While relaxing on the steps of a building on Harvard’s campus (on our family vacation), I had a few moments to reflect. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and my gracious wife was keeping our younger kids entertained so I could have some time to be still. As I soaked in the beauty of the campus, and imagined all the amazing thoughts that have been thought there, I felt God’s pleasure sneak in as I thought about how much I loved thinking and ideas. It felt so good. That unexpected experience raised a really important question: when do you feel God’s pleasure?
Why is feeling God’s pleasure so important?
Well, if you’ve ever been in a conversation with me (for good or for bad), it won’t be long until the significance of being found pleasing by God comes up. I happen to think it’s one of life greatest pleasures. And I believe those moments are tiny glimpses into the measureless joy and happiness that will endlessly fill our souls in His presence.
Not only that, but when we feel His pleasure, (that tends to show up when we are doing something good we have been specifically designed to do), it shows us the direction we should keep going in, to bring greater glory to Him, serve others, and enjoy greater fullness ourselves.
Oh yah, well who else thinks that?
I’m so glad you asked. It is of course a fair question. Gratefully, I’m not out on a limb here. Great Christian thinkers such as C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory) and Josef Pieper (Faith, Hope and Love) write about it. Bill Hybels (Simplify) of Willow Creek says his energy level nearly doubles when he senses God saying: “I’m proud of you, Bill. You’re doing a good job.” And, the original idea for this post that came to me on those sunny steps is from Eric Liddell, of “Chariots of Fire” fame, who said: “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” So, my friends, I’m pretty sure I’m on solid ground when I talk about how significant this idea is.
So, when do you feel God’s pleasure?
Please take some time to reflect on this. It could be showing up during times when you have felt fully alive, and at times when you’ve done something you know you were designed to do. Chances are God’s gracious Spirit was there too…nudging you along.
What if I don’t feel it?
That is a huge question. My quick response is to take the risk and ask God to help you see it and feel it. If you are seeking to do His will, more often than not, I believe He is generous in sharing His pleasure. Ask Him for the grace to let in His pleasure in you as you are seeking to honor Him with your life. I may write more on this issue later.
Do you have any sweet quotes about feeling God’s pleasure, or something along those lines? I’d love to hear them and share them. Or, if you’re game to share a time when you felt it the most powerfully, I would love to hear them, and share them with this blog community with your permission.
May God grant you more of His grace to sense more of His delight and pleasure in you.