Does God like Me?
Does God like me, may seem like a strange question for anyone who is familiar with scripture. Every child in Sunday school knows that one of the basics of Christianity is that God loves them, but that wasn’t my question. The question does God like me, is another thing – it moves us away from the high notion that God must love me, because God is love, and that’s what He does – and moves me into an area that is more personal and a bit awkward feeling – because it implies the added questions, is God happy with me and does He enjoy me?
Because the average Christian is uncomfortable with the questions, is God happy with me and does he enjoy me, they become a target for one of Satan’s most effective lies, your unworthiness and lack of moral perfection disqualify you from God doing good things for you – you must work for that, and earn His favor, then perhaps you may expect something good from Him.
If we believe this lie it will kill faith because it will cause our hope to be based upon our own moral performance rather than His choice to give us righteousness, blessing, and favor, through Christ.
One of the most liberating things followers of Christ can embrace is that they already have His favor and blessing because of Christ and not themselves. When they go to Him in prayer they are not trying to convince Him to favor and bless them, they pray knowing that because of the blood of Jesus He likes them, loves them, accepts them, and is happy with them, and therefore is poised to favor all those who are the objects of His affection.
That does not mean that we can give ourselves to sin and call ourselves blessed and expect His blessing as we can flaunt our rebellion before Him. It does mean that for those that do love God and want to live a life honoring to Him, yet are very aware of how imperfect and sinful they still are, fear not – the righteousness of Christ covers you and God is your friend.
In Luke chapter 4 we find the favor of God illustrated as Jesus goes into the Synagogue in Nazareth and is handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He finds Isaiah 61 and begins to read.
Lu 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
By reading this Jesus was doing two things. First, everyone in the room understood that Isaiah 61 was a passage about the appearing of Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus was clearly declaring Himself to be Messiah. But He did it in a most interesting way.
Isaiah 61 and verse 19 is a reference to Leviticus 25 where God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate the year of Jubilee, or as some translations call it, the year of His favor. This was to take place every 50 years. During the year of Jubilee marvelous things were to take place; all debts were to be forgiven, all land would go back to the original owners, all slaves were to be released. This was called the year of the Lord’s favor because the blessing and release from oppression and bondage was unparalleled.
Now here is a mind- blowing fact – even though the Law commanded the year of Jubilee to happen every 50 years – it was never observed even once.
How could this be, and why would God allow this law to be disobeyed? To understand we simply need to ask, for Jubilee to happen who would have to sacrifice, who would have the most to lose? The rich and powerful who owned the slaves, land, and debt would have to sacrifice. It is easy to understand why they may have resisted the observance of the year of Jubilee.
God allowed their disobedience for the same reason He allowed much of the Law to be disobeyed, to reveal the true heart of man. The Law was never given as a means for salvation, but as a tutor to point us to Christ. (Gal 2:24) The Law pulls back the curtains and lets the light shine on just how sinful man is, so that he has no excuse. This is intended to put man in such an impossible position that He cries out to God and says how can a failure like me be saved? The answer, of course, is Jesus and His shed blood.
As Jesus reads from Isaiah 61 He is saying to the people, for centuries the Children of Israel have been hoping that Jubilee would come – lifting captivity and oppressive burdens off the backs of the needy – and even though it has never come, I’m here to tell you, that it starts right now! Jubilee has come and it will not only touch your physical needs but will release your hearts from your most savage bondage of sin and misery.
This is the year of the Lord’s favor – God’s favor is upon you in Me today!
Lu 4: 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
In the century, we live in today the favor of God still resides upon all those that call Him Lord. Satan will try to lie and use that old scheme about our being unworthy and how we shouldn’t expect God to do anything for one so unworthy of His favor and blessing. The nuclear defense against this lie is the truth that, of course we’re unworthy, God’s favor upon me is not the result of my own goodness, but His righteousness and the shed blood of Jesus Christ – all I did was believe it.
Ro 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
By the way, if you have placed your faith in Christ and know He has saved you, He likes you.