LIVING TO PLEASE GOD

Have you ever thought about what spiritual growth looks like as God’s children? At its heart spiritual growth is learning how God wants us to live, and then for us to please him by living that way.

Growing in God is Knowing How He Wants Us To Live (v.9)
Paul’s prayer for the church was unceasing, intensive and focussed and, is the engine room of any church. There’s an important lesson: as well as things appear to be going our prayer life as a church must continue to ramp up! Pray regularly, pray with praise, pray for others and pray for growth. Prayer behind us and prayer in front of us. Prayer!

How he wants us to live is full of the knowledge of his will.
We can easily fill our minds with ‘stuff’ that distracts and subtracts from Jesus, preventing the filling of the knowledge of God. Behind the reason for Paul’s prayer is the danger that Christians not grounded in the word will unknowingly and unconsciously allow the values and practices of our culture to dilute faith. And that is precisely why we pray for knowledge of God’s will, then God gives us the knowledge we need, to convict, change and conform us to a closer more meaningful relationship with himself.

 

Knowing how God wants us to live leads to four areas where we’re able to please God in all things…

Bearing Fruit in every good work
True spirit-filled faith doesn’t decide which areas of life I will be faithful and God-honouring in, and then build walls on others. We’re all in, or not. Choose you this day! True spirit-filled faith changes the way we think, live and act toward others; “pleasing God in every way”. Only true Christian existence can produce fruit. And fruit is something that God expects from every Christian.

Growing in the knowledge of God
Knowledge of God is like a ship’s ballast. We set ourselves up for shipwreck and spiritual crises in the absence of growing in the knowledge of God in the word of God. For Christians to grow in the knowledge of God, our homes, children’s church, church, home groups must be a rigorous biblical training ground. We must fill up in our tank of love for God, love for his word, filling of his Spirit…that’s our ballast!

Being strengthened with all power
In Paul’s prayer this power is connected to endurance and patience. Two qualities we need to navigate this world in which we live. Every Christian will meet with adversity of some kind, it is only by God’s power we can work effectively through any suffering and trial. These will require endurance and patience, clinging to Christ in tough times.

Joyfully giving thanks
Until we are assured and utterly convinced that God’s grace in Jesus is enough and fully sufficient, we’ll find it difficult to be thankful. A spirit full of thankfulness of Jesus makes no space for ingratitude. Time spent in God’s word and prayer equips us to recognise discontent and ingratitude, and turn it around. A thankful and grateful heart keeps us mindful that our lives depend entirely on God, not on ourselves. The main reason we cannot be thankful or have gratitude, is because we’re not free. Sin cripples; God’s grace in Christ frees.

When we look at what Christ has done, how can we can do less than worship him, give him thanks, and live to please him?