By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
“And find out what pleases the Lord” -Ephesians 5:10
In wanting to draw closer to God, I’ve been wondering, what really pleases the heart of God?
It’s easy to get caught up in the acts of serving God and overlook what pleases Him. So how do we discover what pleases God, and even more importantly how do we live it out? Following are six things that please God.
1. Faith pleases Him. Having faith in God brings great pleasure to Him. Without it, there is no way to please Him. It is essential and foundational, as Hebrews 11:6 explains, “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.”
So how do we have faith? The Apostle Paul explains in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Reading, studying, and applying God’s word to our daily lives increases our faith.
2. Existing pleases Him. Many of us don’t realize how our very existence, as His sons and daughters, gives God pleasure. 2 Corinthians 2:15 explains, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
Like flowers in a garden that release a sweet fragrance through their presence, wherever we go as Christians, we release the sweet fragrance of Christ to those around us, whether to other believers or to unbelievers.
Our presence on the earth is fulfilling a valuable mission, “To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task”?” (2 Corinthians 2:16).
3. Sacrifices please Him. Scripture gives examples of sacrifices that are pleasing to God, such as do-gooding and sharing sacrifices. Hebrews 13:16 urges, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Also, spiritual sacrifices including prayer, fasting, praise, worship, and repentance bring pleasure to God. 1 Peter 2:5 explains how, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Psalm 141:2 describes prayer as a pleasing sacrifice. “May my prayer be set before You like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
As well, Hebrews 13:15 describes the sacrifice of praise. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.”
Likewise, we may not realize that a repentant heart is a pleasing sacrifice before God. “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
Mostly, God calls us to be a living sacrifice, where we resist sin and its allures. Romans 12:1 describes what that means. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
4. Joyfully serving pleases Him. Some believers serve with a sense of duty rather than joy, but
God calls us to do so with a joyful heart. Romans 14:17,18 describes, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.”
5. Living by the Spirit pleases Him. Galatians 5:25 explains, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
God finds no pleasure when we choose to live in the world, catering to our flesh. Like the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:8 writes, “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
6. Trustworthiness with His word pleases Him. Revering God’s word brings Him pleasure. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 reveals how, “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
As well, 2 Timothy 2:15 encourages us, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Show me ways to bring You pleasure today and each and every day. Soften my heart to seek to please You first of all, above all my own wants and plans. Lead me with your Holy Spirit to do what pleases You, over my own thoughts, will, and desires.
In Jesus’ name,
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Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.