Shared June 8th, 2014
When we look around today, it seems like everybody or almost everyone wants to please somebody.
Look, for example, at the selfish man. What does the selfish man want? He wants to please himself. Take, for instance, an employee? An employee is interested in pleasing his employer and you know, even in some cases his immediate supervisor so that he can quickly be pushed up the corporate ladder. And those in conjugal relationships, what about them? Well, lovers want to please each other. And the same thing applies to the businessmen. They want their products bought so they try to please the shopper, even sometimes using fraudulent means, for example, misleading ads. The politician is no less different, even worse. Looking to be elected or re-elected, today’s politician will lie and pander to the demands of self-interest groups so that he/she will be the winner on the ballot.
And this brings me to the Christian, believers like you and me. As children of God, what should we want? What should be our foremost desire? I will answer that right away. Our first, our foremost, our primary desire ought to be to please God. God is God, and He does what He knows is best for us but at times we are not satisfied with Him.
1. Are You Satisfied with God?
So, are you satisfied with Him? In our previous sermon, the title was in a form of question, which was, “Are You Satisfied with God.” We saw that being satisfied with God is, should be our duty! We also learned that being satisfied with God is the most basic thing that is expected of us, both Christians and non-Christians alike, but most particularly, of us Christians. And so if we are not satisfied with or in God then we have a serious problem. After all, it is the blood that Jesus shed on Calvary, which makes us who we are today! Do I have an “Amen!”
This morning, our sermon is the inverse, and the title is also in the form of a question, which is, “Is God Satisfied with You?”
2. Is God Satisfied with You?
This is a very big question. It is mind boggling, challenging and also very hard to answer. Is God satisfied with you? Is God satisfied with me? How do you answer such a question? As a matter of fact before even attempting to answer this question it will take a lot of introspection. Fact is, it will take a lot of self-humbling to address this question. You may even prefer someone else assessing you and then providing an answer on your behalf.
Let me frame it another way. Are you satisfied with yourself? You can tell that this is also very intrusive and penetrating, a very penetrating question that forces you to battle the forces of subjectivity in order to be objective in your response; this speaks to your ability to be honest and fair with yourself. But before you try to answer, let me throw in a wrench and by that, I want you to think of Lamentations 3:40, which says, Let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord. Would you say that you would first need to test and examine your ways?
Now, to make answering these questions a bit easier on us, let us frame the answer in a form of a question. What satisfies God? I think if you don’t have to delve into theology, this is an easier question to answer as it takes the focus away from you, doesn’t it? What satisfies God? Yes, what really satisfies God?
3. What Satisfies God?
This is not to presume that we know what satisfies God, because the idea of God’s satisfaction is one that is hard to address. But, we do know what God says in His Word and that will, and should be our measuring stick when we want to answer such a question. You know, when we know what satisfies God, we are then easily able to answer what hits at the core of the question many people ask of themselves: Is God satisfied with me? Some will say “No, the Lord is not satisfied with me because I’m imperfect.” Some will answer “Well, I think God is satisfied with me because I’ve been born again and the blood of Jesus Christ makes me perfect.” After all, when He was on earth, Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the will of the Father. He carried out His Father’s plan for His life all the way to the end, where it culminated with His atoning work on the cross a Calvary.
Yes, the Bible says God was fully satisfied with the death of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. In that famous and most popular verse, John 3:16, we see how the Father accepted the sacrifice of His Son. So as you can see, the bigger question is not “Is God Satisfied with Me?” but “What satisfies God?” So far, it is obvious to us that perfection satisfies God and perfection existed and does exist only in the life and death of Jesus. We know that God is satisfied with Jesus and through or, because of Jesus we can say that in Jesus, God is completely satisfied with us! What does this mean to you and to me? How do we know that God is satisfied with us? First, it is clear to us that if we want God to be satisfied with us, we must align ourselves with Jesus. And by that I mean we must be believers who have accepted His death and resurrection and live our lives as a pleasing aroma for Him. We must be believers who keep looking forward to Jesus’ return. Do you have that on your mind? Is it a part of your menu? If not, then you should place it on your mind because if you do, your anticipation of Christ’s return will govern your lifestyle and your outlook on the world.
4. God is Satisfied with You Because of Jesus
So look at this. God assesses us based on what Jesus has done. In Jesus we have obtained a legal status of perfection. Does it mean then that we have to go on sinning because we are under grace, as many in the church today suggest? No. Some also suggest that for God to be satisfied with you, you have to live out what you believe in terms of going through the routines, like: have your quiet time every morning. Pray everyday. Memorize Scripture. Some even think leading a Bible study or prayer group, volunteering at the mission for the homeless, never missing Sunday school or church are the deals that will make God satisfied with you. Is that true? You see, all these routines or activities are good but they make you look mechanical and like one who’s looking at his/her relationship with God as a mere “to-do” list. If that is what you are doing, then you are like the moslem or the Pharisee who have a “to-do” list that they think will please God and in turn make God satisfied with them: give alms, pray five times a day and in the case of the moslem, even kill others. Such an attitude and proclivity will rather steal your joy.
