Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 9

Day 9 - What Makes God Smile?

Yesterday we learned that we were planned for God's Pleasure.  Today we take the natural next step in learning what makes God smile.  

Simply put - when we live our life in service to God - with a wholehearted desire to please Him in all ways and all things.  To obey His every command. 

Before God flooded the world He searched though all mankind to find any who loved and lived their lives in mind of pleasing the Lord. God found that all but Noah and his family were morally bankrupt - and this displeased Him. He went to Noah and said that He would wipe out the world and start over with Noah and his family - because the Lord found them to be pleasing.  As we know, the Lord then instructed Noah to build an ark and collect all of the animals and his family - and that after the waters would recede - Noah would then be instructed to repopulate the earth.  

God chose Noah - because Noah chose God! 

In the story of Noah we learn the five acts of worship to make God smile:

1) God smiles when we love Him supremely.

As we learned in previous chapters, God created us to love us - and wants us to love Him back.  Jesus called this the greatest commandment. "Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."

2) God smiles when we trust Him completely.

God came to Noah and said - Build a boat by these dimensions - and of this shape - have it ready by this time - gather these animals - gather your family.  Noah did not question God.  Noah didn't question flood waters despite never having seen rain before - Noah did not question God about the logistics of building such a vast vessel - Noah did not question God about how to gather and care for the animals.  Noah trusted that God would provide whatever was needed for Noah to accomplish what God has asked of him.  There was no debate or selection - it was wholehearted trust in God and obedience of God's word. 

3) God smiles when we obey Him wholeheartedly.

Simply put - doing whatever God asks without hesitation or reservation.  Not just on Sundays in Church service.  But in every aspect of our lives.  God gave us a list of commandments - these were not doodles or idle thoughts of 'it would be nice if people did this....' but rather, they are Commandments to be followed to the letter - each day of our lives! By the way - God did not intend for us to pick and choose which of the commandments we feel like following.  Which ones are easiest.  Most convenient.  God did not make 5 commandments and 5 optional rules. He made 10 Commandments.  

In case some of you may need a reminder of what they are ..... 

(Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.)

4) God smiles when we thank Him continually.

When we do something for someone - it is nice to be acknowledged .... appreciated ... isn't it?  The same goes for God.  It gives Him pleasure when we are thankful for the gifts He has blessed our lives with.  From waking up in the morning - to the beautiful sunsets - to the meal on our table - to our family - our health - the fact that we are still breathing.  When we show our appreciation - when we give thanks to the Lord, this makes Him smile upon us.  

Gone are the days when we would slaughter a lamb in sacrifice to the Lord. As an animal lover - I am personally thankful to God for that!!  The Bible tells us to offer God the sacrifice of praise and the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  Praising God for who He is and giving thanks for all that He does.  

5) God smiles when we use our abilities.

As we touched on before - God created us each with abilities - talents and gifts and we are meant to use these abilities to help others.  Whether we are preparing a meal for our family or gardening or building a house, when tap into our God-given gifts and use them for good - this is pleasing to Him. 

In our day-to-day lives we need to remember that God created us in His image - therefore in His eyes we are of beauty and talent.  It is not for us to question why our eyes are blue instead of brown - if He intended us to have brown eyes - we would have them.  If you are good at math - it is because He intended you to be - if you are a writer - it is because this was His will.  Naturally He did not gift everyone with the same abilities because we would never sleep! lol  He spread it around - intending for humans to be good at 'something' and for each to have special abilities that your friend may not have.  

In the end, remember that we are God's children, He did not intend for us to be without fault or without flaw - or even without sin.  What is most important to Him is that we love, trust, obey, praise and worship Him with pureness of heart.  And that we display this through our actions and interactions. 

"The Lord is pleased with those who worship Him and trust His love" - Psalm 147:11 (CEV)