How Do You Please God?

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6

That statement has been used to make people feel as if their actions or performance is what pleases God, as if faith is something that we do.  Faith is not what you do, is what you believe.  What you believe will determine your actions.  

We are new creatures created unto good works but performing to keep God happy is not what this scripture is talking about.  Faith simply means to trust or be persuaded of.  Without trust it’s impossible to please God. God is pleased when we trust Him.  Keep in mind there is no difference between trust and obey in Hebrew thinking.

This is corroborated by Jesus’ commandment that we are to believe on the name of the son of God.

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

Matthew 5:8 tells us that the pure in heart will see God.  Again, we have been led to believe that what makes our heart pure is by doing everything right.  While our outward actions and life choices affect out hearts, those are not what purify our hearts.  We receive new hearts when we are born again and that heart is pure.  If we choose to look to our own efforts for our righteousness, we harden our hearts.  However, when we believe that we are who God says we are, our hearts are pure before him.

When the disciples asked Jesus what they must do to work the works of God in John 6:28, he replied “believe in me“.  You are pleasing to God because Jesus has presented you as Holy to your Father.  The only thing God now expects from you is to believe him and he is pleased when you do so.  Believing him means that you will walk in his commission of loving people and going into the world to tell people that God is no longer holding their sins against them. Believing God results in good works and accessing grace to live well.

No amount of effort that you muster up makes you any more pleasing to God than what Jesus has already accomplished in you. Trust God, rest in his acceptance of you and do good works from that place of relationship.

Clint Byars

Believer, Husband, Father