Posts Tagged ‘God’s pleasure’

God’s Pleasure

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:17-18)

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Ps. 149:4)

“…That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)

It is important to realize that your pleasure is God’s pleasure, because you are God’s delight. His goal is your heart… to dwell there and to allow His love to find its deepest root system there! He loves you with an unconditional love and all of His thoughts toward you are good (Jer. 29:11). You can’t live beyond God’s knowledge and you can’t hide from His Presence… He will never leave you and He will always be found waiting for you (Isa. 30:18).

7 Things That Bring Pleasure to God:

1. The Prosperity of His People:

  • (Psalm 35:27) Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Amplified Version)

2. Ministers Doing His Will:

  • (Psalm 103:21) Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure. (Amplified Version)

3. Men and Women that Fear Him:

  • (Psalm 147:11) The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (Amplified Version)

4. His People Walking by Faith:

  • (Hebrews 11:1-2) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

5. Giving His Kingdom To His Children:

  • (Luke 12:32) Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom! (Amplified Version)

6. Saints Enjoying God’s Fullness:

  • (Ephesians 1:5) For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ because it pleased Him and was His kind intent (Amplified Version)
  • (Ephesians 1:9) Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, (Amplified Version)

7. Giving People The Desires of Their Heart:

  • (Philippians 2:13) [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Amplified Version)
  • (2 Thessalonians 1:11) With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). (Amplified Version)

The Search for God

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens, a city full of idolatry, he found opportunities to teach them about the One True God. Paul revealed to this region an unfortunate truth… that God was, “an Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). His announcement was clearly that God does not want to be unknown to us or any of His creation. This is why He knit into our being the desire to seek after Him. Our greatest quest is to find God… to know Him as Creator and Our Source of Life! Paul explains this to those in Athens:

“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

God’s Desire:

God wants us to seek for Him, but we all must realize that He is not far away. We can seek after God in whatever way we wish, but there are ways that make our search more effective and will not leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. Let me explain through a story about King David. When David planned to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem, the ark was placed on a new ox-driven cart to be transported. During the journey the oxen hit a bump and Uzzah placed his hand on the ark to steady it. When he touched the ark God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:3-8). You might ask… why? They were doing something that was good (returning the ark) in a way that seemed to them to be effective (on an ox-driven cart). Uzzah’s attempt to steady the ark would have been a natural reflex.

Why was God upset?

It was because God had given a way for the ark to be handled and David hurried in without knowledge of God’s desired pattern. David’s plan side-stepped the will of God, who he really wanted to honor. Notice, David corrects his mistaken actions with sober obedience, “No one may carry the ark of God, but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever” (1 Chron 15:2). Then he calls for the Levites to sanctify themselves and make preparation to carry out their duty in accordance with God’s plan. He says, “…because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chron 15:13). Having the best of intentions were irrelevant and actually lead to the death of David’s friend. The way in which David initially chose to move the ark violated God’s ordinance.

Instruction and Patterns:

Even though this happened in the Old Testament, the point is the same for us… we must seek God according to His instructions, rather than according to the way that seems best to us.

When we consider our position as “a seeker” it doesn’t really matter if we are a novice or a well trained disciple of Christ, we must always humble ourselves and seek Him with an open and yielded heart.Drawing near to God in an appropriate way always gets His attention and response. God gives grace to the humble and lifts them up (Jm 4:6, 10). Jesus said, “…seek and you will find” (Mt 7:7). Paul even said that everything he had found in life up to the time of gaining knowledge of Christ, he considered as “rubbish” just to gain Christ and be found in Him… “that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10).

The Real Goal:

Jesus reminds us that the Father’s delight is to give us the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:9-13). Remind yourself in your search for God, that the goal is to host the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16)(Eph. 2:19-22). To make Him feel welcome in your life, means you will need to yield yourself to His preferences. There are some wonderful depths of peace and joy to be found, when a person seeks God in a way that pleases Him. God’s pleasure is what makes us effective seekers.

Offenses

Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Mt. 18:7)

Three Realities About Offenses:

1. Offenses are Inevitable:

According to the dictionary, “woe” means, “grievous distress, affliction, or trouble”. Anyone who has been offended understands woe. And from my experience; I can tell you, it will not get easier with age! But as Jesus points out, offenses must come. People offend each other; by what they do and say - or don’t say, and most of the time they do not even realize it. Either way, life affords us daily opportunities to be offended. What surprises me is the reality Jesus points out, “offenses must come”.

To understand this we must first recognize what an offense is. The word “offense” actually comes from the same root word as the word “scandal”. A scandal is stirred up by the belief that some hidden motive is behind an unexplained event, and an offense is often the same thing. It requires us to believe or imagine something (that may or may not be true), simply based on a tone of voice or an attitude in someones actions. Note that while offenses may be inevitable, Jesus does not let the offender off the hook anymore than the offended. Both are accountable and will experience their own level of woe.

2. Offenses Reveal Issues:

This is a hard reality to embrace. Yet, in the midst of an offense, lays a bit of reality that might need attention. I find it difficult to believe any good could come from the feelings that emerge from being offended, but just like any painful feeling… there is a source, a hurt or some forgotten baggage. God might have a bigger purpose in mind. Consider the following two examples from the Bible, Joseph and David.

