Saturday, June 18, 2016

How To Please God...In 5, not so easy steps

               When I was a little girl I used to think that God was always looking down on me with a frown on His face. I pictured Him looking at me with a look of disappointment. No matter how hard I tried He would never be pleased with me. When I became a Christian, the picture I had in my head of how God sees me changed and I realized that He was not looking down on me, He was always looking at me. He was looking at me in love and mercy and grace. But there is still this desire in me to please Him. I want to see His face on that Day and know that I have lived a life that pleased Him, that brought a smile to His face when He looked upon me. I want to hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into My joy”. (Mathew 25:23) I want to know that I have done
everything I could to be a child who brought Him pleasure and not a child who brought Him pain.
               But is that possible? Is it possible for us to be pleasing to the Lord at all times? Can we truly live a life that is pleasing to Him? I believe we can, and I believe as Christians, we should be striving to live that life all the time, striving to live a life that is well pleasing to our Lord. Are we always going to hit the mark and be pleasing? No, sometimes we are going to miss. But maybe pleasing God is not about hitting the mark, so much as it is the aim.
               “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 ESV
               Paul says that we are to make it our aim to please Him. We are to make it our goal every single day to please our God. When you want to please someone you go to great lengths to make it happen. When you want a promotion at work, what do you do? You work harder, you work longer and you put all you have into making your boss pleased with your work. As Christians, we need to make it our aim to please God in the same way. But how do we do that? How do we make it our aim to please Him?
1) Our Faith.
               “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 ESV
               If we want to please God, we must first believe that He is God. You will not strive for something you do not believe in. You might strive for it somewhat, and in some ways, but you will not earnestly strive to bring it to pass. If we seek to please God, then we must believe first and foremost that He is God. Period.
2) Our Praise
               “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.” Psalm 69:30-31
               Have you ever been around someone who complained about everything? Nothing ever seemed to go right in their life. They seemed to have the worst possible life ever known to man by the way they talked. Nothing pleasant or nice ever came out of their mouths. How long did you want to be in that person’s presence? When you saw them coming, were you happy to see them or did you turn and run the other way? Most of us would probably turn and run the other direction. Now, think about someone who is pleasing, who is nice and has good things to say, and has praise continually flowing from their lips. That’s the kind of person you want to be around, that kind of a person is pleasing.
               “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” Hebrews 13:15
               God is pleased when we praise. What if every word that came out of your mouth was transcribed and before you went to bed at night you had to read it? Would your words bring God pleasure or would they bring Him pain? Turn our words to praise and set our hearts toward pleasing you, O Lord.
3) Our giving.
               “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditis the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:18
               Gifts and offerings please God. All throughout the Bible we see God pleased by the gifts and sacrifices brought before Him. Not that our giving could ever replace or satisfy the requirements for salvation. But giving and offering of ourselves is a testimony to a heart and life devoted to God. Remember the story of the widow’s mite. (Mark 12:42-43) Jesus was not pleased with those who gave out of their abundance, as much as He was pleased by her who gave out of her lack. Someone who desires to please God will always give beyond what they are able. They will give more than they expect to receive.
               Giving doesn’t have to be monetary either. We can give God our time, our devotion, and we can sacrifice our needs and our desires for the sake of others. To please God, we must desire to give to Him everything we have. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor. 9:7) God is pleased in your giving.
4) Our obedience.
               “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20
               What pleases you most as a parent? Is it when you tell your children to do something and they do it without hesitation, without argument and without asking you why? Or is it when they come to you and ask your advice, and then they follow that advice? As parents we are most pleased when our children walk in the way that we know is best for them. So wouldn’t God, our Father, the One who created us, who gave us life and a purpose, know what is best for us as well? Obedience is key to living a life that is well pleasing to God. We cannot strive to please God if we have no desire to obey Him. Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. If we want to please God, then we must do what He says.
5) Our single-mindedness.
               “And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” John 8:29
               Single-mindedness- what is that? It is a mind that is focused and stayed upon one thing at a time. In horse racing the jockey will put blinders on his horse to keep him focused. The blinders help the horse stay focused on the race track ahead of him and not on all the other horses running alongside him. If you were to take the blinders off the horse and try to race him, he would get distracted by the other horses, and not run at all. He can veer off course and end up running into the other horses, causing broken legs and lots of bruises.
               Paul tells us that we are to make it our aim to please God. We have no need to strive to please anyone else on this earth, but God. Jesus said that He aimed to pleased God. He always did the things that pleased His Father in heaven. If we try to live our lives for anyone else other than Christ we will continue to be defeated and we will find ourselves running this race in someone else’s lane.
             MacLauren) Jesus lived to do the will of the Father. He lived to please God in every area of His life while He walked upon this earth. Every day was a sacrifice for Jesus and every day will be a sacrifice for us. Pleasing God is not easy. It will require us to lay down our needs, our wants, our desires, and our dreams so that we can freely aim our hearts toward pleasing Him and Him only.
  “Your business is to please Christ, and the less you trouble yourselves about pleasing men the more you will succeed in doing it.” (
               We must choose every day to live a life of faith, believing that He is who He says He is. We must choose to live a life of praise, even in the midst of pain. We must choose to be generous and give even when it seems we have nothing left to give. We must choose to obey His Word. We must choose to live for Him and Him alone, no matter who we might displease. Our aim is to please Him, not everyone else.

               Jesus’ eyes were focused on the Father. Jesus had His blinders on. He did not compare Himself to anyone else. Jesus did not compare His ministry to John’s ministry of repentance. He did not compare His life to the life of the Pharisee’s or to the disciples. Jesus lived and breathed to do nothing more than the please His Heavenly Father. As you get up each morning, ask the Lord to show you how you can be pleasing to Him today, and the next day, and the next day. Put your blinders on and make pleasing God your only aim. Amen?