On writing days, my husband often surprises me with my favorite Sonic drink. It’s a small thing, but he knows it pleases me. I know it pleases him when I make rice instead of potatoes for dinner or pull bags of corn and butter beans out of the freezer. They aren’t my favorites, but they are his. Over our fifteen years of marriage, we’ve learned what pleases one another.
In Ephesians, Paul urges us to “find out what pleases the Lord” (5:10). It’s an active verb, sometimes being translated “test everything” or “try to find out” what pleases God. In the early stages of a relationship, we devote ourselves to finding out what pleases the other person. We listen to our beloved’s favorite bands and try their favorite restaurants. We watch their favorite movies and spend hours just listening to them talk. Sometimes we try out new hobbies or change our brand of cologne or shade of lipstick. We find joy in discovering and pleasing the one we love.
In the same way, we should devote ourselves to pleasing God. Relationships take time and nurture, and our relationship with God is no different. We find out best what pleases God by spending time in Scripture. Here are just a few things that the Bible says please God:
God is pleased with:
- Integrity (1 Chronicles 29:17)
- Revealing Christ in us (Galatians 1:15)
- Those who do good and share with those in need (Hebrews 13:16)
- Our faith (Hebrews 11:6)
- Prayers offered on behalf of all people—including “kings and those in authority” (2 Timothy 2:3)
- Our praise (Psalm 69:30-31)
If we love the Lord, we should devote ourselves to finding out what pleases God and doing what brings Him pleasure.
This is the fundamental transformation at the heart of Christianity: following Jesus as Lord means putting Christ—and not ourselves—at the center of our hearts.
Instead of pursuing our own selfish desires, we pursue Christ. Instead of indulging ourselves, we generously give ourselves for God’s pleasure. And instead of seeking our own applause, we delight in glorifying the name of the Lord.
How are you devoting yourself to God’s pleasure? How do you discover what pleases God, and when do you sense God is pleased with you? Today, consider how you can bring pleasure to our great and glorious God.
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