Could it be that our perception of what God is looking for in terms of “loveliness” in His beloved is, most often, based on our human perception instead of His spiritual perception?
In Daniel 9:23, God’s Arch Angel, Gabriel, finally made it through the heavenly battlefield to let Daniel know that “you are greatly loved”. What? Greatly loved? I imagine my thoughts might have instantly turned into questions. “Well, if I am greatly loved, how is it that God let us Jews be exiled to this foreign place? And, where was He when my countrymen were slaughtered by this enemy? And, furthermore, where was He when I was made a eunuch by these people?” Yes, great personal sacrifice was required of Daniel, but the positive side is that he and his friends were spared then positioned and used by God in high places.
Then there is David to whom God attributed the title of ” a man after My own heart”. (Acts 13:22) What? David, who committed adultery, then sent the unwitting husband into a deadly military mission, and who too often allowed his children to get off scot-free with their undesirable behavior?
What about Abraham? God called him “friend”. (James 2:23) Why, he lied calling his wife his sister to save his own skin. Therefore the King of Egypt almost took her to be his wife. God stepped in, stopping that process, and brought both Abraham and Sarah out unscathed. And I don’t want to forget to mention “the other woman” drama which birthed Ishmael into the picture.
Consider Jesus’ disciples. Plain, ordinary folks like me and you, with our same imperfect human propensities, were chosen to befriend the Son of God (Mark 3:13-15) during His three year earthly mission. In my reading of the Gospels, I notice only one man, John, who fits the bill of loving and compassionate. And, there’s Paul, whose days before his relationship with Jesus gave him no room to brag of being “holy enough” to be chosen a martyr for Jesus’ sake.
So what is it that causes us to be “greatly loved” by God if not perfection, good works, or perfect moral character? The answer? Relationship! Those God has highly esteemed have had hearts that were yielded and open to Him and His Kingdom’s way. Pleasing Almighty God is a matter of the heart and in no way a matter of performance. Friend, that is an awesome truth and I confess my struggle to grasp its enormous, mind-boggling reality! The Bible tells me that the only reason that I can love God is because He first loved me. (1 John 4:19) Not by works of righteousness, but by God’s great grace we enter into an eternal love relationship with Him. (Ephesians 2:8)
The above mentioned individuals were not perfect yet they were still “greatly loved”. Today, purpose to open your heart and embrace God’s will. Pray this simple prayer if you are not yet in relationship with Him. Lord, would you work in my heart to bring into being a miraculous relationship with You so You can call me “beloved”, a person “after [Your] own heart”, and Your friend because I am greatly loved by You? I want to know and love You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Let me know if you prayed that prayer. I have prayed for you. You are greatly loved!