Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That God May Be Pleased

Life can be so full and so busy at this time of year.  It seems like everyone is in a rush for everything and as much as I'd like to exclude myself from that, I feel more busy than most at the moment.  I like to plan ahead... buy Christmas presents online, etc.  We try to be very generous, but also very practical in our Christmas giving (school supplies, clothes, etc.).  This year more than ever, I feel like we all more than everything we need.  We are so blessed!  There are still things that will be needed if they aren't needed at the moment... but I have yet to buy even one Christmas gift apart from a gift exchange gift which my brother graciously picked up for me. 

Life has been busy!  I have been doing some remodeling in my room thanks for the gracious help of some talented friends.  I also had the blessing of having one of my best friends over for the weekend.  Work is crazy busy with the end of the year and the increasing immediate needs of our clients before the end of the year.

I like life being so full.  I wouldn't want to keep it at this pace forever, but going to bed absolutely exhausted at the end of a full day is actually quite a good feeling.  I am thankful for God's grace in enabling me to be full of joy, giving me desire for the Word and desire to be changed by it while still physically exhausted.  I have felt such incredible peace and joy from the Lord these last several weeks.  Certainly times of life tend to be more joyous than others, but it is the kind of joy that can't be driven just by circumstances.  I have gone to bed so many times over the last few weeks saying to God... "O that You would be pleased with me!  It is enough that You would look on me and be pleased.  What can I give You that hasn't been given to me by You?  But if I could just please You with every part of me... that would be the fullest joy!"

This desire to please the Lord with all of me is not something that I can derive on my own.  It is not something that I can convince myself of.  It is the gracious, merciful, and loving hand of God working in a heart that is desperately wicked. 

I am reminded of Psalm 51:15-17.
O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise. For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

God's pleasure in His children is not dependent on how much money we put in the plate... how many homeless we feed... how many Bibles we hand out... (though all of these things are part of living life as a Christian), but rather His pleasure in us is based on a heart that if fixed on Him.  A heart of humility and submissiveness to the Lord is what He desires.  If we has us "sell all we have and give our money to the poor and come follow Him", may we be submissive in doing exactly that.  If He calls us to go to a foreign land to preach the gospel, may He give us a heart of submission to do exactly that.  If He tells us to stay in the hard situation we are in... by God's grace, may He gives us that heart of submission to stand firm through the fiery trials of life.  I've had so many friends get married in the last several weeks, it's been pretty crazy... and you know, it is sobering to consider the amount of trials and temptations that each of those individuals will face during their marriages.  May God give them grace to cling to Him and submit to Him within their marriages.  It's exciting, but what a responsibility they have before the Lord in portraying an image of Christ's love for the church!  May His glory not be marred by our lack of submission.  Christ said, "I did whatever pleased the Father."  May we be able to say the same for the days ahead, by His grace.

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