“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Most of us would say that we desire to please God, but the questions to ask ourselves are:
1) How much do we desire to please God? and 2) How do we go about doing this?
The apostle Paul said that it was his life ambition to please God. His passion was to bring delight to the Lord. He felt there was no sacrifice too great to make for the Savior. He considered all his worldly accomplishments rubbish so that He could “gain Christ” (see Philippians 3:7-9). Paul is not to be the exception. We are exhorted to be imitators of Paul because he was living his life in a Christ-like manner for the glory of God. Is our desire to please God above all else? This is what the Lord asks of us. Living this kind of life requires surrender and sacrifice, but it also brings great reward. Only when we die to self to bring glory to God can we fully experience the abundant life that Christ promised.
So, how do we go about pleasing God? We are told in Hebrews 11:6 that we must have faith. In fact, the writer emphasizes that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith. As I began my morning today by praying through my week, I could feel the tension in my spirit rising. I sensed the Lord asking me if I had a heart of faith. If I am anxious, am I doubting that God will give me the strength and ability to handle all that He brings to my day? It was Paul’s faith in the character of God that enabled him to say that he can do everything through Christ who gives him strength (see Philippians 4:13). It was this same faith that allowed him to be content in whatever circumstances he had to bear (see 4:11-12).
It is not enough just to do good works to please the Lord. He wants us to do them by faith in His Spirit’s power and His provision. When we begin to focus on our own abilities, and wisdom, we are moving away from faith and toward our flesh. The result will be the fruit of the flesh, rather than the fruit of the Spirit. If you are anxious about something, ask the Lord to fill you with faith to believe that He will provide for you and strengthen you each day.
[As we continue to wait for quarantine to be lifted and life to begin to feel more "normal" again, how is the condition of your faith? Has it dwindled at all since this virus first hit us? Is it feeling like a roller coaster at times, soaring up some days and down other days? If you're being honest with yourself do you see your faith steadfast in God alone or placed also in the government, your local leaders, scientists and researches, health workers, or your own abilities to stay "safe?" Though it is good for us to be aware of what is going on and to be wise to do our part in order to keep ourselves and those around us healthy, our faith and hope is to be and remain ultimately in the Lord. May you seek Him today, and allow Him to reveal to you the condition of your faith currently. I pray we receive an even greater outpouring of faith right now from the heart of God into our own hearts. -Nancy Martin]
Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:6, Philippians 3-4:1