A Life Pleasing to God

“By faith Enoch . . had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5 NKJV

“Pleasing God is not about perfect performance, but is about complete trust and obedience.”

My thoughts today are about a “life pleasing to God.”

Be prepared; you will occasionally come across people that are difficult to please. That is unavoidable. People that are unhappy and not very pleased with themselves, or much of anything or anyone else, can be difficult. Somewhere in the real life reality of such experiences, an unfounded fear creeps in that God may be hard to please as well. After all, His expectations are pretty high, and His example is without parallel. He is perfect, never failing, never faltering. So how could any of us please God?

A very sad day occurred when our son was a young high schooler. After a serious discussion about his grades which were average but I believed less than his capability, I realized the conversation had been a stern monologue rather than a discussion and more intense than I meant. For his sake and future, I could not accept his allowing less than his best effort. Yes, his grades mattered to me, but not as much as he mattered. I found him in his room. My heart broke as I heard him say, “Dad, there’s nothing I do that pleases you!” His pain became my pain, and sitting down beside him on his bed, I tried to reassure him that my discontent with his grades was by no means my displeasure with him. Do you ever feel like God is a parent you cannot please? I think God also feels as I did when we think He cannot be pleased.

Jesus models and teaches exactly the opposite. His Father testified to all, “This is My beloved Son; I am fully pleased with Him.” 2 Peter 1:17-18 NLT. Fully pleased! What more need be said? Jesus models a life in the certainty that God is pleased. Jesus had unquestioned confidence; “I always do what pleases Him.” John 8:29 NIV. When you know that God is pleased, there is freedom that is hard to explain and courage to live life with boldness. But you might say, “Of course, Jesus pleased God; He was the Son of God. But what about me? I deal with mine and others’ humanity every day.”

The Bible records this remarkable statement about a man: “By faith Enoch . . had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5 NKJV. If Enoch did, you can! Simple faith pleases God. Hebrews 11:6. Sincere obedience pleases God. 1 John 3:22-23 NIV. A worthy life pleases God. Colossians 1:10 NIV. Doing good and sharing pleases God. Hebrews 13:16 NLT. Those are a sample, but are non-negotiables.

Pleasing God is not about perfect performance, but is about complete trust and obedience. Here is the secret. “And now, may the God of peace . . equip you with all you need for doing his will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to Him.” Hebrews 13:20 NLT. Read that again. Observe that God equips you with all He expects from you. You can do what God asks! And God will produce in you what is pleasing to Him. He enables you to do what you otherwise could not.

My prayer for you today is that you give God your best and trust Him for the rest.