Proof of Spiritual Life

Proof of Spiritual Life
Joe Terrell
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” ~Malachi 3:1
A believer is a mass of contradictions so when he looks at himself he often wonders if he knows God at all. Is there such a thing as proof of spiritual life? Here it is given: all believers delight in Christ. Much to a believer’s shame, there may be other things which can also delight him, but none of these other delights can ever fully displace his desire for Christ. The Lord used this very principle with Peter when restoring his confidence of an interest in Christ: Peter do you love me more than these things? Peter’s conscience must have once again burned with shame when the Lord asked Him this question a third time for it reminded him of his three-fold denial of the Lord Jesus a little while ago. His broken heart gushed forth in a proclamation he likely felt unworthy to give but still could not deny, “Lord, you know I love you!” Many years later, Peter would express that sentiment in his own epistle: To you who believe, He is precious.
We delight in Christ’s Person. Yes, we love his doctrine and we love His church; but we love Him more. His doctrine is dry without Him, His church a disappointment apart from His presence. Is there anything you long for more than to behold His face? Does not every rival attraction fade to insignificance in His presence? Is there any burden of your heart that will not find relief when you see Him? Does not His presence signal to you, “All is well”?
We delight in Christ’s Lordship. It is the Lord who comes. In this case, “Lord” is not a translation of God’s name, Jehovah, but is His title, “Adonai”: Lord, Master, Owner. He is our Lord and we love to have it so! He is Lord of all, and we find comfort in His sovereign rule over all things.
We delight in His message. He is the messenger of the New Covenant in His blood. To hear His name spoken; to hear His work described; and to have those things sealed to our hearts by His Spirit is heaven. Indeed, “His lips with grace o’er flow”. We say “You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!” (Song of Songs 8:13)
Our delight in Christ is not our boast, neither before men nor before God; but it is proof in our hearts that we are, indeed, born of God. If Jesus Christ is not our delight, then we are yet dead in trespasses and sins. But if He is our delight, then we are alive unto God.

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