I spent a lot of time watering trees this summer. Dots and I are dreaming about a fruit farm. I like to pray during this time. One evening I felt the Lord was teaching me. First he reminded me of his great love for mankind.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
I considered this verse. You know this verse says that God loves everyone the same. He loves me, you, and he loves my worst enemy. We are all equal in this love. If we think for a minute that there are exceptions because someone is so "bad", we are wrong.
For there is no partiality with God. Romans 2:11
I can accept this love, though I don't claim to understand it. God is fair and he loves us all. Everyone has the same opportunity for salvation. I rejoice in the great opportunity God has provided for every man, woman and child. I saw a picture in my mind where the whole world was standing in a line and God offered each person the same gift.
What I heard God say to me next disturbed me to the core. I had the impression that I would not go further in the Lord unless I understood this. I heard him say in my heart:
"I don't just love you, I adore you."
I swallowed hard and said, "Farther how can you adore me?" This goes against my Christian value. What disturbed me was that God was talking to me as an individual. I've read in the word where God speaks about David as an individual. But I have a hard time seeing myself as an "apple of God's Eye" person. If God says this about David in the Bible, that's one thing. But for me to think, "I am adored by God?" This seems prideful somehow. I said, "Lord I need to have a word from the Bible on this one. I felt as though I was accepting a false doctrine." It felt that uncomfortable.
But the Lord was trying to show me something so I went further and looked up the word "adore" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I read the first one and quickly said, "Hey, no, God certainly doesn't worship me."
to worship or honor as a deity or as divine
to regard with loving admiration and devotion <adored his wife>
to be very fond of <adores pecan pie>
I felt a nudging to read the second definition. There it was. This is what God was saying about me. God regards me, an individual, with loving, admiration, and devotion; like a man adores his wife. This one felt better, but I was still uneasy. I read the third definition too. I realized that my perspective of God was that he regarded me fondly like a piece of pecan pie. But actually, he regards me with loving admiration and devotion like a wife.
I told Dot's about my experience. She has learned to listen to a lot of my wild hair ideas over the years. But the second definition of Adore rang true with her too. I told her that I was asking the Lord for a scripture that confirms that he loves me as an individual. That night on Facebook a friend posted a verse that hit home.
He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19
I was melted. Take a moment and read John 3:16 and Psalm 18:19 together. You see, God can do both. He can plan salvation for every man woman and child, and at the same time, he can plan new life for us as individuals. God didn't just "Save" you, he did it selfishly. God saved you because he delights in you!
And then the warmth of God started unfolding the full picture. When a husband delights in his wife, his wife feels special. She has a certain liberty to share her deepest thoughts and desires with her husband. Sometimes these thoughts and desires don't make a lot of sense, or don't line up with what others think is "acceptable". But the delighted husband just smiles and listens.
God wants you and me to step into a relationship with him where we accept his delight for us and we are comfortable to share our wackiest ideas and deepest desires. There should be no barriers to this freedom.
So when you step into the big world tomorrow, remember that you delight the heart of God. God saved you because he is delighted in you. Take full liberty in your heart before him; all day long. Relax in his arms, feel confidence in your purpose, step out knowing that God steps with you. Remind yourself that God is saying, "I don't just love you, I like you".