Pleasing God
(week 32/05)
Olubi Johnson

Hebrews 6: 11 NKJV: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Here, we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Why is this so?

This is so because God is a spirit who is invisible to us. So it takes faith: trust in unseen realities, to relate to God.

Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Faith in God is trusting in the integrity of His written Word that declares realities that are not tangible or visible to our physical senses.

Num 23:19 NIV: God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

We accept as true and real what we do not see simply because God says they are true in His written Word.

In fact, we accept the Bible as the written Word of God by faith: simply because it declares itself to be God’s Word.

2 Peter 1:19-21 KJV: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost

Jeremiah 1:12 NIV:  The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.

Now, we find that as we act on what God has declared to be a reality in His Word, we experience a physical manifestation of what God has said. This proves to us that our faith is not misplaced and God’s Word is actually true.

For instance, Abram believing God that he will have a son in his old age, obeys God in faith by being circumcised at the age of 99. At the age of 100 years he and his wife Sarah who was 90 years old have a son Isaac (Rom. 4.18-21; Heb. 11.11-12).

His faith or trust in God’s Word was not disappointed: what God said which was naturally impossible and had no physical evidence of being able to take place, was proven to be true.

So to relate meaningfully to God we must do so by faith since we cannot see or perceive with our physical senses the realities of God and what He promises.

How then do we please God by faith?

We please God by faith by acting on His written Word to release the spiritual forces that enable us to please God.

We need to understand that because of the sin nature in man’s soul: mind, will and emotions and physical body: man cannot please God even if he desires to:

Romans 7:14-25 NIV: We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 8:7-8 NIV: the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Galatians 5:17 NIV: For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

So, pleasing God is not a question of simply desiring to do the right thing alone: it includes diligently releasing the power of the Holy Spirit in consistentand sufficient measure to overcome the sin nature seeking to force you to displease God operating in the air, mind, will, emotions and body:

Ephesians 2:1-3 NIV: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.

You release the power of the Holy Spirit in this manner by diligently exercising faith in God’s Word that tells you how to release the power of the Holy Spirit: having an attitude of love, speaking God’s Word and praying in the spirit so activating the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that sets you free or liberates from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8.2).

As you do this you will be ‘walking in the spirit’ and will not fulfill the desires of the sinful nature and so consistently please God.

Galatians 5:16-17 NIV: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Romans 8:13-14 NIV: For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.