“…And find out what pleases the Lord” (Eph. 5:10, NIV).
This verse strikes me as a magnificent description of the journey of discovery we experience in our relationship with the Father. It’s precisely the same principle as what you find in any intimate human relationship. Just think about the closest friendship that you have. When you really love someone and enjoy their companionship, you love to see them happy, right? As life goes on, you “find out what pleases” them.
As you accumulate a repertoire of shared life experiences, you learn more and more about that person. From observation, you come to know what foods they particularly enjoy, and which ones they have an aversion for. You become familiar with what genres of music bring them joy, and which ones they would prefer to avoid. You memorize their pet peeves and try hard to steer clear of them. You know what will make them smile. You know exactly what topics of conversation they will find engaging. You learn how to make them laugh.
In short, you become a student of the one that you love. This is exactly what makes the longest-time friendships and relationships the most precious… when you get to a point where you have spent decades learning the depths of their beautiful subtleties, and you can just about communicate without using words.
We can apply these very same patterns to our relationship with God. The longer we walk with Him, the more opportunity we have to find out what pleases Him. Of course, the most obvious way to learn what He likes and doesn’t like is to read and study His Word, the Bible. We dig into the Scriptures as we would pour over a letter full of juicy tidbits from someone we love very much, wanting to absorb every last bit of meaning that we can, in each and every word and phrase.
In the same way, as we spend time communing with Him, we lean in to absorb more of what is on His heart. We study His personality and listen closely for His thoughts. We pay close attention to the nuances of His intimate presence, learning more and more about who He is. We come to understand what moves His heart, what brings Him joy. We discover the pleasures and passions of His soul. This is what His Word calls “growing in the knowledge of God” (2 Pet. 3:18).
Are you longing to know Him better today? Then blessed are you! “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat” (Matt. 5:6, MSG). Yes, blessed are you, my friend. As you press in to know Him more intimately every day, you will be satisfied!
As you have been getting to know the Lord, is there anything that has surprised you about what He likes and doesn’t like?