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and find out what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10

We all experiment with something. It may be trying a new route to work or the store. You might try a new soap or shampoo that you’ve heard about from a friend.

I’m always looking for new recipes. I get four daily emails with recipes that I scan for new ideas or techniques. While there are some standards that will never be touched, I’m not afraid to try new recipes or tweaking old ones.

Just the other day I tried adding something new to my killer, award-winning, homemade salsa. I added a fifth kind of pepper to the salsa just to try something different. And while I thought it was good, that wasn’t the end of it.

The salsa had to be tested and approved by someone else. My opinion did matter, but it didn’t end there. There was someone else who’s opinion matter more. Their opinion mattered most. Their opinion would determine if the salsa was good or not.

The opinion of the one I love was what mattered most. While I wanted to enjoy the salsa too, it was what the person I loved said that would determine if it was good or not.

Because I wanted to please them, I was willing to put my personal opinions and desires aside. When I defer to the one I love, I willingly accepted their opinion of what’s good.

And I don’t pout about it either. I don’t throw a pity party, looking down, shuffling my feet while I sulk. I don’t breathe heavily with sighs that can be heard for miles.

No, I’m glad when they tell me what they like. What they prefer. And I’m willing to do whatever pleases them. I happily set aside my opinions for the one I love.

That’s exactly how we are to be with God. But not just with salsa, but with our entire self. Out of loving gratitude for who he is, and all he’s done, we willingly look for ways to please him.

It’s not that he has a big stick and can threaten us. On the contrary, he’s reaching out to us, loving us, serving us. He’s the one who initiated the relationship, so we’re responding to him.

We want to find out what pleases him. We are to examine what he wants and then willingly do whatever that is. We should want to please the one who loves us by following him. He first loved us, and we respond by loving him[1].

But it’s more than just your average pleasing. Not just enough pleasing to get by. No, our goal is to not just be pleasing, but well pleasing. We should want to hit the ball out of the park when it comes to pleasing God.

Isn’t that how you want to be loved? We all dream of someone who will put their opinions and desires aside for us. Someone who wants nothing but the best for us. And that’s exactly who God is and what Jesus did for us.

rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:7,8

Jesus laid aside all his rights as God for us. He came to earth and lived like a servant for you and me. And if this wasn’t enough, he humbled himself to the lowest depths possible, and voluntarily died for everyone. And not just any kind of death, but death on a cross.

That’s who God is. That’s who Jesus is. He is God almighty who didn’t show off his wisdom, power, and glory. Just the opposite, he’s the one and only God who felt the pain and suffering of life for you and me.

So, how are you actively looking for new ways to be well pleasing to God, the one who loves you? How’s your investigation into becoming more and more well pleasing to God going? What kind of experiments are you doing to discover new and creative ways to be well pleasing to the one who gave their all for you?

It's time to start experimenting more and more, finding new and exciting ways to serve Jesus with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. To look for fresh ways to put our wants and desires aside and to defer to the one who loves us so.

That’s what makes life exciting and worth living; finding new ways to please the one who loves us so. It’s time to start your experimenting.

Noodling Questions

  • How did you find out what pleased someone you liked?

  • What’s one area you’re willing to experiment with to find how to please God?

  • What’s one area of your life where you’re not willing to please God in? Explain.

[1] 1 John 4:19


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