As Pleasing As A Warthog

2 CO 5.9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

Growing up Catholic I rarely felt pleasing to God.? As an altar boy I?d try to keep my back rigid and my praying hands perfectly aligned, fingers straight out, thumbs crossed over each other with military precision.? I?d try to say each word of every ?Hail Mary? with complete earnestness (try doing that 50 times in a rosary) yet still didn?t feel pleasing to God.?? And when I hit my rebellious teens and roaring twenties, my depraved lifestyle left me feeling about as pleasing to God as a warthog.

Then God made it possible for this warthog to please him.? He washed away my sins with Christ?s blood, and counted Christ?s righteousness as mine.? He placed me ?in Christ? as his beloved, adopted child.? Through Jesus, transformed rebels and rejects bring pleasure to his heart, just as earthly children bring pleasure to their parents? hearts.

Not only did God make it possible for me to please him, he injected my heart with a pulsing desire to do so.? I want to glorify him.? I want to make him smile.? Not out of guilt, but love and gratitude.? How can I not want to please the one who saw me from afar, ran to embrace this pig-sty mud-encrusted prodigal,? draped his royal robe on my shoulders and slid his royal ring onto my finger?

But there?s more.? He not only gives the desire, but the power to please him.? He tells me to fly, then supplies me with wings.? He tells me to run, then invigorates my legs.? He fortifies me to drive stakes through the heart of my sins.? He makes me buoyantly bounce back when trials knock me down.

And Jesus, my great Mediator, takes my sin-stained efforts, strains out the dross, and presents them acceptable to his Father.? He washes out the bad motives, and leaves the pure desires that he put there.? He takes my pathetic worship, filters out the unbelief and distraction, and offers it to the Father as sweet incense.

I want to please him whether I?m singing praises or doing dishes, devouring the Bible or decimating a burger.? That?s the aim of this warthog.? How about you?

Photo by Brian Gratwicke

Comments

  1. says

    I grew up in a fundamentalist home that emphasized a person can please God by working hard enough, avoiding the wrong types of social activities, and engaging in the right ministry to make him happy.

  2. says

    Greetings fellow warthog!
    What a great jump start to my memory this morning! Everyday we need to be reminded of the remarkable truth of the gospel, as Jerry Bridges would say to “preach the gospel to ourselves everyday.” We tend to forget and we need a daily reminder of the good news that we really are worse than we think we are but more loved than we will ever know! The Lord truly is good! Thanks for the reminder!
    Blessings
    Ron Reffett

  3. says

    Hey Jon,

    I’m assuming that though you grew up in a legalistic environment, the Lord has set you free through the gospel.

    Hey Ron,

    Thanks for another encouraging comment! The Lord is good – Amen!

  4. says

    Sounds like you have a tangible grasp on the word GRACE. :) My daughter’s middle name is Grace. I hope she understands the power in that little word.

  5. says

    Hey Emily,

    I’m still seeking to plumb the depths of God’s grace in Jesus – My granddaughter’s name is Charis, which means Grace. I hope and trust that both she and your daughter will live in the good of it.

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