Now, before anyone goes away and tells the world “Pastor Andrew says its okay to quit having your daily quiet time, don’t pray too often, don’t memorize Scripture and don’t lead your prayer group or Bible study,” please remember to add that I also stressed that these spiritual activities are really a manifestation or the evidence of a changed heart. To think that God’s approval and His satisfaction with you rests on how well and how often you do these things is to be way off. Remember, God looks on the heart and not on outward appearance, says the Scriptures.
So dearly beloved Saints, what would it take to please or satisfy God? What do you need to do? Well first, just as I mentioned, God is satisfied with you because of Jesus. In other words because you are a Christian, God is pleased, satisfied, contented with you. What else? You know what? I will put the rest in the form of questions; yes, I want you to run a survey on yourself, alright?
5. Satisfying God – Questions to Ask Self
Is He Satisfied With My Walk? Do I walk in the steps of Abraham? (Romans 4:12) – 12 and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Walk: walk refers to daily conduct. You do walk everyday, unless you are bedridden, so by walk, our conduct is being referred to.
Do I walk in the newness of life? (Romans 6:4) – 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Do I walk after the flesh or after the Spirit? (Romans 8:1) – 1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. I want you to note carefully that Paul’s epistle was to believers in Rome. This verse therefore tells us that there are those who call themselves “believers” that actually walk in the flesh; their daily conduct does not provide evidence that they belong to Christ. Are you one of those? So if you walk after the flesh, then there is condemnation for you; you are condemned. Which is it?
Do I walk honestly? (Romans 13:3) – 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Do I walk worthy of the vocation in which I am called? (Ephesians 4:1) – 1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Vocation: this word refers to trade, profession, and occupation. So then, the question that I have for you is, what role are you playing the body of Christ? Are you using your spiritual gifts for the benefit of the Body of Christ? Are you using your gifts to do God’s work?
Do I walk in Love? (Ephesians 5:2) – 2 and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Do I walk circumspectly in the world? (Ephesians 5:15) – 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Do I walk in Wisdom? (Colossians 4:5) – 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. How are you conducting yourself towards unbelievers? What is your witness like among non-Christians? Are you using your time wisely to reach the unsaved? Look around, and you will agree with me that people are dying everyday. Death is never satisfied and the grave is never full, the Bible says. We therefore need to use our time wisely, to God’s glory.
Do I lift Jesus up knowing that the world is hungry for Him, the Living Bread? Is He satisfied with my witness? (Romans 1:16) – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Do I walk by faith and not by sight? (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7) – 7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight:). Faith: as a child of God, this word is raising the issue of what is on your mind. Do you have heaven on your mind? Believers, true believers hope for a heaven that they have never seen. You see, true faith is a daily lifestyle; it is a way of life, the way we walk.
Do I let my light so shine before men? (Matthew 5:16) – 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Am I instrumental in building others up or in tearing down? (Ephesians 4:29) – 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed. Corrupt communication: watch what you say. Watch how you say things. Do you encourage or tear down? Do you praise in front but tear down, destroy behind the scenes? Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay. Also, are you one of those who keep swearing and cursing? It is alright to speak the truth; you’re in church. One time Peter, afraid that he may be arrested like his Master, Jesus, cursed when he was identified as one of Jesus’ disciples. If you have a dirty mouth and use language that you can’t repeat in God’s house, it is time for you to stay away from such corrupt communication. Amen!
Is that all? No. There is this other key question that we need to ask ourselves:
Do I look forward to the blessed hope? (Titus 2:13) –13 looking forward to the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. You know, pleasing God is having God pleased with us and really, it is a matter of living according to His laws, statutes, precepts, judgments, commandments, and doing so in love and humility. So when you look at it, you can boldly say that God is infinitely pleased with me, not because of what I do but because of who I am: His child whom He bought with the precious blood of Jesus. Colossians 3:3, says that through His grace, we are, I am, you are ‘hidden with Christ in God.’ This is how the Bible puts it: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Ah! Hid in Christ, dwelling in the secret place of the Most High! O hallelujah! To put this in another way, when God looks at me, when God looks at you, what does He see? He doesn’t see our sin. Rather, He sees the blood of Jesus. He sees the perfection of His Son. And then He says, “I’ve loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), you are My jewels that I am coming to make up, (Malachi 3:17). Ha! What a God we serve!
I’m ending now, and I say allow me to end with this Scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 4:1. “For the rest, then, my brothers, we beseech you and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you have received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more.” Amen.
Shall we pray.