The last several days the theme of “pleasing God” has been rattling in my mind. It started off when I read Psalm 37:23-24, “If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” I’d like this to describe my life.
This truly is a case of changing my daily focus from what feels good to me to what delights the Lord. There is absolutely no activity that I can do in my own power that pleases Him. I have to ask, then, what kind of living does please God?
Paul answers that in his letter to the Colossians, chapter 1:9-12. He told the church, “we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way…”
An amazing prayer to pray for each other. When all is said and done, when I peel back the flaws of my character, the ugliness of my selfishness, and futility of my self-preservation, my heart yearns to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. Paul prayed that prayer for the purpose of having the church live a life “worthy of the Lord,” and that they may please God in “EVERY WAY. ”
I think to myself, “that’s not possible!” And, really, in my fleshly paradigm, it is impossible. But Paul goes on in his letter to explain some specifics of what pleases the Lord, “…please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power…, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father…”
Fruit comes from obedient submission
Growth comes from experiencing God
Power comes from the Holy Spirit living through us
Thankfulness comes from recognizing the work of God’s grace and mercy in our lives
I don’t see these four pleasing treasures as being independent, but I think they’re interwoven. As we experience the phenomena of bearing fruit, we experiece God and grow in knowledge of Him. And we can’t bear fruit unless we’re yielding our wills to His and letting His power be our source. And when we are granted that blessing of God’s power in our lives, we can’t help but be grateful. The more thankful we are, I think the more we desire to bear fruit for God.
Regardless of external circumstances, I believe we’re being summoned to live out these four pleasing treasures. Actually, in several places in Scripture we’re not just asked to live a godly life, we’re commanded to keep walking in the Spirit.
Lord, tonight as I’m relaxing, help me rest in You, and help me to live a life worthy of You. Work through me that my life would be pleasing to You. And each phase of my day tomorrow -work, rest, and play- give me the strength to yield my will to Yours.