Is he pleased? Is he displeased? Can I actually please God? For a second, a minute, a whole day, a whole week?
All valid questions.
First, we have to find out what actually pleases God. Then, we have to find out by trial and error whether we are actually doing on any kind of consistent basis the things that please him. It is a monumental task. Often we may feel like the guy in the trucking song, “I have a long way to go and a short time to get there.”
Maybe we can use the process of elimination to make things a little simpler. If good deeds were the key to God’s heart, then there are many religions that are way ahead of Christianity in prescribing righteous deeds for us to do to assuage the wrath and displeasure of a distant mercurial God. If asceticism was the key, it seems like some monk or hermit would have enlightened us already about the rapture that they created in the heart of their demanding God by depriving themselves of any earthly pleasure.
O.K., so maybe sacrifice is the answer. Maybe if we just pour out everything that we have—our time, energy, and possessions—into the coffers of our insufficient deity, then He and we will finally be able to relax and say, “Ah, yes, now I am complete. Now, I am satisfied.”
So, maybe, just maybe, there is something to this faith paradigm. Maybe, if we really decide to trust God with our lives, then we and He will be happy. Maybe, Christ didn’t die for nothing. Maybe we can really rest in the assurance that the penalty for our sins has been paid.
Maybe, we will know that the resurrection proves that life doesn’t end at the grave. Maybe, we will discover his indwelling Spirit empowering us to overcome all of life’s challenges. And maybe, just maybe, we will live the life of Christ ourselves, experiencing him living through us each second and minute of every week. It is an adventure just waiting to be had.
— Brad Heilhecker