God’s Pleasure: It is strange to think about God’s pleasure. For me, as most of you know, a good bowl of vanilla bean Blue Bell ice cream brings me much pleasure. But what is God’s pleasure? What gets his heart pumping and moving. What motivates Him?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
In the King James Version, the word at the end of this passage is not ‘purpose’ but ‘pleasure.’ God’s purpose and pleasure are the very same. So what is His purpose? His purpose is that we might become sons of God through salvation in Jesus Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
We are all children of God in that we have all been made in the likeness of Him, but this passage is referring to the spirit of sonship that we experience when we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Why does it bring God pleasure for us to receive the spirit of sonship?
Do you remember the parable of the prodigal son? The youngest son decided he had enough of his father’s blessing. He wanted to go out and forge a life on his own. The problem though was that he lacked the maturity and opportunity to go out and build his own legacy. He ends up spending all of his money on partying and prostitution to find himself homeless hungry for the slop he was feeding the pigs he was caring for. We tend to look at this parable through the son’s eyes. We walk with him as he leaves his father, spends all of his money, finds himself destitute, then comes to his senses, and returns to the father. But let’s take a minute and think about this from the father’s perspective.
Right now, two of my sons are with me. My youngest (15) still lives with me and my oldest works for me and I get to see he and his wife all the time. But my middle son is out on a Navy ship somewhere serving his country. His mother and I are super-proud of him, but we miss him. We miss not only being around him. We miss blessing him. We miss loving on him, taking him to dinner, actually giving him gifts on his birthday and Christmas. We haven’t seen him for a year and we just found out we will not see him for another year. A father enjoys, finds pleasure in blessing his son. The look on his son’s face floods the heart of a dad. When we are far from the Lord, like prodigals, He is unable to bless us, to express His love and affection to us first hand. It is not that God stops loving anyone. He has always and will continue to love everyone on this Earth, but those who return to Him in the spirit of Sonship are able to experience first hand the love and blessings of God and this gives God pleasure.
God takes so much pleasure in wanting to love on you and bless you that He is working in you and all around you to influence you to a closer relationship with Him. God is using every circumstance in life to give us reasons to draw near to Him. He wants to be near us, to love and bless us. This is God’s pleasure. The hard times remind us that we need Him. The good times give us reason to draw near to Him that we might give thanks for what He has done. But He is hard at work orchestrating influence to draw you near so that He can love and bless. The thought of your laughter, your smile, your peace, your joy. This gets God up in the morning (just kiddin’ God never sleeps). His excitement every morning is to see the joy on your face in light of His goodness to you. This is His pleasure.
How has God worked things in your life to draw you near, love and bless you? Leave me a comment.