Pleasing Not Appeasing the Lord

We had a nice morning with some sunshine and warmer temps. I attended the Tuesday morning prayer meeting at Everyday Joes and then came home to connect with Alan Kee who is going to be doing some work for us in our basement.

I have actually fought a level of fatigue. So, I continue to learn how to manage and judge what I can do and when. I was after a rest able to get out and ride my recumbent bike for the first time in a couple of weeks. I than had a chiropractor appointment, as I continue my health and physical recovery treatment.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “…we always speak as God wants us to, because he has judged us worthy to be entrusted with the Good News. We do not try to please people, but to please God, who tests our motives.”                    1 Thessalonians 2:4

I often find myself reading in the the Old Testament and New Testament at the same time. It is important that we guard against being New Testament believers with an “Old Testament” mindset or view of God. In the Old Testament the idolatry of God’s people confused them about God’s character and God’s ways. Idols are deities that are to be appeased to gain their favor and avoid their wrath. But the Lord is one we are to seek to please because “…the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)
There is much in scripture about “pleasing God” and it makes for a good on-going study. But for this brief discussion I note in Paul’s words that…

Pleasing God is a choice. As the Lord’s apostle Paul realized he had an obligation to the Lord. His commitment and loyalty to the Lord provided the motivation for his life and ministry. So he makes it clear that his desire is to please God over people. That can often place us in challenging situations when we are confronted with that choice. It is important for us to choose to please God, over pleasing ourselves. Paul told the Romans, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1) Spiritual maturity is reflected in the ability to lay aside the impulse to “please ourselves.”

Pleasing God requires faith. without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) We come to God in faith, we live by faith, we pray in faith. Our faith not only gives us confidence that God exists, but that He is a “rewarder” of those who seek Him.

Pleasing God requires us to be open.  “Learn as you go along what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:10) In a relationship, you learn how to please someone. That is how we should view our relationship with the Lord. Our desire out of love for the Lord should be to please the Lord. That means learning, listening, obeying.

Pleasing God is the path to peace.  When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

Pleasing speaks of relationship and security. Appeasement speaks of fear and insecurity. The Lord knows our hearts and is able to guide us into paths of righteousness and relationship so that we can faithfully serve and please the Lord.