Everybody lives to please somebody. Many people live to please themselves. They have no sensitivity to the needs of others. “The soul of a journey,” wrote William Hazlitt, “is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, and do just as one pleases.” That advice may work for a vacation, but it could never work in the everyday affairs of life. Christians cannot go through life pleasing only themselves.
Pleasing God means much more than simply doing God’s will. It is possible to obey God and yet not please Him. Jonah is a case in point. He obeyed God and did what he was commanded, but his heart was not in it. God blessed His Word, but He could not bless His servant.
So Jonah sat outside the city of Nineveh angry with everybody, including the Lord!
How do we know what pleases God? How do we know what pleases an earthly father? By listening to him and living with him. As we read the Word, and as we fellowship in worship and service, we get to know the heart of God; and this opens us up to the will of God.
Remember? “Rid yourselves of all malice and deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
Dear friends, I urge you … to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that … they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:1, 9, 11-12, NIV).
Reach for your Bible: Romans 15:1; Galatians 1:10; John 3:20; Ephesians 6:6; Hebrews 11:5.
Action assignment: Open your hymnal to “Trust and Obey” and sing it as loudly as you dare. Determine to do one special thing today that will please God and ask Him to help you do it.
WARREN W. WIERSBE