In what does God’s heart delight? We can be sure of this: what thrills God’s heart is in stark contrast to what our culture finds significant. The world typically glories in three standards: wisdom, power, and wealth. Likewise, success is widely measured by these gauges as well. But what is significant to God?
Jeremiah 9:23-24, beautifully relays God’s heart in this matter.
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.’”
Is God against wisdom, might or wealth? No, not all; He created them for us. The basis here is this: If you are going to glory in anything, let it not be in your accomplishments but let it be in the fact you understand and know God.
Those that know God and understand that He is the Lord, the One who exercises lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness—these are the ones that He delights in; these thrill God’s heart.
From a prison cell Paul writes, Philippians 3:7-10 “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.”
Paul lived life to its fullest, yet concluded that nothing mattered but knowing God. In verse 12 of chapter 3 he says “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Christ has laid hold of us so we can live, breathe and have our being in Him—essentially—to know Him and make Him known.
Paul’s desire to know God emanated from nothing less than to know Him—not for gain, but out of love. He didn’t seek His hand, just His face. God’s heart is delighted by those such as Paul, who glory in just knowing Him.
The word “know”in the Greek translates as the Jewish term for intimacy. God delights in those that have an intimate relationship with Him; in those who understand that He is Lord; and in those that love and desire Him as well as His ways.
Have you ever wondered why the scripture in Matthew 22 says that many are called but few are chosen? What about Matthew 7? It says that the gateway to life (heaven) is very narrow and only a few ever find it. These scriptures make me curious; they make me ponder and examine their reasoning, causing me to pray, seek and find…many are called…few are chosen…the gate is narrow…few ever find it.
Could it be that those whom God delights in are the chosen few who find the narrow gate?
Matthew 7:21-23 is also very interesting, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Although we cast out demons, prophesy, and do many wonders in His name, if we do not know Him then He will say to us: depart from me I never knew you. Even in this we must seek to know God out of love, not out of fear of not being chosen.
How do we actually know God, and not just know about Him?
First: Remember the bottom line–it’s a heart issue. We can do all the right things but what is in our heart? What’s our heart attitude? Second: Who’s Lord of our life? Us or God? Does God have complete rule and reign in our heart, soul and life?
Ponder those two questions. There are other very important factors but those two would be the foundation. I dislike giving lists because I know the type ‘A’ person might mechanically work through the list, and the type ‘B’, could get overwhelmed and say it’s too hard. Don’t do either. Just prayerfully read the list below and seek God for the path you personally are to take. Remember it is not about doing, it’s about being in a relationship with God.
Following is a list (not exhaustive) of just a few things to consider; please research the meaning of each:
* Submission in all things (James 4:7)
* Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8)
* Holiness (Hebrews 12:14, Leviticus 20:7)
* Humility and grace (James 4:6)
* Read, know and obey the Word of God (Matthew 4:4)
* Pray without ceasing, seeking God’s will not ours (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Mark 14:36, Matthew 6:10)
* Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9)
* Fear of the Lord (Psalm 25:14)
* Genuine faith (Hebrews 11:6)
* Righteousness (Matthew 6:33)
* Godliness (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Let us not strive or glory in wisdom, might and riches; let us not even glory in being a Christian or in doing Christian works. Instead let us know Him and be found as His delight.
Hosea 6:3 “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”