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But then I heard a voice as it opened up the heavens
Reminding me of who I’ve always been
I am Your beloved; You have bought me with Your blood.
And on Your hand, You’ve written out my name
I am Your beloved, one the Father loves
Mercy has defeated all my shame
These are the lyrics to the song, “I am Your Beloved” from Bethel Music. I’ve been listening to their new album, Come Up Here for the last couple of weeks and this song has been a timely reminder because it feels like recently I’ve lost sight of my Father’s love for me.
The first time I heard the song, it reminded me of an encounter I had a few years ago. It was the early hours of the morning as I lay between sleep and wake. The words “You are my beloved” echoed through my mind. I had recently started my journey from software developer to freelance writer but it was slow progress. Paralyzed by perfectionism and imposter syndrome, I felt like a failure. I knew that becoming a freelance writer was part of the path that God had shown me but I felt like I was disappointing Him because I simply couldn’t get going.
The voice that spoke those words was booming like thunder, yet reassuring. It was authoritative, but not scary. It was Father’s voice and in those four words, He was saying, “This is who I say you are, My beloved”.
Because I felt like I wasn’t capable of doing what God had asked of me, feelings of failure and unworthiness weighed me down. And that feeling of unworthiness separated me from feeling the tangible presence of His love.
In John 15:15, Jesus calls us friends. He uses the word “racham,” which means “His beloved, the one He cherishes” (Hebrew Word Study: The Butterfly Effect – Chaim Bentorah). Unlike chav, the love with which God loves all the world (John 3:16), racham is a love that is voluntarily returned much like the love between a husband and wife who adore each other. When we accept Him as our LORD and Savior, we become part of the church, His bride. We become His beloved.
1 John 4:18 (AMPC) tells us that perfect love casts out fear and it is a full maturity of love. Perfect love recognizes that God never stops loving us because of something we have or have not done. We never lose the title of beloved, even when we don’t feel it.
When we don’t feel loved by God, there is something in our hearts that needs to be healed. I was still healing from a performance culture that said I had to perform for God to please Him. That my worth was in the things that I do for Him. But my worth is in who I am His daughter. I have always been His beloved and “loved” is my identity.
When you understand you are His beloved, there is no need to beat yourself up when you fail or fear that you will disappoint Him. Father knows you best. He sees the depths of your heart yet He is the one who will always love you the most.
Today Father is saying, “You are my beloved. Do not be afraid of disappointing me. Remember who you are and have always been. Your identity is ‘Loved’”. Draw closer. Focus your eyes on me. Come to me. Do not be afraid. I am your beloved and you are mine.
Deborah Ruck @ As Bold As THE Lion blog