One of the most awkward jobs I ever did was when I worked for a partnership. Each morning, the first partner I met would issue me his instructions and I would set off obediently. The problems began when I met the second partner. He would ask what I was doing and why, and give different assignments. Later, I would meet the first partner again and take my explanations to the next level and so the day would continue. I think that whatever diplomatic skills I have derive from that job!
Uncommunicative bosses are worse. The skill of guessing their expectations or the meaning of their expressions and grunts takes months to acquire. They are hard to please.
Although the devil tries to deceive us into thinking otherwise, God is not like either type of master. Pleasing God is easier; His will is undivided and readily revealed. Paul begins his prayer for the Colossian church with exactly that point—revelation of His will. As he did in his prayer for illumination, Paul emphasizes that such understanding is spiritual, rather than intellectual. Certainly, the Bible tells us God’s will but we need His Spirit to plant it in our hearts.
We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. (Col. 1:9-12)
When we know our heavenly Father’s will we are halfway to doing what every child, deep down, longs to do—please Him. Never fall into the trap of thinking that God’s will restricts us from enjoying life. No, living within His will is the most fulfilling and secure place to be. The assurance that we are pleasing God is our greatest satisfaction. Again, Satan suggests such a life is unattainable; but, if we allow Him, God will enable us to walk worthy of Him and please Him in every area of our lives.
There are other things that follow from knowing God’s will; they are also part of pleasing God:
- We can bear fruit in our good works because we are clear about what God calls good and which opportunities are His assignments. When we work in line with His will, His blessings and resources flow to make us fruitful.
- Our knowledge of God increases even more. It might be one result of growing closer to Him, but the thorough knowledge that Paul mentions is also the context and nutrient for our spiritual growth.
- We experience His strengthening power, which in turn enables us to endure with patience even in situations where we would naturally retaliate. Such character is a sign of the kingdom lifestyle growing in us. That too pleases God.
- The Father has arranged for His own stringent requirements for relationship with Him to be satisfied on our behalf. Thankfulness for that is also part of walking worthy and pleasing God.
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