Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pleasing God: His Word, His Will, His Way

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5:30)

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” (John 8:28-29)
Jesus was all about pleasing the Father. Everything He did, He did to please God. He did not do anything or say anything that He did not see or hear the Father doing or saying. He did not seek His own will, but always yielded Himself fully to the Father. He is the perfect expression of the will of God.

When He was baptized by John in the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the voice of the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Afterward, the Spirit led Him out into the wilderness, where the devil tried to lure Him into an agenda that did not from God — and anything that does not come from God comes ultimately from the devil.
  • Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3).
  • Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’“ (Matthew 4:5-6)
  • Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)
First, notice how the devil tries to introduce doubt by the use of “if.” In the first two attempts he says, “If you are the Son of God.” But Jesus was quite secure in His identity; He knew exactly who He was and why He came — to do the Father’s will — and He did not have to prove Himself to anybody.

“Turn these stones into bread,” the tempter says. Jesus answers, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (v. 4). We do not need to heed any word that comes from the devil, but true life comes from hearing, believing and obeying everything that comes from God alone.

The devil tries again. “Throw Yourself down from this pinnacle; God’s angels will rescue You.” It is a perverse appeal to the Word of God; perverse because it is not according to the purpose of God. Jesus answers very simply, “It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God” (v. 7). It does no good to believe God’s promises if we are not following His will.

In the third attempt, the devil uses “if” to introduce doubt about God’s plan. “I will give You all the kingdoms of the world if You will fall down and worship me.”God had already declared His will to give Jesus all the nations for His inheritance (Psalm 2:8), but it would come by God’s plan, not the devil’s. The glory would be to God alone. So Jesus says, “Away with you, for it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (v. 10).

Jesus had no agenda of His own, but was fully committed to that of the Father, and that greatly pleased God.

Pleasing God is about believing His word and following His will in His way.