Whether spoken or thought, we often ask ourself, Is God pleased with me? Is he happy with me?
It’s a good question to ask. Can we be pleasing to God? What does he think about us? What are his thoughts towards us?
Too often, we view God like we view our earthly father. As a child, before we had any thoughts of God, we looked to our earthly father. He was like God to us. The problem is that every earthly father falls short of modeling God as our Heavenly Father. The result is that we approach God a lot like we approach our imperfect, earthly father.
I believe one of our biggest hinderances to receiving God’s love is a wrong perception of his attitude towards us.
Under the old Covenant, the people were required to perform many rituals and sacrifices to please God. These works, duties, and rituals were all part of a cleansing process that appeased God and allowed the people to come to him. But under the new Convenant, Jesus became our sacrifice. He performed all of the works, duties and rituals that were required by the Law. He fulfilled the Law for us (Matthew 5:17). Under the new Covenant, all that’s required to please God is to believe in Jesus.
In John 6:28, Jesus’ disciples wanted to know how to please God. They asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
This is a great question! We should all ask ourselves, “Lord, what would you like me to do? What are the works that you require of me? What must I do to be pleasing to you?”
Take a moment and ask yourself these questions. Then, either written or mentally, make a list of the works you can do for God that would please him. You got ’em?
Now, let’s see how Jesus answered the disciples. Jesus responded, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
Did you catch that? The work of God is that you believe in Christ. What pleases God is that you put your hope in Christ because he fulfilled all the Law. It’s the work of Christ that makes you worthy–it’s not what you do or don’t do. Jesus completely pleased God, and our requirement is to simply believe that. When we fully trust that Jesus paid the full price for our sins and we receive him in our lives, then we are pleasing to God. It’s not about being good enough or doing all the right things–it’s about believing.
The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “Without faith (without believing), it’s impossible to please God” (Hebrews 6:11a).
When you believe in Christ, and trust in his work on the cross, then you are pleasing to God. Very pleasing! There’s nothing more you can do to make yourself worthy. First John 5:12-13 sums it up well: “So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life. I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”
In Christ, you are perfectly pleasing to God! He is madly, passionately in love with you. He talks about you incessantly with great pride. He rejoices over you with singing and dancing (Zephaniah 3:17). You are his favorite! You are pleasing to God!
Prayer: Father, show me just how pleasing I am to you. Show me how much you love me and rejoice over me with singing and dancing.