PLEASING THE LORD
We may gain some insight about pleasing the Lord by reading from Scripture that tells us about that which does not please Him. I mention three here.
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” Heb. 11:5-6.
The life of faith carries the fragrance of Christ. II Cor. 2:14-17, “…we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ…”, also Eph. 5:2, “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” There are saints that do not totally trust the Lord, and thus do not diligently seek Him, neither will they receive a full reward, nor a full inheritance. II John V. 8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.” Col. 3:24, “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” It is exceedingly evident that whole-hearted faith delights the heart of our heavenly Father.
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” Rom. 8:5-8.
Jesus taught, That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” John 3:6. When we are born again we are born into the realm of the Spirit, but we still also have a fleshly nature which is hostile toward God. Paul writes, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Gal. 5:25. He also writes, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” Gal. 516. Any who try to make their flesh pleasing to God sadly fail. Some are deceived into thinking that God is pleased with their fleshly effort, but such effort will only reap corruption
Works of faith are obeying God’s Word, and doing God’s will. Labours of love are motivated by love for God, our beloved Lord, and His precious people. These are profitable because they are sowing to the Spirit and are pleasing to God.
Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit” John 15:8. He caused the fig tree, that had nothing but leaves, to wither. He had a right to expect fruit from Israel, but too often was sorely displeased. May we learn from our predecessors that faithless effort is fruitless, bringing no glory to God nor lasting benefit to man.
PRECEPT AND PERCEPTION
If we would please God, we must trust Him to bring these two together in our lives. Our God is no respecter of persons; He has wonderfully provided the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit that we may perfectly understand His Word in order to do His will.
“If any man will do his will, he shall know the doctrine…” John 7:17.
If we would realize our highest privilege, we will seek to know beyond any shadow of doubt what it takes to please our gracious, loving, merciful, heavenly Father and our lovely Lord. He says to us, “Ask, seek, knock.”
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” Col. 1:9-10.
In answer to Paul’s prayer for us, God is providing that we be filled with the knowledge of His will in order that we walk worthy of Him, and as we increase in the knowledge of His person, He would make our lives fruitful or productive unto His fullest glory. Jesus spoke of hundred fold fruit in Mt. 13:23. Paul desired that fruit abound to the saint’s account, and prayed that they may be, “filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” Phil. 1:11, and 4:17.
AH, SWEET WILL OF GOD
We are made God’s “children by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
He has “made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.”
He worketh all things according to “the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory…”
The Holy Spirit “is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”