“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” – Psalm 18:19
I know people who grew up in strict churches. Their concept of church was - follow the rules or be punished. If you asked them about their image of God he would be seen as a mob boss, demanding and cold. Strict and unrelenting.
If you see God like this, the natural instinct is to try to win his approval. You may work harder, serve more and do everything you can to impress God, because after all he is a demanding God. You can become so obsessed with disappointing God that you end up living in constant fear.
Psalm 18:19 reminds us of a simple truth, God delights in you. To put it another way, he is crazy about you. He doesn’t delight in you because of what you do, he delights in you because He loves you.
There will be weeks you can’t serve. Days you make mistakes. Moments when you don’t follow the rules or do all the right things. These things don’t stop God from loving you. In fact, there is nothing you could ever do that would stop God from loving you.
As you walk with God each day you don’t have to fear Him and you don’t have to try to win his approval. Know that God loves you, as His child, and because he delights in you nothing will ever separate you from his love.