Feeling God’s Pleasure
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore Psalm 16:11
Remember Chariots of Fire? the Oscar winning movie about two men who ran in the 1924 Olympics. One of the men, Eric Liddell a Christian Missionary from Scotland, had been considering competing in the Olympics or returning immediately to the mission field in China and met his sister to inform her of his decision. He said,
“I believe that God made me for a purpose. For China. but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:7
Eric found God’s pleasure in running. But if you knew Eric, a person one of his coaches said was a young man ‘completely without vanity,’ you would know that Eric was a simple and godly man who actually found God’s pleasure in everything he did. His choices, decisions, relationships – everything. Because his life was set apart to honor God.
When you are cultivating your spiritual walk with prayer, fellowship in the Word and godly relationships, you can find God’s pleasure in everything you do. We can rejoice in the most mundane and tedious tasks because it is work that is set before you that will likely bless someone and therefore honor God.
I’m sure if you listed the jobs you’ve done there would be a few that were rough enough that finding anything good about them at the time was a challenge. I get it. If you knew some of the jobs I’ve had you would know I can relate. But the task doesn’t determine whether or not you feel God’s pleasure, your attitude does.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” Colossians 3:23
Whether you are a 9th grader trying to fight your way through a take-home math assignment when you would rather being doing almost anything including scooping dog poop or undergoing an appendectomy. Maybe you work an underpaid and thankless, dead end job with crabby customers and demeaning bosses and there is nothing there, at least on the surface, that interests you in the least. Or, possibly, you’re mind is swirling around a diagnosis that involves surgeries and pain and recovery is questionable. Everybody is going through something, here none of us are unique. None of us has it worse than anyone, and none of us can hide behind ‘you just don’t understand.’
Do what you do to honor the Lord. Period. That’s the only reason. Not from spite or from a divided heart, but honestly and humbly.
“Lord, I hate math, but here it is. I’m going to be the best math student I can be because I love you, and I want to honor you by passing this class.”
“Lord, I’m sick. I want to be healed and better and run around with the kids like I used to. But I’m not going to whine about it. I’m going to try and get better and in every second of every day I am going to honor you in my attitude and my conversations, not falsely out of pride, but because You are worthy and You went through worse that this before you even got to the cross.”
When I write I feel God’s pleasure. Much the way, I believe, Eric Liddell described about running. What is it for you? Quilting? Working on cars? Cooking, singing, foster care? God has uniquely equipped you to bring Him honor in a variety of ways, but don’t wait to feel His pleasure until you are doing this thing you love the most. Experience God’s pleasure now, before your dream job opens up or you finish high school or your illness goes away – if you wait till everything is perfect you will never experience Him who “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Hebrews 2:2)
You cultivate feeling God’s pleasure in the little things that will come your way today. Start with what is right in front of you.