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It’s impossible to please God

May 1, 2018

We are always trying to please somebody.

Sometimes it’s easy. Like a small child who is thrilled with a cardboard box and some crumpled wrapping paper. Or an elderly person who is delighted that you stopped in for a visit.

Sometimes it’s difficult. The teacher who marks all the mistakes with a red pen seems very difficult to please. A boss who is always criticizing and complaining makes for a difficult workplace environment.

Sometimes it’s impossible. How do you go about pleasing the God of the universe? He has everything He needs. He’s got everything under control. He knows everything at all times. He created everything and holds everything together.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that it’s impossible to please God without one element:

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6ESV

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Why? Because you have to believe, to have faith, that He exists. You can’t see Him. You can’t touch Him. You can’t hear Him. You can’t smell Him. You can’t taste Him. Your senses are useless in trying to please God.

You have to believe that He exists based on how He has revealed Himself in the Bible. Get the big picture, not just little bits and pieces. Not just the parts you like. Or, not just the parts you don’t like, as an excuse to throw Him out.

You have to believe that He rewards those who seek Him. That’s part of the big picture of God. Critics will often have a one-sided view of God as a judge, condemning the evil and punishing the wicked. But He is also a God who rewards those who are looking for Him.

And really, in this verse you see attributes of God that make Him appealing to us: He allows us to draw near and to seek after Him. He wants to have a relationship with Him. He is not an impersonal power, an unseen force, a judge behind the bench. He wants you and me to draw near to Him. He wants us to seek after Him.

He’s revealed Himself in the Bible. He wants us to get closer to Him. The conclusion is simple. If we want to get closer to God, we have to spend more time in the Bible.

And He promises to reward us. Reward us with Himself – the more we know Him, the closer we are to Him.

And that’s what He wants.

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