What Pleases God?—Part 1
Originally published in Issue 58 of Calvary Chapel Magazine
Without Faith It is Impossible to Please Him
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. Hebrews 11:6
It doesn’t take much to please God. Just a little bit of faith blesses God’s heart. It’s a biblical fact—profoundly simple, but glorious in the extreme. From cover to cover, the Bible exhorts us to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Oh, how God smiles when we put our trust and our faith in Him. In the same way, God’s Word urges us to put our faith and confidence in the promises of God. “Trust in the Lord,” we hear repeatedly, “and He will deliver you.” That’s His promise.
Why Don’t We Believe Him?
If it’s true that faith pleases God, as the Bible insists, don’t you think it would naturally follow that the converse would also be true—that God is displeased when we don’t trust Him? When we doubt His promises, when we live in constant fear and anxiety, our conduct cannot please Him. I’ve often wondered how God looks upon a prayer like this: “Oh God, help me to believe You. Lord, please help me to believe Your promises.”
Suppose I were to say to one of my grandsons, “On your 16th birthday, Grandpa is going to give you a car.” If he knew that I had bought cars for all the rest of our grandkids on their 16th birthdays, how do you think he’d respond? I’m pretty sure he’d expect the same thing would probably happen for him too.
So what would you think if, after I gave him this promise, he replied, “Oh Grandpa, help me to believe you. Help me to believe in your promise, Grandpa!” I would think, Why don’t you believe me? Have I given you false promises before? Have I promised wild things and failed to come through? God has given us a Bible full of amazing promises—and yet so often we say, “Oh God, please help me to believe You. Lord, please help me to believe You’ll do as You promise.”
Why don’t we believe Him? What is it about His promises that we find so difficult to trust? The Old Testament saint, Enoch, did not have nearly the number of divine promises we do in the Scriptures, yet His faith delighted God’s heart:
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5
The world had grown dark with sin, but despite the vile culture, this godly man walked with God. We learn that Enoch was also a prophet, as Jude quotes one of his prophecies: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all” (Jude 1:14-15).
Enoch fathered a son whom he named Methuselah, which more or less means, “In the year of his death, it shall come.” Could this have been a prophecy concerning the great flood of Noah’s day? If you add up the years in the genealogies of Genesis, you discover that the flood came in the year that Methuselah died. Enoch was a prophet who walked with God.
According to one old legend, Enoch took a daily walk with God. The Lord would meet him every morning and Enoch would fellowship with God. One morning God said to Enoch, “Let’s walk a little farther today. Bring your lunch along.” So Enoch brought his lunch. They walked a bit, had lunch together, and then kept walking … and walking … until Enoch said, “It’s getting late, Lord. We had better head for home.” But the Lord said, “We’re closer to My house than to yours. How about if you just come on home with Me?”
I love that story. I don’t know how true it might be, but Enoch’s faith pleased God so much that He took him home so that he should not see death. Pleasing God is the very purpose of our existence—and the Bible says we delight His heart through faith. It’s a basic fact of our existence: you and I were created for God’s pleasure.
Pleasing God is the very purpose of our existence … the Bible says we delight His heart through faith.
In a vision the apostle John saw cherubim around the throne of God, worshiping the Lord and declaring His holiness and eternally pure character. The 24 elders fell on their faces before the throne and cast their crowns upon the glassy sea and said, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11, KJV).
A man who lives for his own pleasure is living out of sync with God, constantly trying to find something new, something different, some new sensation. A person will never be satisfied until he fulfills the purpose for which he was born: to please God by faith.
Without faith, remember, it is impossible to please God. It simply cannot be done.
This article was edited by permission and taken from the book Faith by the late Pastor Chuck Smith of CC Costa Mesa, CA.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.