Physical food is fuel for the body. It gives us the energy and strength to keep our bodies going. Yet our Father in heaven is not only interested in feeding our bodies, but our spirits as well. Jesus said His ‘food’, (that which kept Him going), was doing God’s will. What an amazing statement!
To understand this more, look at the human family. When children do something for their parents spontaneously, without coercion, how do the parents respond? With great joy, of course. When our kids do something nice, kind or loving, without being asked, my wife and I are absolutely overjoyed. We are so pleased, and, as we communicate this to them, they are spurred on to continue doing good.
Did you know that God, too, is delighted when His children do things that please Him? Especially when they do it out of love and affection for Him and not merely out of a sense of duty. Sometimes we seem to think that God is forever unhappy with our performance. But this is not so. It is true of course that God grieves over the sin of mankind. ‘And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart’ (Genesis 6:6). But, just as God is grieved at man’s sin, so He delights in us when we do those things which please Him.
When we please our Father, it brings Him joy, and, as He communicates that joy to us, we are powerfully strengthened inside to keep doing His will. As we bring joy to God’s heart, He gives us more strength. I can think of no better way to start the day than by praying, “Father, help me to bring You joy today. Let me do those things You delight in.”
We know that every person on earth is born with a deeply ingrained desire to please their parents. Some parents are great and are able to communicate their delight in their children, thus building them up and strengthening them. Other parents may be absent, or not able to do this effectively, if at all, and their children tend to be left with a deep sense of failure, of not being good enough and of being a disappointment. The wonderful news for us all is that our Father in heaven is not like an earthly parent. He is not impossible to please, and He takes great delight in our heartfelt efforts to do His will.
May you be strengthened by knowing the joy of pleasing your Father in heaven.
Prayer: Father, help me to do Your will today and to know in my heart when You delight in me. May I become more like Jesus and be strengthened as I do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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