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Devotional - week of September 30, 2007


PLEASING GOD

 

And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."  John 8:29

 

The Bible teaches us to please God just as Jesus pleased God. Two of the clearest statements about how to please God are stated negatively. One of them is found in Romans 8:8 where Paul wrote:

 

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

Romans 8:5-11 contrasts walking in the flesh with walking in the Spirit. All believers are doing one or the other. In the broader context, Paul has said that when one lives by the law, he is living in the flesh. All law-living is self-effort living.

 

We know, then, that God is not pleased with our merely trying to do things for Him. He is pleased with believers who are walking in the Spirit.

 

Hebrews 11:6 also states negatively what pleases God.

 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him …

 

To live by faith is to live in dependence on God—for everything. Many believers have testified about getting on their knees to pray and turn everything over to God—and then as soon as they got off of their knees, they took the burdens back.

 

When we experience our union with Christ, we experience the crucifixion of our flesh. As a result, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we are freed from faith in ourselves so that we can live by faith in God. This understanding of our oneness with Christ and of our spiritual crucifixion simplifies what it takes to bring pleasure to God.  

 

Many of God’s children have a great longing to please God but know they are not. They know there is more to the Christian life than they are experiencing, but so far nothing they have tried has given them the “more” they are looking for.

 

As we walk in the Spirit, God puts us with some who are looking for the “more” of the Christian life. Our place is to meet that need by teaching them their oneness with Christ. God’s place is to reveal it. And God won’t fail us or them.