The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 4 - Accepted In the Beloved
"The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).
Scripture clearly reveals God's desire that we pray. However, Solomon reveals our Heavenly Father does not simply want us to pray. He rather emotionally responds to us. He delights in our praying.
I have pondered this truth for many years, seeking to remember, affirm, and apply its motivating power to my heart and life. I still, however, find it wondrous and even bewildering beyond all imagining. That an infinite God could find finite beings such as ourselves the objects of His pleasure must surely drive us to our knees in awed wonder. This is especially true because of our imperfections, and the fact that even the most devoted Christian still does (or doesn't) do things that displease the Lord. The Apostle Paul commanded that we "grieve not the Holy Spirit of God," a command that would be nonsensical if we didn't still possess the potential to bring sorrow to our Father's heart (Ephesians 4:30). Thus, people who fail the Lord are nevertheless the same ones who can delight Him by our praying (consider David, who so terribly dishonored his God in the matter of Bathsheba, as chronicled in the Old Testament, but who nevertheless shines in the New Testament as "a man after Mine own heart" - Acts 13:22).
We all need to make this personal. I have seen it many times in the faces of congregations when I seek to communicate God's delight in our prayers.
"Sure, Glen, that's true for some Christians. But I'm just not one of those ones who has been dedicated and consistent enough to qualify for delighting the Lord with my praying. I know He loves me, but I have failed Him too often to be somebody who can so bless His heart. Besides, my prayer life is one of the biggest aspects of my failure!"
I can also almost see the devil sitting on people's shoulders, whispering the lie in their ears. It is a lie. If our consistency - as important as it is - serves as the basis for God's delight in our prayers, He will never experience that delight. Indeed, His standard is perfection (II Samuel 22:31). Therefore, God's pleasure in us must always be viewed in terms above and beyond our performance. It must be about something - or Someone - else. It is.
"He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
The presence of God's beloved Son in our hearts and His redeeming work on our behalf serves as the basis for God's delight in us. By all rights, I may - and have - failed the Lord so often that I could never bring pleasure to His heart. However, the Lord Jesus has never failed His Father. Nor has He ever failed me by serving as the One who "ever liveth to make intercession" for me (Hebrews 7:25). Thus, if I come with Christ in my heart, Christ on my lips, and Christ as the sole basis for approach to the aptly named "Throne of grace," I can come in full assurance of my Father's delight (Hebrews 4:16). As a free gift of mercy unimaginable, He receives me as He receives His Son because in Christ, I am His son. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
No truth will more change our life of prayer than the realization we can delight our Father's heart by communicating with Him. And no truth will more free us to do so than realizing our bond with the Lord Jesus makes such pleasure possible and actual. "We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Ephesians 3:12). In this moment and forevermore, we can please our Father's heart by coming to Him through His Son, as led by His Spirit, and with the joyous confidence we will be more than gladly received and accepted in the Beloved.
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased… the Lord taketh pleasure in His people."
(Matthew 3:17; Psalm 149:4)
Weekly Memory Verse
The prayer of the upright is His delight.