1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God—as you are doing—do so even more. 2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
Most of us struggle with the idea of pleasing God at some time in our lives. It’s a quest that starts at a young age for many of us because parents or other authorities try to control our actions by using the threat of God’s all seeing nature. Some are driven to the point of exhaustion trying to do enough to please Him. Others decide the effort is futile and just give up.
As we saw in Hebrews 11:6 (see Faith in God), It is impossible to please God with out faith. Faith In Jesus Christ is where we must begin any effort to relate to God. We explained this in the last issue (Can We Get Close to God?). There is no other approach to Him.
Some say that faith is all that is required to please Him but we can see from the verse that we opened this article with that how we walk or in other words live, affects God’s pleasure with us. James chapter 2 tells us clearly that Faith that is not lived out is dead. It even points out that demons believe and tremble.
How we live is directly related to pleasing God. The Psalms and Proverbs are full of advice on how to please Him. Most of the Apostle Paul’s writings were to churches instructing the people in how to live lives pleasing to God. Obeying God is an essential element of pleasing Him. 1 John 3:21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. Note that this scripture points out that faith coupled with loving God and loving others constitute the commandments of the new covenant.
You may now be thinking if pleasing God depends on my actions, I am no more capable now than I was before. Once again faith in Jesus Christ makes all the difference. When we place our faith in Jesus, He gives us his Holy Spirit to live in us. If we will yield control of our lives to Him, He will give us everything we need to live lives pleasing to God. 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. The Holy Spirit causes us to produce fruitful lives. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Yes we can please God, by building on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and surrendering to the influence of the Holy Spirit. God has provided through His Son everything we need. It isn’t a matter of struggling but a mater of yielding and allowing the power of God to work through us.
In our next installment we will look at the results of drawing close to God and pleasing Him when we ask, will he bless me? I hope you will join us. Please be encouraged to share your comments.
*All scripture is from the Holman New Christian Standard Bible