What My Father Says About Living For God's Pleasure...
Several years ago I was watching Chariot’s of Fire for the first time at my parents’ house. My father walked in and said, “oh, this is a great movie!” He came in right at one of the best parts, too. Eric Liddell tells his sister, “when I run, I feel His pleasure.” As we watched this my father’s eyes filled with tears.
Eric Liddell was a missionary and had a heart to go to China, but he also was an incredible athlete. He learned how to honor God with his gift for speed, and how to enjoy life, not be religious. This true story is a beautiful testimony of a life lived for Jesus.
My father used to always tell me, “God is a Father. A father doesn’t want his children to be “religious” and go through the motions. A father simply wants his children to be obedient, grateful, and enjoy what he has provided. A father has pleasure when he sees his children blessed!”
This week I’ve been thinking about how I can’t twist God’s arm with my good works. He blesses me simply because He loves me. I found myself in a moment of prayerful repentance toward the Lord as I saw a self-righteous attitude in my heart. “God, do you see this amazing faith I have? Don’t you want to answer my prayer?” If that is my attitude and God does answer my prayer, then I will give myself the credit instead of God.
This scripture came to my mind today, David says, “He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.” I believe God is looking for that simple love relationship with each one of us that happens between a father and child. My father’s words ring in my ears, “God is a Father.” He wants to bless us, He wants to bring us into a broad place. He delights in His children.
A good resource if this rings true with you is to read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. He talks a lot about your life’s purpose is to please God. And if you haven’t seen Chariot’s of Fire, watch it! It will encourage you.
"…all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand." Isaiah 64:6, 8
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…" Ephesians 1:3-5
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:12-13
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11
“Now I had a choice: to ruminate about all the could haves, should haves, and would haves, or to be thankful for the things that were…I vowed to hold all the things my hardworking father did right as a keepsake in my heart…Thank You for an earthly father, Lord, who loved me in his own way.”—Roberta Messner from Daily Guideposts