“There are inescapable cravings in the core of every human heart that cannot be ignored, denied or pacified: they must be satisfied.” -Mike Bickle
Fundamental to every living person are longings that transcend culture, religion, or lifestyle. These longings are given by God, and only He can fulfill them. They are what drive every pursuit and every motive in life.
The longing to be enjoyed
Take a quick glance at American culture and you’ll soon realize that everyone wants to be ‘Liked‘. From social media, to entertainment, this American generation wants to be heard and enjoyed for who they are. I believe this culture echoes a powerful longing in our hearts: the longing to be enjoyed.
Enjoyed by God Himself
While human companionship can provide a great sense of support and security, this longing to be enjoyed is rooted in a desire to be enjoyed by God Himself. When one’s life are marked by the enjoyment of God, there becomes a pillar of strength inside that isn’t easily swayed by the insecurities and opinions of others. This longing is foundational to our identity in Christ (1 John 4:19).
Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9, emphasis mine) The measure with which the Father loves Jesus is the standard with which Jesus loves us. Let that sink in. How much does the Father love Jesus? It’s immeasurable. But Jesus goes one step further, and later says “that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23, emphasis mine) That means that both the Father and Jesus love you as much as the Father loves Jesus.
You are God’s favorite person (every single one of you)
Would you say that Jesus is God’s favorite person? What does the God who is love feel towards Jesus, the God who is love? Because that’s what God feels towards Jesus, I believe we can all view ourselves as God’s favorite. God likes you because He likes Jesus; enjoys talking with you because He enjoys talking with Jesus; and hearing your worship. Imagine if we presented ourselves to God in worship as His favorite.
The Apostle John was so confident in this concept that he referred to himself as “the one Jesus loved”.
- “Jesus saw…the disciple [John] whom He loved standing by…” (John 19:26)
- “She ran to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple [John], whom Jesus loved, and said…”(John 20:2)
- “That disciple whom Jesus loved [John] said to Peter…” (John 21:7)
- “Then Peter…saw the disciple [John] whom Jesus loved…” (John 21:20)
- “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples [John], whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23)
The Cross is proof of God’s enjoyment of us
How far would you go to protect someone you love? Would you take a punch, take a bullet—would you die for them? Understanding the reason why Jesus died on the Cross will help convince us of God’s enjoyment over us. The Bible says “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” (Heb. 12:2). What was the joy set before Him? Part of His joy was securing salvation for man-kind.
The greatest labor of love that ever happened was possible because Jesus pursued the greatest imaginable joy, namely, the joy of being exalted to God’s right hand in the assembly of a redeemed people: “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross!” –John Piper