In the parables of Jesus, we saw men who were concerned about the hardness of the master. These hoped to fulfill the least possible requirements, and to so preserve their security.
But the fruitful were more concerned about the pleasure of their master. They took risks that others would not, knowing that He would be pleased in their desire to please Him! Likewise, many today are preoccupied only with what they must believe or do to make it into heaven. Just what exactly are those minimum requirements?
This has resulted in caricatures of the true outworking of the grace of God. For example, we have seen the people of God divided into groups like the "saved" and the overcomers." In this teaching, the merely saved, simply make it into heaven, while the overcomers are to rule and reign in the Millennial Kingdom.
Of course there should always be the motivation to overcome. And the scriptures are clear that rewards are given to those who do! But the missing note to this song is one that is so often found in the lives of all the holy ones that have gone before us.
The Desire of the Lord!
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:5-6)
Enoch was a man who walked with God for 300 years! (Genesis 5:22) This is about all we know of him. The Genesis account leaves no record of any mighty deeds he performed, only that he walked with God and that God took him! Later this commentary was given by the Holy Spirit through the writer of Hebrews that he left a testimony.... His testimony was that he gave pleasure to the Creator and Lord of the universe!
Faith was the means by which He walked with his God, and during this time spent walking with God, he learned about the things that made God happy. Sounds very simple does it not?
He was unlike his ancestors Adam and Eve, who hid themselves when Jehovah God came walking through the garden in the cool of the day. They lived in fear, while Enoch had faith. They responded foolishly to His warnings and desires for them, but Enoch responded positively.
He trusted in God's greater wisdom, while they questioned it. He believed in the goodness and grace of God, but they perceived Him to be a threat to their overall happiness. He opened himself to God's dealings, while they hid themselves from Him.
Enoch gave the Father pleasure, but the first couple gave Him grief.
But what was it about Enoch and His walking with God that made His Great Heart so happy? Could it be that he met a need in the Heart of God? Was his simple companionship so important, and was the quality of it so rich, that delight sprang up from deep within the Lord of all?
Do you and I, simple creatures that we are, have this same potential? Does the Mighty and Majestic King of the universe hunger for fellowship with us? Are we even capable of giving Him pleasure?
Consider the passage of human history. Consider all of the covenants that God has make with men, including this new and living way, which Jesus made for us into the holiest place of all by His Blood. We must begin to understand what our Father and Creator has been after all along!
His desire has always been for a relationship with us! Without that relationship, the words of all the various covenants lose their sense of purpose. Even this glorious New Covenant has so often been trampled upon by those of its adherents who have left their First Love!
When you love someone, you delight in giving them pleasure. When someone is in your heart, you hurt when they grieve! Does the Heart of our Lord grieve? I believe it does. I believe it breaks His Heart when we honor Him with our lips alone. When we forget how much He loves to spend time with us, and begin losing our desire for His companionship, does He feel the pain of our rejecting Him? I believe so.
When in our loss of unity with Him, we become gripped with fears and insecurity, His Heart must again become sad. When this fear provokes us to frantic self-preservation, He knows what will follow. He knows that even more foolish, selfish and harmful actions will bring us sorrow, all of which touch Him as well.
After 4,000 years of chasing after us, He forever settled the question concerning the desire of His Heart toward us. In this new covenant, which was solidified by the Blood of the Lamb of God, His only Son, He spoke again of a relationship: "All shall KNOW ME, from the least of them to the greatest!" (Hebrews 8:11)
From that time forward all of the powers of hell have been frantically working to prevent the fulfillment of this Word within us. For when mankind finally realizes his destiny, when he comes to know true fellowship with God, when he finally experiences the eternal joy of pleasing the Father -- no place will be found for Satan or his lies!
"Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more!" How could a loving father, who has found his son returned safely to him think about such trivialities? The relationship has been restored, fellowship has been renewed. The past has vanished into the sea of His boundless Love, and the desire, the yearning for life outside of the Father's house has virtually disappeared from the young man's heart!
Have you become a victim of the subtlety of Satan? Has his concerted effort to complicate your relationship with God taken its toll on you? Have you spent countless minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years attempting to measure up to an impossible standard?
Or have you bought into this other extreme of lying to yourself in regards to your relationship with Him, pursuing the things of this world to give you pleasure rather than seeking and finding the joy of pleasing Him?
Well then the time has come for you to return to the simplicity of knowing and loving the Everlasting Father of all!
The first step for the prodigal son was to come to himself (Luke 15:17). What about you? Have you been living like a keeper of swine -- one who is not even permitted to eat as well as them? Is there not something terribly wrong with this picture? Are you just now beginning to remember Who your real Father is? And are you finally beginning to remember who you really are?
It has never been your destiny to feed pigs! You have a higher calling than that! Your life is in the heavenlies, where Christ sits on the right hand of God!
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God! Remember His House? Remember the peace, the safety, the security, the love? That training, that discipline that you once thought was so hard, even that is being missed about now! You now realize that His Hand, whether firm or gentle will always represent His wonderful and loving Heart for you!
Luke 15:18-19: "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."
Hear the brokenness, the sorrow of these words. This is the godly sorrow that brings about a true change of mind. No more will he long for his independence. No more will he desire those things that do not satisfy. Oh, just to be with the Father, even though the privileges of his sonship may have been lost! His presence, and this renewed relationship are all that matter now!
See the Father looking, yearning for true fellowship with His son. "Adam, Adam, where are you?" See Him running out to him, embracing him, rejoicing to find him still alive!
"And the son said unto him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.'
But the father said to his servants, 'Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:21-24)
My friend, a time of joy and celebration is at hand! Not only for the lost sinner who has received salvation for the very first time, but also for the erring believers who are now returning to their very first love!
Do you really want to know the joy of pleasing God? Well then just come home. Receive His gracious welcome back into the family. His house is also your house!
Forgive us of our foolishness, our stubbornness, and our selfishness. How often have we listened to and followed after lies. But you are faithful. You have redeemed us, delivered us, and called us unto Yourself.
We lovingly and gratefully place our lives, and our future anew into your caring Arms. Help us to more fully trust in You, and teach us concerning those things that bring You joy, for Your joy is our greatest source of strength!
In the Grace of Jesus our Lord,