I have been enjoying reading Paul’s letters & came across a statement he made to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness”.
When I read this verse, I was thrown aback significantly. If you’re anything like me, you will understand why. This is what this verse meant to me… Just because, there are so many wonderful things happening in my life & God is doing so many miraculous signs in me, doesn’t mean that God is actually pleased with me. He has, for whatever reason best known to Him, decided to favour me. In the case of the Israelites, it was because of His promise to Abraham. I had started to think in this way… “Wow, God you’re so good to me. All these blessings for me? I must be doing something right. Heaven is definitely my portion etc”. It did not dawn on me that God could be blessing for His own special reasons, and not because I actually please Him. The bible is saying here that regardless of all the blessings & miraculous signs (which could have fooled someone like me to believe that I am God’s favourite kid – like I’m sure some of the Israelites believed, God destroyed them because He was displeased with them!). I had sort of “swept under the carpet” the scripture in Galatians 6:7-8 that says “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature but those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit”. We must not think that because all is looking well, it is indeed well. Definitely a wake-up call. That was news for me today.
What am I trying to say… We need to be very careful that we are not fooled by the mercies of God in your life & take them as a confirmation of your position in God. We need to do as Paul advised in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test”. And as my mum used to quote in Philippians 2:12, “…work out your salvation with fear & trembling”
After this revelation, I decided to look up a few verses in the bible which gives us guidance on the things that please God. Here are a few. Please feel free to send me more verses as you discover them:
1. Faith: Hebrews 11:6 says “…without faith it is impossible to please God…”.
2. The desires of my heart have to be in line with the will of God: 1 Kings 3:10 “The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this”. If you know this story very well, it had to do with the day God gave Solomon the option to ask for whatever he wanted, and promised to give it to Solomon. Solomon asked for wisdom. If you know the book of Proverbs very well, you will know how God emphasises the importance of wisdom. So, when we ask for or desire things that are according to the will of God, it pleases Him.
3. Holiness: 1 Thessalonians 4 is also a useful guide. Please read the whole of it if you can. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 it says “God wants you to be holy…” There are a number of verses in the bible which tells us how important holiness if to God.
4. Know Him: I do not have a verse for this but I guess it is self explanatory… You cannot seek to please someone that you do not know. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. We need to know who God is personally & then we can understand what is pleasing to Him. This can be achieved via reading the scriptures, talking to God and worshipping Him from your spirit, listening to more messages, basically spending time with Him.
You may ask yourself, why would I want to go the extra mile to please God if I am happy with my life as is? Oh well, here are a few reasons I found in the bible:
1. Proverbs 16:7 “When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies at peace with them”
2. 1 John 3:22 “And we will receive whatever we request because we obey Him and do the things that please Him”
3. There is another life after death. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 says “So our aim is to please Him (God) always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done with our bodies”
Ponder on these things…
That’s all from me from now… Enjoy the rest of your week.