Trying to Please

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10

What an odd sentence. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Or another way to say it is do what you can to discover what the Lord likes.

Do you know someone who can finish your sentences? Someone who 9 out of 10 times gets you the perfect gift on your birthday? Someone you trust to order food for you when you are running late? Yeah, me too. These persons have taken the time to discover who you are, what makes you tick, and what you like. It didn’t happen over night. It didn’t happen without paying close attention. And most importantly they show you by their actions a deep wellspring of love.

The writer of Ephesians suggests we take the same approach when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. The key is to intentionally pay careful attention in the means of grace such as prayer, study, church participation and so much more. Doing so is a way we show our love of the Lord and seek to align our lives with his.

But let’s face it, it is easier to guess what he likes instead of paying careful attention, or to assume that he likes the same things that we like. Is our default mode of trying to please the Lord to please ourselves first and then hope for the best with Jesus! If we are not careful, the discernment process becomes a process of doing what we want to do and topping it with a layer of spiritual mumbo-jumbo.

When was the last time you did something not because you wanted to, but because you thought it would please the Lord? How much time do you give regularly to learning what the Lord likes in Scripture; asking what pleases the Lord in prayer; and learning from the experiences (good and bad) of others how to please the Lord? I have discovered that trying to find out what pleases the Lord is a lifelong pursuit best done alongside others. Thankful for all those in my life sharing that goal!