I Can’t Seem To Please Anyone!
By Dot Bowen
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Is it possible for man to please God? And if so, how? It’s difficult to imagine doing anything to please God, but He says I can. If asked for my opinion about what pleases God, I might say serving others, going to church, tithing, Bible study, praying, and all religious activity. God is, of course, pleased when we participate in spiritual disciplines. But surprisingly, the author of Hebrews takes pleasing God a little deeper and tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Notice the writer of Hebrews doesn’t mention doing when it comes to pleasing God even though God is pleased when we serve Him. Before our service can please God, we must first put our faith in Him. It’s true—serving God is not the key to pleasing God. The key to pleasing God is faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Impossible is a strong word! The thought of pleasing a holy God seems nothing short of a miracle. I have discovered I can please God far more than I can please anyone else. All God requires is for me to give Him my heart and my faith!
Abraham is called the father of faith and stands above all the other amazing people in the Bible as having enormous faith. God instructed Abraham to leave his father’s home before He told him where to go. So Abraham left. Seriously?! Imagine what Abraham’s wife, Sarah, must have thought when he began to pack but couldn’t tell her where they were going. For a long time, I couldn’t understand why God didn’t tell Abraham exactly where he was going. But if God had provided an itinerary, Abraham may have put his faith in the schedule rather than God. If Abraham had a map and a plan, his focus would’ve been on the map and plan rather than on God. Abraham and Sarah had to trust God to direct each step of their journey without knowing where the journey would lead!
Scripture describes faith as the things hoped for and the conviction of what is not seen. If we could see and know in detail what God is doing in our lives, we wouldn’t need faith, and we wouldn’t need God. True faith believes in a God who is faithful. Abraham trusted God enough to take the first step, and God led him each step of the way. God asks us to trust—or have faith in—Him even when we can’t see what He’s doing.
Planning can be great, but our plans are not necessarily God’s plans. God’s plan will always trump our plans. If Abraham hadn’t obeyed God, he would’ve missed out on all the blessings God had for him. Abraham pleased God by trusting Him. We often get caught up in what we should and shouldn’t do and miss the key—which is trusting God. When we trust God more than anything else, we please Him. Faith pleases God!
If we are going to become a person with huge faith, we will have to live in the unknown. Are you ready to take the first step into the unknown? If so, you won’t travel alone; God’s presence is in the unknown! Faith will be your eyes to see Him when you can’t see which way to go.
To help you trust God more, “sip” on the following thoughts/questions throughout the week:
- Are your days dictated by your calendar? Have you ever lost or misplaced your calendar and panicked?
- Do you rely on doing for God rather than trusting in His promises and character?
- Acknowledge your need to trust God daily, especially when you can’t see or understand what He is doing.
- Take a moment to look up some traits of God’s character (worthy, never-failing, loving, eternal) and write down one or two that you need to hold onto in this season of your life.
- Read and meditate on Hebrews 11:1.
Further Reading Genesis 12:1-4; Acts 7:2-8; Romans 4:9-22; Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrews 11:1-6