
Yes, God would say it later-after the temptation, after the miracles. He would say it when Jesus was transfigured before the eyes of Peter, James. and John. But to me, the most impressive truth is that God said it to Jesus before He had begun any work for His Father.
What does this tell us? It tells me that what pleases God more than anything else is our intimate relationship with Him, our total submission to His Word, His purpose, His timing.
Imagine the freedom you would experience if you knew that you were already — right now and today if you are in the Faith — pleasing to God! Would you face the challenges before you differently? Would you enjoy your life a little more in the here and now?
Do you know, Child?