May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
This past Sunday, Pastor Michael Hurley was teaching about the importance of gratitude and thankfulness. As he moved through his notes, he came to a place where he had written “grow”, but when he shared them, he said “grow up”. We all laughed as he explained the addition, but also understood that he was so right. As I pondered these thoughts, I realized that maturing into our relationship with the Lord (a fancier way of saying “grow up”) moves us from pleasing ourselves to consciously choosing ways to please the Lord.
To please someone means you cause them to feel happy and satisfied. It means you walk in awareness of their cares, concerns and pleasures. Young children learn what is pleasing to their parents, but then their own self concerns become more important, and they choose what pleases them. Hopefully, as they grow, they let go of the “me first” and “what about me?” stages. This doesn’t come naturally to most children. We have to teach them. Even as adults, we often need reminders it is not all about us. To truly please the Lord, it must come from our heart, not just our actions. That often takes a process.
There are many scriptures urging us to live and walk, pleasing to Him. Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. I Thessalonians 4:1 So it is with us, we need to set ourselves to be learners. For some, the thought of pleasing God is amazing, because in their own family, they felt they could ever please their parents. But it is not so with our God. He can be pleased! Look at Enoch. (Hebrews 11:5-6).
Learning to please the Lord means we put His wants first. What does He like? What makes Him smile? We don’t have to guess, because it is clearly spelled out in Scripture. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. Romans 14:17-19. We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. Romans 15:1. So one way we can please the Lord is to build up our brothers and sisters. Encouraging others always makes our Lord smile. Promoting harmony in the Kingdom of God also makes Him smile. As a parent, when our children get along always makes us smile, too!
Galatians 6:8..but those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Setting ourselves to please the Lord is not just for His sake, but also for ours. We all will be blessed with His blessings if we choose to please Him. Choosing to put off the ways of the flesh and living in such a way that pleases the Holy Spirit makes Him happy.
We know that when we walk in faith; we please the Lord. Read through Hebrews 11, also known as the Heroes of the Faith chapter. It contains so many wonderful men and women who walked before us, trusting God no matter what the outcome. I think when we seek to walk in faith no matter if we are walking through dark places, hard storms or simple obedience, He is pleased. When we walk in faith, we are saying to Him, I trust You. I believe You, even when I can’t see the way, I know You know the way. It brings Him joy.
The writer of Hebrews writes a prayer for all of us in Hebrews 13: 20-21. Now may the God of peace–who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood–may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Not only does He tell us what will please Him, but He promises to help us do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Setting your heart every day to please the Lord is the best way to live.We may mess up, of course. But His grace is always with us. His grace and mercy will carry us through our learning times.
Father, what a privilege it is to know that we can bring pleasure to You!. It is a humbling thought that we can bring happiness to the Creator of the Universe. I ask You to continue helping us do those things that please You. Forgive us when we get too self-centered. Help us grow up in Your ways, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.