I love my children. It is not linked to their behaviour as much as a decision of my heart. I love them, full stop. But how pleased I am with them, that changes according to their behavior and circumstances.
Loving someone and being pleased with them does not necessarily happen at the same time.
God loves me. No matter how I behave; His love for me is complete, eternal and powerful. I can do nothing to make God love me more, or less. His love is steadfast and will never change.
However I can determine how pleased He is with me.
Colossians tells us that pleasing God is all about living a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in every way.
Col 1:10-12(NIV) “… so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
2 Cor 5:9-10 in the Message emphasises that pleasing God is to be the main focus of our lives.
“…Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.”
Pleasing God is not about earning salvation, our salvation is already complete and is the foundation upon which we build our lives (1 Cor 3:11). All of us however, are required to build on that foundation of salvation, Col 2:6-7
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
It is about living out our faith, our believing on a day to day basis.When we trust God and believe His word, it pleases His heart. It is really that simple.
Enoch was a man that pleased God.
Heb 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
What was it about Enoch that pleased God?
The very next verse gives us the answer: verse 6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Without Faith it is impossible to please God. We could try pleasing Him with good works, an exemplary life, loving people, but scripture is very clear that it is faith demonstrated that pleases God. Believing that which we do not see, yet expect and totally convinced of that which may not be a reality in our lives right now (Heb 11:1), living that out.
- When faith is present, then other good things (rewards) flow from this. God rewards those who earnestly seek Him, so good works will flow from faith. A holy life will flow from faith. (1 Tim 2:3) Loving people will flow from faith.
Demonstrated faith, triggers rewards for those who earnestly seek Him.
As faith grows it will impact all of our life so that our lives become “worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in every way.” Faith is the trigger.
In 1 Thes 9:10 Paul prayed most earnestly for the Thessalonians, that he may see them again and “supply what is lacking in your faith.” He understood that faith needs to be built up and grown, strengthened and established.
If I want to please God, I must deal with my lack of faith and strengthen it.
- Have you ever considered that being loved by God is different to pleasing God?
- Do you think that the faith that you have demonstrated say in the last year, would please God?
- Read Enoch’s story in Genesis 5:21-24. He was a biblical figure prior to Noah’s flood. What was so amazing about his life, that thousands of years later, Hebrews still refers to him. Who else in scripture is called the “Father of faith?” Do you think a life of faith is still possible?
- Do you believe that Jesus responds to faith demonstrated? Why?
- On a scale of 0-10, rate your overall level of faith, 0 being none, 10 being red hot!
Father, thank you for showing me how important it is to be a person characterised by faith. This is the way to please You and I long to please You with my life Lord. Please grow my faith, establish my faith on the Word. Show me how to live by faith and not by sight, that I may see the rewards of faith as I earnestly seek You. I declare that I am a becoming a person of great faith.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God hit me hard.” Especially since I already knew that my level of faith was not very high. Oh, I believed that God existed and I experienced Him in relationship. But I had long since stopped praying “blow-your-mind” prayers, or even simple day-to-day prayers. I could not remember the last time my faith actually “triggered” a response from God. I had to ask myself: why would He respond to me, if I didn’t even believe that He would respond.
I realised that there was a choice ahead of me. A choice to live by faith and express that faith in prayer.
In Habakkuk 3:17-18 faith does not deny the circumstances he is living in, just as faith cannot deny my own circumstances. If I have lost my job, I have lost my job. If my marriage needs work, it needs work. Faith does not pretend that things are not as bad as they are. Habakkuk is all about the “yet,” it is choosing a faith that believes despite the facts of the situation.
Deut 30:1-20 (NLT) sets before us the choice for life or death, a choice which we make every day. We are not ruled by negative circumstances, but each day we have to choose life. God is a God that is ALL for restoration, new beginnings, making a fresh start! BUT all of this comes after a choice for life.
I have to choose to believe, to release the potential of what life could look like if God takes a hold of it. That choice to believe, pleases God.