The Father’s Delight

Being in the Lord Jesus we are made for heaven, we are heavenly; not of the earth, but on it. When the truth of our position came out we tried to carry it out in the wrong way, turning from this thing and that thing in order to be heavenly. That is legality. I remember the effect it had upon me when someone said, “We are heavenly.” We do not like to say it, because we so little really believe it.

In the Gospel we are entitled to heaven, our life and joys come from heaven now. In Christ we are positioned there now. The lack I find in believers is, that while they know that their sins are forgiven, they do not know their new position. What place have you? Is it earth or heaven? It could not possibly be earth, for Christ was rejected from the earth—and you are in Him. It has a great moral effect upon a person to be able to say, “I have a place in heaven, I have nothing on earth, it is all in heaven. It is the Lord’s property I have on earth, but in heaven I have my own.” “I go to prepare a place for you.” The question is first, where art thou? Then, what hast thou done? Every believer seeks to be clear as to the later, but all too few are clear about the former.

Like the “prodigal” in Luke 15, every believer knows he is forgiven, that his offences are cleared away; but the lack is, that while he knows that he was guilty, and that he is now clear of guilt, he does not really know what it is to be found, as one once lost. We were not only guilty but lost; and we are not merely forgiven, but we are found, we are given a place with our Father. One who has been at the greatest distance (Eph 2:17), the lost one, is found and made meet for the Father’s house.

Yes, the prodigal is not only forgiven, but he is fitted to enter the house, and to be merry there. If you have not reached the place for which the Father has fitted you, you have not answered to the delights of His heart, but you are keeping the place of the lost man. The prodigal, as to himself, only wanted to be saved from his misery (Luke 15:17, 19), he had no thought of a new position with his father. If you have not come to the Father, you have not met the desire of the Father for you*.

The great point of the prodigal is the joy of the finder; the joy of the Father’s heart in having you; not merely in saving you, but in having you; and for Him to have you, you cannot be of that order of man who was driven out of Eden; you must of necessity be a man of a new order. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Cor 5:17).

Likewise the sinful woman comes to Jesus in Luke 7. An affection is established between her and the Savior; her sins are forgiven, but with no sense of a new position with God and fitness for it. This is where many believers are now; they know they are forgiven, but they have not the joy of being brought to the Father. Also in Luke 10, the sinner is cured, carried and cared for all the journey, until “I come again” (Luke 10:34, 35). Very blessed, you may say; so it is, but there is no new place with God there; it is all man’s benefit in the place where he is. We must bear in mind that man was driven out of Eden, and in order that he should obtain a new position with God he must be a man of a new order.

You will never have divine joy sustained in your heart unless you have the new place. What hinders it? Mainly earthly things, not sinful things; no saint wants sinful things; but earthly things are the chief hindrance. But I have another position and I draw my joy from that place. I feel at times as if I must bow under the weight of the fact that the blessed God delights in my company. Do not believe in love that does not desire your company. The Lord grant that you may enjoy your new position.

- J B Stoney

Poster’s Opinions:

* “If you have not come to the Father, you have not met the desire of the Father for you”: Though we have come to the Father through Christ for salvation, many have yet to learn this entitles the believer to approach our Father for everything, which can be impeded when we do not consider that nothing can alter this blessed privilege.