Jesus stated, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life is not merely living forever in some big house in the celestial city of God. No, eternal life is about a relationship. It is knowing God.
However, knowing God is more than comprehending facts about God. In Genesis 4:1 the Bible tells us “Now Adam knew Eve his wife.” Knowing involves intimacy. To know God intimately is to know His heart.
The Heart of God
Even though in our last post we stated that love is the core of God’s heart, no single word can capture the multiplicity of our Father’s heart towards us. In our finite attempt to discover the infinite heart of God, we will always fall short until we experience the fullness of him in His presence. Still, the Scriptures reveal to us many dimensions of the heart of our Father towards us.
1. A heart of goodness
When Moses made his bold request for God to reveal his glory, God responded by declaring, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.” (Exodus 33:19).
God’s glory is his goodness. His heart is good towards us.
Even when we at times walk through the valleys of darkness and death, we must believe that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6). The Greek word for follow means “to pursue and chase after.” God’s goodness and loyal love are chasing us down!
Also, the goodness of God means that God is for you! We must become convinced just as David was, “This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
2. A heart of generosity
Our heavenly father is extremely generous to us! He loves you so much that he generously gave his son Jesus to cure you of your sin and to reconcile you to himself!
Our Father does not withhold a single spiritual blessing from you. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).
3. A heart of attentiveness
As a father of three children, giving my full attention to all my kids at the same time is impossible! For them to receive my undivided attention can sometimes make them feel unvalued or that I am too busy for them.
However, your Heavenly Father is fully attentive to you. “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:17–18).
God is never too busy for you. He is always fully present with you.
4. A heart of acceptance
In my early days of following Jesus, I had tremendous difficulty believing that God truly accepted me for who I was. Yes, God loved me because he had to “theologically” love me. But, I was convinced that God did not like Craig Conaway very much. I persuaded myself that I was a huge disappointment and failure to God. Therefore, my life became a continual pursuit of earning God’s acceptance. If I could perform better, God would accept me and even be proud of me rather than just putting up with me amid my constant failures and disappointments to him.
However, as God’s children, we do not relate to God by religious obligations or our performance.
The Scriptures declare, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1–2, ESV)
Our Father relates to us every day not on the basis of our performance but according to His infinite grace which he has freely lavished on us. We stand in His grace – not by our performance!
God completely accepts you.
5. A heart of delight and joy
As difficult as it is for us to know and believe that God loves us, it is even more challenging to daily walk the reality that our Father delights in us.
One of the most dramatic pictures of the heart of the Father towards His children other than the cross, is captured for us in the Old Testament book of Zephaniah: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
What an incredible portrait of the Father’s heart towards us. Some of the Hebrew words in this verse are the most intense, vivid words in the Hebrew language:
- First, God “will rejoice over you with gladness.” God takes joy in us. You and I are the objects of God’s pleasure and delight.
- Secondly,” He will exult over you with loud singing.” The root word for exult means “to circle around in joy” God literally spins around wildly in enthusiastic jubilation over us.
- Third, God also sings over us with loud singing and shouts with triumphant joy over us. The Hebrew word for “loud singing” can mean both shouts of joy and making joyful music with the voice. God shouts at you! However, these are not shouts of anger and disappointment but are shouts of pure joy and delight. God is cheering us on. God is crazy about you.
God dwells in a constant joyful state over your life.
The Father’s heart explodes with intense joy and delight over you!
The Father not only loves you, but he like you (a lot)!