Pleasing God is a most pleasing potentiality! It is definitely possible! In searching with my daily companion, Logos Bible software, I have found eight Bible texts which present what surely I would label as “A Most Pleasing Potentiality.” What is that? I refer to that most pleasant “state of being” when THE LORD delights in me! How do we attain it? How is it described? Just HOW can I go about pleasing God?
First, let’s consider two of the descriptive passages: Numbers 14:8 and Deuteronomy 10:15. What is it like when God delights in you? Joshua and Caleb inform us in the Numbers passage that He provides a rich reward to those in whom He delights. It will be a land flowing with milk and honey, to describe this state in a Hebrew figure. Those are the very words of Joshua and Caleb as they sought to still the people. That which would DELIGHT His people was the reward which God would provide to those in whom He delighted. This ought to be a point for you and me to ponder as we contemplate the heavenly home we are promised. A second simple, but awe-inspiring result of God’s delight in man, is that He will love them (Deuteronomy 10:15).
Now let’s consider the HOW TO. Truly, one of the most interesting and inspiring passages I came across in this search is this one—But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 9:24). Perhaps this verse is telling us that the Lord delights in His own lovingkindness, judgment, and right-eousness, but that is not what it seems to me He is saying. Rather, I think God delights in the PERSON who understands and knows that God has those qualities. I want to be among that number and I hope that you do as well.
In my interpretation of Jeremiah 9.24, I am saying that THESE THINGS, in which God delights, refers back to the understanding and knowing and glorying of the person who does know Him accurately. This causes me to want to study more carefully what God has revealed to me about Himself in the written word. God has revealed Himself to us because He actually delights in us KNOWING who He is!!! This passage reveals to us a way to accomplish pleasing God.
Next, consider this text–The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight (Proverbs 15:8 KJV). Is it really true that Almighty God delights when He hears upright folks pray to Him? That is exactly what this text is telling us. Do you want to make God smile, do you want to bring delight to the God of Heaven? Just go to your prayer closet and that splendid task you are accomplishing. Does that not cause you to want to spend more time in prayer? Yes, if I have the right relationship with God and I spend time praying to Him, I am pleasing God!
Proverbs 11:1 reads: “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” I remember a time when we shopped for groceries and one small item had been hidden from our view and the view of the cashier by the five-gallon water jug we had just refilled. When we got the cart to the car, Diane noticed it and went back into the store to pay for it. Guess what. God delighted in that small transaction!
We can make a choice between being an abomination to the Lord or to be His delight (Proverbs 11:20). Having lying lips versus dealing truly provide the very same alternative (Proverbs 12:22). How wonderful it is to choose the right way and bring about this most pleasing potentiality.
For the last passage, we must enter the United Kingdom Period of Bible History. The first king of the United Kingdom was Saul. 1 Samuel 15 is likely one of the most familiar chapters of the entire book to most of us. Here we have the great judge and prophet Samuel heavily into discipline mode with Israel’s first king. If anyone ever needed that discipline, it was Saul!
Samuel received the most clear-cut and unambiguous instructions regarding the actions God demanded His people to take toward the Amalekites. Also, God told Saul the reason for the actions He demanded. Yet, Saul comes up short of following the commands of God, though he did indeed claim to have performed the commandment (v. 13). Further, when Samuel questions the claim Saul makes about his obedience, Saul tries to use the “End Justifies the Means” approach (v. 15). In addition, he shifted the blame to the people (vv. 15, 21).
Then the prophet thunders out the verdict of God Almighty: And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
King Saul teaches us a valuable lesson about pleasing God. Do you wish to bring delight to the Creator? There is nothing complex about it— SIMPLY OBEY HIS VOICE! Let us be challenged by the beautiful response of the Apostle Peter and say to the Lord, regarding whatever command might be given: AT THY WORD.