Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
When I "got saved" (I still hate that term), it was all about trying to please God. I knew that my behavior and attitude didn't please God, and I wanted to please Him. I didn't understand what it meant to have faith, but I did know that I could never behave well enough to please God. I knew that I needed to acknowledge Jesus as my Saviour. I'm still learning what that means. Sometimes I think I should know by now, and sometimes I even question the validity of that experience 20 years ago. But David said something at Foundation Stones a few weeks ago that has really stuck with me. "We are born again once, but we are saved every day." His mercies are new every morning! Why? Because every day I need them again. Because every day something in my human nature would take me away from Him if I couldn't cling to His mercies and know that they are for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And because of His great mercy, nothing can separate me from the love of God in Messiah Jesus! Hellelujah!
Looking at day 2 of Believing God...
Viewing Hebrews 11:6 and Revelation 4:11 side by side can suggest both a means and an end. No greater or higher goal for our lives exists than to please God. Indeed, it is why we were created. Thankfully, we need not feel cheated or afraid. Romans 12:2 tells us God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect. It is never degrading and always fulfilling. Through the unfolding of His pleasing will for each of our lives,
- God is glorified;
- the body of Christ is edified;
- our souls are satisfied;
- the world is further evangelized.
And it's worth noting that during the times when I have drawn near to Him, I have not felt cheated or afraid! Having experienced this, why do I so often feel cheated and afraid? Because I haven't let Him make me in His image... Because I have insisted on trying to make myself "like Him" (But separate because I don't want His authority over me when I'm in a rebellious state of mind).
If the chief purpose or end of our lives is to please God, Hebrews 11:6 suggests that the primary means to such a valuable end is faith. We can’t experience the fulfillment and enjoyment of God’s perfect will for our lives without present-active-participle believing God. Glance at all of Hebrews 11 for a moment. In weeks 4 and 5 we’re going to consider the faith challenges of 10 different figures in this passage that is often called the Hall of Faith. For now realize that the very reasons their names appear in the chapter are that the end result of their lives was the pleasure of God and that the means was clearly “by faith.”
Our call to prioritize God and our faith in Him through Jesus Christ is reciprocated in stunning ways certainly not owed to us.
How does Hebrews 11:6 say God will respond to those who believe Him and seek Him? He is a _rewarder_ of those who seek Him. Every time this concept falls on me afresh, I am amazed and dazzled. God has already promised that when we seek Him, we will find Him. Is that not enough? Do we need rewards as well?
This is where I seem to be "hung up..." In an effort to get rid of my own selfishness, I have stopped asking for rewards. If I don't ask for things I want, then God will have His way in my life without my struggle. Reading what I've just written, I see how silly it is. That's not the kind of authority He wants to have over me! That's not relationship! That's me making myself His puppet because I believe He doesn't care about me or the things in my heart. I am to ask, and I am to _seek Him_ dilligently! Not _so that_ I can get what I want, but because He loves me. What little child doesn't cling to her parents out of sheer affection? And she doesn't ever have to not desire anything. When she's hungry, she cries. And ... poof! Food appears because Mom responded to her cry! "And if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children...?"
And just in case what I'm writing here is something I forget...
Remember not to get discouraged because you don’t have or don’t presently practice everything God desires of you. Pray for what you lack! When we pray God’s will, we will receive what we ask! Pray for a heart and a mind to diligently seek Him. Then immediately begin walking in faith as one who already has what she has asked. Start seeking God through His Word and spending time in prayer, at the same time asking Him for a hunger and thirst to seek Him diligently. He will develop in you what you are seeking!