Monday, July 25, 2016

"To Please God"

"To Please God"

   God is the most emotional being in existence.  He can be pleased and displeased, joyful or grieving, satisfied or angry (I Thessalonians 4:1; Genesis 38:10; Psalm 60:6; Genesis 6:6; Matthew 3:17; Exodus 4:14).

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do not serve a dispassionate Heavenly Father.  We rather know, trust, and love One who feels with an intensity far beyond any emotion we have ever experienced.  Scripture clearly teaches such truth, which we may know and believe in principle.  However, many believers find it counterintuitive to perceive God in such fashion, primarily because in our experience, emotions often lead us into trouble.  We all make poor decisions based on reactionary feeling rather than reasoned deliberation.  Many of our scars, both internal and external, resulted from paths chosen because they offered pleasant emotions, but then produced painful results.

   Such emotional, mental, and volitional discrepancy never happens in God.  This is the difference between His emotional nature and our own.  His feeling perfectly accords with His pristine character, nature, and being.  He never loses His temper, as it were, but rather always acts in temper with who and what He is.  Nor does His pleasure or grief flow in any direction other than the current of His righteous holiness.  Such truth provides an especially vivid illumination - and much cause for awed appreciation and praise - regarding the otherness of God in comparison to ourselves.  Indeed, try to imagine an emotional nature in ourselves that could feel far more intensely than we have ever felt, but which could never lead us to make an unwise decision.  It's hard to contemplate such a unity within ourselves because it does not yet exist.  Our spiritual and fleshly dispositions still struggle against one another, particularly regarding the will of God and the feelings of our humanity.  This will change in that day when "we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).  But not yet.  For now, therefore, we wonder as we consider the perfect harmony of mind, emotion, and will that characterizes our glorious and indescribable Lord.

   Presently, the most important Divine emotion we can consider involves our Christ-enabled capacity to please God.  "We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:1).  The Heart that has known so much grief through humanity, including ourselves, can experience great pleasure as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus reveals His character, nature, and way in us.  This includes our emotions.  Despite the possibility that our feelings may still lead us astray, they can also serve as a component of pleasing God.  Indeed, it is a pleasurable truth to ponder that we can bring delight to our Lord's heart.  This constitutes an emotion that aligns with who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us.  Doubtless this pleases our Heavenly Father who delights in His Son, including His Son as revealed in us.  Therefore, we fall before the God whose entire being exists in the holiness and harmony of perfect unity of character, nature, way, and yes, emotion.  And we rejoice that He works in us to reveal the same unity, a process now that will ultimately culminate in perfection.  This day involves such Divine action on our behalf, and such human opportunity to bring pleasure to the Heart so worthy to be blessed and pleased and joyous.

"The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy."
(Psalm 147:11).

Weekly Memory Verse
    Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalm 20:7)

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