(My dear friend and li'l sista Lydia asked me a question in a text this afternoon and I sent her this, I thought it would help set the score for where I stand and who I am in case of any ambiguity.)
This question did say ‘what am I doing to try and please God’, however I have an issue with the concept of trying. Is there anywhere in the Word of God that we see the Almighty condemning or applauding somebody for what they tried to do? Will we be judged on what we tried to do? I put it to you that the whole concept of ‘trying’ anything is a kop out for us. A kind of insurance policy or disclaimer in case that which we do doesn’t work out. I’m learning not to buy it. God doesn’t tell me to try and live a holy life – He tells me to live a holy life, which indicates that I’ll either live a holy life or I won’t. That’s why John gives us the guidance that we should confess the fact that we don’t live holy lives all the time – we sin – and when we do it’s best to let God know and look for Him to clean us then get back to living holy.
I don’t try my best – I do my best. I think you get my point, but I hope you’re not put off. It doesn’t put me under any pressure to state what I do and what I don’t do, even as it didn’t put David under any pressures to come to God and say that I have hidden the Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Now here’s a homey who killed a man because of his lust problem, and he has the temerity to say he hides the word so he doesn’t sin – and later on he’ll claim that he walks uprightly and blameless before the Lord. How can you say that? Surely you must say I try to walk blameless? But no, he says these things because he knows who he is and the God he relies on completely.
Herein is the key to the response to your question. The first thing before this list that I acknowledge is that in and of myself, I am not capable of pleasing God. So I rely on Him completely to give me the mind, the desire, the hunger, the thirst, the overwhelming gut-wrenching determination to know and to do what is pleasing in His sight. And thank Him, He gives it to me through the example of His Son, the guidance of His Word and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Beyond that, here’s a snapshot of the things I do to please God.
o Believe He is and He is a rewarder of those that diligently search for Him
o Find out what pleases Him – by asking Him … all the time
o Find out what pleases Him – by reading His Word
o Funny you should ask actually, cos today I was reading Psalm 119 (not all of it, not even I can do that in one sitting on the way to work) and it was looking at the love the Psalmist had for God’s Word and how He sought God’s face continually with his whole heart just to find the way to please God. So it’s good you should ask me this question now.
o Find out what pleases Him – by sharing with others
o Live the way He wants me to live
o Be concerned for the things He’s concerned for
o Hate the things He hates – sin
o Love the things He loves – righteousness (social justice, peace, love, mercy, humility, etc.)
o Deny myself daily, take up the cross and follow Jesus Christ
o Being obedient to His instructions
o Giving Him access to my heart to highlight the areas that I have not yielded to Him or are unlike Him
o Love His people
o Care for the dying
o Praying without ceasing
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I hope this gives you perspective of what I do to please Him. In essence it’s what He works within me to please Him for I am His workmanship created for good works through His Son, so I was originally hard-wired to please Him and despite the mess sin put in the works, He’s re-wiring me to do what I was always created to do.
4 His Name's Sake
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