Most of us have been taught how to avert the wrath of God from our lives. Through cleansing by the blood of Jesus we are made whole and righteous before God. We put on the righteousness of Christ since He took our sins on Himself if we will but repent of them. It is an exchange. The greatest gift in the universe. But beyond an aversion of wrath, what is it that actually pleases God? The process I just described has, at it’s base, the component needed to please God in an elementary form.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. –ESV
According to this it is faith that pleases God. When we approached the cross to leave our sins on it’s ugly planks, we did so by faith. A small faith, but faith nonetheless. So even in our first approach to God through Jesus, we have brought Him pleasure.
Many have spent a lifetime laboring to please God and never realized it was this simple. And even after receiving the revelation of pleasing God by faith, it is easy to pick up our cross by our own strength again.
Though it is simple to please God, it is not easy. Walking by faith in a world that clings to it’s five senses is a radical thing to do. Also, borne out of true faith are actions. They are not labors of our own strength, but works of faith, done by the anointing and power of God. Many times these actions run against the grain of every fleshly desire and rational thought we possess.
Hebrews 10:38-39 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. –ESV
These verses have spoken volumes to me and have sustained me in some dark battles. Apparently walking by faith is no picnic. If it was, there would never be a temptation to shrink back. But if we read these verses and take them to heart, we realize it is an act of great faith to push ahead when all that is before is is darkness. When we move forward with nothing but the sound of evil threats and fears in our minds, we do not feel like we are pleasing God.
But we must take Him at His Word and push onward by faith. With this faith we can quench the flaming darts of the enemy and move on in the name of Jesus. And as we move on, and do not shrink, it pleases God more than we will probably ever know on this side of eternity. And we preserve our souls. These rewards are great for the troubles we endure. Let’s rejoice and be glad we serve a God who redeems every dark hour and rewards every act of faith lavishly!