Consider how Joseph was ridiculed, kidnapped and sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was later falsely accused of trying to seduce the wife of a high-ranking, Egyptian official. He spent several years in prison and it was quite a while before he was vindicated. He could have been very angry with his brothers. Years later; when he is in a position of power and could easily have had his revenge, they are now face to face. Joseph had learned something and said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” (Gen. 50:19–20)

Consider King David, in the latter part of his life, was chased out of Jerusalem by his treasonous son, Absalom. If that weren’t bad enough, a character named Shimei meets him on the road and starts throwing rocks at him. He curses David and reminds him of all his sins. He says, “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” (2 Sam. 16:7-8). Abishai, one of King David’s servants, said, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” But David responded: “Let him alone, and let him curse… It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” (2 Sam. 16:11-12).

It’s easy to resent those who offend us. But what if God has a deep and important purpose for sending them… something that He intends for our good, because He truly loves us (Rom. 8:28). The offense never feels good at the time, but God has a plan beyond the wound… beyond us and our feelings.

3. Staying Offended is a Choice:

Every leader should memorize this verse: “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” (Prov. 19:11)

There are certainly times when it is legitimate to be angry. The Apostle Paul says, “Be angry, and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). Anger can be a valid response to something that is wrong. But it can quickly become toxic; not only for those to whom we direct it, but also for ourselves. This is why the Apostle James admonishes us to be “slow to anger” (Jas. 1:19-20).

Between the offense and the response is the power of choice. This is what God put in us when He created us in His image, likeness and gave us dominion of the Garden of Eden. What makes us unique in the universe is our human will. We don’t have to respond; in fact, we do not even have to “hear” the offense - by choosing to ignore its invitation to let it stir our emotions. How many times have you ignored the phone when its a sales call or changed the tone of your voice in an instance depending upon who you are talking with. This is the reality of choice.

Choices are made by our ability to evaluate how our responses will benefit us at the moment. Those benefits are keys that unlock our understanding of authority and power. He who holds our heart, will rule our choices. The greatest leaders I know are not easily offended. Instead, they practice the habit of overlooking offenses.

Great leaders take the high road, give the offender the benefit of the doubt, and move on with the benefit of peace.

It requires character and a certain amount of skill in listening to what people say, rather than how they say it. I remind myself that offense will come, but I also recognize my choice is to find my identity in God’s pleasure rather than the approval of others or personal glory. I think that this is what the Apostle Paul meant by choosing rather to “glory in the cross” than look for personal justification (Gal. 6:14). A mutual crucifixion has occurred between myself and the world, I am dead to it and it is dead to me… which means I must not allow it to move me emotionally.

My freedom to reach God’s destiny is hinged to my ability to stay free from offenses!

Effective Seekers

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens, a city full of idolatry, he found opportunities to teach them about the One True God. Paul revealed to this region an unfortunate truth… that God was, “an Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). His announcement was clearly that God does not want to be unknown to us or any of His creation. This is why He knit into our being the desire to seek after Him. Our greatest quest is to find God… to know Him as Creator and Our Source of Life! Paul explains this to those in Athens:

“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).

God’s Desire:

God wants us to seek for Him, but we all must realize that He is not far away. We can seek after God in whatever way we wish, but there are ways that make our search more effective and will not leave us frustrated and unsatisfied. Let me explain through a story about David. When David planned to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem, the ark was placed on a new ox-driven cart to be transported. During the journey the oxen hit a bump and Uzzah placed his hand on the ark to steady it. When he touched the ark God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:3-8). You might ask… why? They were doing something that was good (returning the ark) in a way that seemed to them to be effective (on an ox-driven cart). Uzzah’s attempt to steady the ark would have been a natural reflex.

Why was God upset?

It was because God had given a way for the ark to be handled and David hurried in without knowledge of God’s desired pattern. David’s plan side-stepped the will of God, who he really wanted to honor. Notice, David corrects his mistaken actions with sober obedience, “No one may carry the ark of God, but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever” (1 Chron 15:2). Then he calls for the Levites to sanctify themselves and make preparation to carry out their duty in accordance with God’s plan. He says, “…because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chron 15:13). Having the best of intentions were irrelevant and actually lead to the death of David’s friend. The way in which David initially chose to move the ark violated God’s ordinance.

Instruction and Patterns:

Even though this happened in the Old Testament, the point is the same for us… we must seek God according to His instructions, rather than according to the way that seems best to us.

 When we consider our position as “a seeker” it doesn’t really matter if we are a novice or a well trained disciple of Christ, we must always humble ourselves and seek Him with an open and yielded heart.

Drawing near to God in an appropriate way always gets His attention and response. God gives grace to the humble and lifts them up (Jm 4:6, 10). Jesus said, “…seek and you will find” (Mt 7:7). Paul even said that everything he had found in life up to the time of gaining knowledge of Christ, he considered as “rubbish” just to gain Christ and be found in Him… “that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10).

The Real Goal:

Jesus reminds us that the Father’s delight is to give us the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:9-13). Remind yourself in your seeking that the goal is to host the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16)(Eph. 2:19-22). To make Him feel welcome and valued in your life, family and relationships; means you will need to yield yourself to His preferences. There are some powerful expressions and depths of complete satisfaction when a person seeks God in a way that pleases Him. God’s pleasure is what makes us effective seekers.

Donate

All contributions are welcome and deeply appreciated.

Categories
On the Web

Become a Fan of RevivalHut on Facebook  Follow RevivalHut on Twitter  Watch RevivalHut's Videos on YouTube

Follow RevivalHut on Posterous  Enjoy RevivalHut's Videos and Audio Podcasts on sureYnot  Subscribe to RevivalHut's RSS Feed

Archives