“This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace.” Numbers 6.23-26
If God’s face was downcast it would signify his disapproval. Similarly, when the Bible speaks about God’s face being turned or lifted to us, it describes his pleasure in us.
Tragically, and all too often, people believe that if they turn to God he will disapprove of them, even though they know he loves sinners and freely welcomes them into his embrace. Sometimes the temptation is to acknowledge that while God may love us, we are not too sure if he likes us very much! We are not certain that we match up to his high standards. In the back of our mind lurks an image of a report card saying something like ‘could do better’!
If God loved us even before we acknowledged him, how much more is his heart turned to us now that we have accepted his embrace? One of the greatest truths we can learn is that God takes pleasure in us. Any delight we may feel at his presence with us is far outweighed by the joy in his heart when his beloved children turn to him.
Take a moment to focus on this reality and rest in the love that caused Jesus to give himself for you, and find the truth in these words God speaks over you: “In you, I take pleasure.”
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