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“And he believed in the LORD. And He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6 MKJV).
“For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:3 MKJV).
What is God’s supreme pleasure?
Some time ago, I decided my priority would be that God be greatly pleased, ecstatically so, if possible. This is my desire, my joy, and the primary reason for living.
This can only be by God’s grace – there is no other way. It is not in ourselves to do or be good, much less prefer God’s great pleasure, especially at our voluntary expense.
So, how can this come to be? What is required? There’s nothing more the Lord takes delight in than our trusting Him. It is His great joy. And the more demanding the circumstances for faith, the greater His delight when we trust Him. And His specialty is in the performance of the impossible, even the spectacular, as our Savior, in which He demonstrates His Character, Power, and Will to this world.
Why is our faith in the Lord His chief pleasure? It’s because we’re here on earth only for the interim. It is God’s Ultimate Will and Joy to bring us into His Kingdom, to lift us up above and beyond this realm of vanity, of darkness, suffering, and sorrow. It is by means of faith that we enter His Kingdom, cherishing Him and His Righteousness above all things on earth. The Father of spirits delights in those who love Him, in those who lay down their lives to be with Him.
While in Babylonian captivity, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, three Jewish young men, along with all peoples, were commanded to worship a giant image Nebuchadnezzar made. All the people obeyed, but not the three Hebrew men.
For their obedience to God and consequent disobedience to man, Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into a fiery furnace. It was so hot that the men who tossed the intended victims in died; the three Jews were unharmed though standing in the furnace.
A fourth man “like unto a son of the gods” was in the furnace communing with them – an angel of God standing with them in their trial of faith. Nebuchadnezzar and his people were astounded. God was delighted and glorified by the opportunity to reward the faith of these three men in their Living God. “Living God,” I say, because they knew Him as the Ever-Present Help in Trouble, The Almighty Antidote of Death (read Daniel chapter 3). Because of this event, the glorious and powerful emperor was humbled and believed in the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He even called on his people to believe on Him.
In those days of Israel’s captivity, Daniel was also tried by the law of the Medes and Persians, which said that if anyone was found worshipping or praying to any God other than approved by the king, the penalty was death. Daniel paid no mind to man’s law, which contradicted God’s Law.
He opened his window as was his custom and publicly prayed to God three times a day, facing toward Jerusalem. He well knew the penalty. He could have prayed in secret, but he knew that wasn’t good enough for his God. The vindictive rulers reported Daniel for his faithful act toward God and forced Darius the king who loved Daniel to enforce the law and throw Daniel in the lion’s den to be devoured.
But God was delighted with Daniel’s holiness (uncompromised separation in spirit, soul, and body unto God) and sealed the mouths of the lions. When Darius found him alive the next day, he released Daniel and threw the accusers and their families into the den where they were devoured. God was avenged of His enemies and glorified before all.
We feed birds. Some are more trusting than others. House sparrows, blue jays, pheasants, starlings, blackbirds, flickers, magpies, and raptors are more cautious than redpolls, pine siskins, grosbeaks, downy woodpeckers, and red finches; least cautious of those we feed are chickadees, waxwings, and nuthatches. You don’t often hear of sparrows eating out of your hand, but with patience one can persuade chickadees to do so. It delights us when birds trust us that way; we feel honored. It delights God when we trust Him that way.
Consider that birds instinctively know danger; they know they’re putting themselves in potential harm’s way; they know these things by nature and experience. There’s no guarantee they won’t be harmed, yet they come.
When we trust God more than we fear danger, we please Him; we warm His heart. He will let no trusters down. Why would He disappoint those who trust Him when they’re doing His will? God is Faithful and True to the faithful; He will not betray their faith.
So, if you know the right thing to do and it involves great risk to your person and possessions, know that the event is not, despite the appearance, an occasion of loss, defeat, disappointment, failure, or destruction; it is a sure opportunity for great reward.
The question is: Will you fear your enemies and circumstances, which confront you with impossible and overwhelming odds or will you trust in the Living God of the Impossible, the One in Whose hands are all things great and small?
Abraham is known as the friend of God. Why? He believed God against all logic and reason, indeed, even against God’s own Law. Abraham pleased God. He obeyed God and left his land and kindred to a land God promised. He didn’t know where he was going but he obeyed, and God blessed him.
Abraham obeyed God and offered up his own miracle son as a sacrifice. Faith was counted to him for righteousness. In sowing that seed by faith, Abraham became the father of many nations, beginning with Israel, which was named after his grandson, Jacob, whose name God changed to “Israel.”
There are numerous examples in the Scriptures of godly faith. By faith, we please God.
“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 MKJV).
Read the “faith chapter,” Hebrews 11, a wonderful passage!
God’s greatest pleasure is fulfilled when in faith and obedience, we step out of our safety and comfort zone for His sake. He is Just, Faithful, and True. “No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly.” Who are those? They are those who put their trust in Him. Amen.
Said Jesus: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 MKJV).
“And Jesus said to them… truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20 MKJV).
December 17, 2017