June 10, 2012

This We Seek: To Be Made Pleasing to God


“The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever!” (Psalm 22:26).


It is possible for our hungry souls to be satisfied by God. When we seek God and find God, a profound satisfaction is available to us, but it is not what many people expect whose first thought is for what they themselves wish to receive. It is a satisfaction that comes from what David called “praise.” Our hearts were made to enjoy God by giving joy to God, and this we do by expressing our adoration for what God has done — and can do.

We are to seek God diligently, and having sought and found God we are to serve God obediently and faithfully. But the emphasis must be kept on God. Even those scriptural exhortations that urge us to be careful about our obedience do so within the context of God’s work rather than our own: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12,13).

Ultimately, we seek God because we long to be persons who please God. Having been made by God in God’s image, we find that this longing has been planted deep within us. But we are creatures broken by our own sin; we cannot make ourselves into what we long to be. So the thing that we desire is to be remade — by God —  into persons who please God. We understand that the highest holiness to which we may aspire is the yielding of ourselves to God so that God can do God’s good pleasure through us. Only we can make this choice (and our actions will be a fair indication of whether we have done so), but our focal point, first and last, must be simply God. The Hebrew writer prayed for his Christian readers: “Now may the God of peace . . . make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20,21). For personal beings, the highest and sweetest joy of all is to give joy to the Person from whom our lives have come. This is what we seek.


“Sweet are the waters of thy shoreless sea, Make sweet our waters that make haste to thee; Pour in thy sweetness, that ourselves may be Sweetness to thee” (Christina Georgia Rossetti).