There are certain scenes in The Book that stir deep desire within my own heart to know the affirmation of God’s love for me. After Jesus was baptised by John, Jesus was praying and as He prayed heaven opened. “And a voice came from heaven…

‘You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” [1]

As you stop and reflect on those words of affirming love do they not cause a longing within you to hear them as well?

In my conversations with the Lord I occasionally ask Him to help me to know whether or not I am growing as a believer in my relationship with Him. But how or why would we even try to measure our stature? Is that important you may ask? Yes, I believe knowing His affirmation is very important for our spiritual health and wellbeing. I want to know His love and His pleasure just as Jesus was reminded of His Father’s love and pleasure..

Peter reminds us of the Father’s words on the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen, listen to Him.” [2] The Father’s affirmation here is different. We all need to hear His affirming words in our own hearts as well. There are also times when He makes us aware of a particular lack in our character that needs to ‘grow in grace,’ to develop and enable us to be more like God intends us to be. So, we stop and “listen to Him.” To quote a good friend, “If God speaks to us about lack in our life He speaks specifically and redemptively so that there is high encouragement in the voice of the Spirit to us.”


Can I say with confidence that I know the Lord Jesus experientially more intimately today than I did twelve months ago? Has there been consistency in my love and passion for Him and His Kingdom? Has my heart been sensitive in responding obediently to His promptings. Have I prepared myself each time we have arranged to meet up with people? Has my conversation been filled with words of spirit and life?


These questions hold no legalistic intent or desire for comparison, but rather out of an honest longing to hear His assessment of my life. Inwardly I know that His appraisal regarding His invitation and purpose for my life is more important than anyone else’s opinion. Peter, an apostle helps us here by spelling out this purpose in one of his letters to the believers living in the ancient world .”But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [3]


Growing! Knowing Him better. Learning His ways. Hearing His words and putting them into practice. I’m sure you will know of a parent who has measured the height of their own children every now and then and made a mark on the wall or door of their child’s growth. But how do you measure spiritual growth? We have all heard people refer to someone they know as a faithful person or that she is a strong Christian because of their commitment to an activity or agenda. But, is that a true measure? I think not. Most of the knowing and growth is an internal work of grace manifesting itself through true worship. Knowing we are loved makes a profound difference. Listening and obeying Him sets us apart as followers of Jesus.


I must confess that I have fought at times in this past year to reject distractions that try to either knock me off course or dilute my desire to know God more intimately. I think this is par for the course as we live with Kingdom purpose! We do not want to allow anything to dampen our fervour for Jesus and so we make choices to please Him and set ourselves to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Thankfully, this is all lived out by the power that He supplies!

In my own experience I realise that I have a limited capacity to engage with overloaded streams of thought in their various forms that pass through my life. Maybe it would be helpful to restrain from sharing ‘random thoughts’ with everybody without first thinking, ‘who is this for?’ Personally, I find it helpful when a friend shares something current within their own experience of God’s loving kindness. Maybe we can find ways to share that way with others more often.


Jesus’ resurrection power has profoundly equipped us and initiated this grace work within us. Christ formed [fashioned, shaped or moulded] in us! In other words we speak out of who we are. We hear His affirmation in Scripture and through revelation of His assessment of us. The apostle Paul describes the prayerful agony of birth pangs for His Church through his own experience, “until Christ is formed in you.” [4]

Father’s affirmation is important because as we navigate the waves of negative influence in life, we listen for His voice. When we experience the rising streams of contrary beliefs that by their nature erode, dilute, and damage character, we must set ourselves to listen for His words. When strong winds bring change and blow a mixture of polluting doctrines and practices through our community we must remain diligent and do as wise men and women are reminded to do in Jesus’ story.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation upon the rock.” [5]

  1. Luke 3:21,22
  2. Luke 9:35
  3. 2 Peter 3:18
  4. Galatians 4:19
  5. Luke 6:46-49