The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone,
for I always do what pleases him.” (NIV)
Jesus lived a life that always pleased His Father. He loved to do His Father's will. In John 4:34, Jesus told His disciples that His very food was to do the will of His Father and finish His work. Everything that Jesus did was in harmony with His heavenly Dad.
Every time He picked up a child and blessed them, He was doing what He saw His Father doing. Every time He forgave a sinner, He was moved with the same compassion that welled up in God. Even when He drove out the money changers in the temple, He was moving in complete unity with His Father.
The very focus of Jesus' life was to make His Father smile. He delighted to do His will in all that He did. It wasn't difficult for Jesus to live in unity with His Father, for the love that they had for each other made it the complete joy of His life. Jesus did not have to try and think about what made His Father happy, because He knew His Father's heart intimately and naturally flowed in the same direction.
I truly believe that it is God's plan and purpose for us to delight to do our Father's will too! In Psalm 119, the psalmist declares in many places how he delighted to do the will of God. In Psalm 1:1-3, we read the incredible benefits that follow those whose delight is in the Lord...
1 Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in Yahweh’s law. On his law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper. (WEB)
When I was a young Christian, I thought that living a Christian life would mean that I lived a life that was in direct opposition with what I wanted. I was convinced that God was going to send me to be a missionary to a country where I didn't want to go to. I even struggled that He might ask me to marry someone that I wasn't in love with.
The reason why I struggled with these things was because I assumed that God's plans and purposes for my life must be the exact opposite to what I desired in my heart. After all, I was a sinner and was very familiar with the Bible verse that says that the heart is deceitful and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9). If I couldn't trust my heart, then I could only assume that God would require the very opposite of what I desired in my heart.
Now as you read this, you may be wondering how I embraced this kind of theology as a new believer. It wasn't because someone actually told me this was the truth. I just think that I learned this through living a Christian life that was focused more on me trying to live by a set of rules or principles than learning to trust in the still small voice that now resided IN me.
When I look back at the 36 years that I have been a Christian, I have been amazed to see how God has actually led me. He didn't send me to a country where I didn't want to go. I actually married the love of my life and we just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary in the past two weeks. And the work that He has called me to do in His kingdom is what I absolutely love to do!
Having said all that, I am not saying that my Christian life has been easy. There have been many times when I have stumbled, been hurt, been discouraged, struggled with fear, etc., etc. Life has not always been easy but looking in hindsight, I am amazed to see how the best times in my life have been when I have followed my heart's desires.
The more that I am convinced that nothing in all creation will ever separate me from the love of God, the more I see that my life is really a dance with the Spirit of God that lives in me. He leads and I follow. How do I know His leading in my life? I am learning to simply trust that He is directing me through the desires of my heart.
In Philippians 2:13-14 Paul says... 12 So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. (WEB)
I love the Amplified version describing verse 13... [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (AMP)
I believe the more that we truly live in a heart relationship with the Godhead, rather than trying to live by a rulebook, the easier it will be for us to discern the will of God for our lives. The more we realize that our Father created us to do good works that are unique to us, the more we will stop trying to compare ourselves with others and run the race that is uniquely marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
In the Amplified version of Ephesians 2:10, this is what Paul says... For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (AMP)
My prayer today is that each and every one of us would know that we have been created in the image of God to uniquely reflect His glory in all that we do. My prayer is that we would embrace who He made us to be so that we could truly begin to live out of our redeemed heart and trust the Lord's leading through our heart's desires.
May each one of us truly find delight in simply doing our Father's will. May a new sense of the joy of the Lord fill us today, knowing that our life already makes Him smile. May we all live a life being led by the Spirit and not by our own pre-conceived ideas of what we think He wants us to do. May freedom reign in our hearts and may we truly echo the psalmist and say I delight to do Thy will oh God!
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. (NIV)