Any responsible father knows his words impact his children. Ten-year-old Jimmy was frustrated with a task. Finally, it got the best of him and "Confound it" flew out of his mouth. Jimmy's mother heard the outburst and reprimanded him for expressing his frustration with those words. With a puzzled look, Jimmy replied, "But I heard Daddy say those words." Fathers must be careful with their words. Sons will repeat them. On a positive note, Jimmy's dad also provided a consistent example of respect and gentleness toward women. From an early age he remembered his dad's attitude expressed in comments like, "Always hold the door open for a lady." His father's words and example produced good fruit in Jimmy's life. Children who want to please their dads often repeat and follow their words and actions. We see this delight in Jesus' relationship with his father recorded several times in the Scriptures.
Last month I wrote about God, the Father's pleasure in His Son, Jesus Christ. Would you meditate with me on what delights Jesus? If the heavenly Father's pleasure is entirely in his son, Jesus Christ, then the son's desire is entirely fixed on pleasing his father. The heart of the Father is turned toward his son by nature, but Jesus also gives his father good reason to be pleased with him-Jesus always does his father's will. Have you noticed what delighted Jesus and considered its application to your life?
The Son delights in his Father's words
So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him (Jo. 7:16-18)."
"I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world." They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him (Jo. 8:26-29)."
"I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father (Jo. 8:38)."
"For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me (Jo. 12:49-50)."
One of the reasons the Father takes such great pleasure in his son lies in the reality that Jesus delights to hear his Father's words, speak them, and do them. If we are God's children we also should delight in hearing God's written and Holy Spirit revealed word. It makes sense that if the Spirit of Jesus, the son, dwells in us, that we would delight in what He loves-God's words. His children love God's word because they delight to please their father in heaven because the Spirit of the Son dwells in them.
In Deuteronomy God told Moses to call the men together at Mt. Horeb to give them His blueprint for blessing. Note carefully what God commanded His people."You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up (Deut. 6:5-7)." Did you notice what pleased God? God promised to bless them as they:
1. Love God with all their hearts, which means they will…
2. Love God's Word and put it on their hearts, and then they will…
3. Daily teach God's Word to their children.
We see Jesus echo this blueprint for blessing. It is recorded in Jesus' last discourse.
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day [the day the Holy Spirit is sent to you] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him (Jo. 14:18-23)."
The Lord Jesus gave a wonderful promise and hope to His disciples and all believers through them. He didn't expect believers to be able to love God's word and do them until He came to dwell in them. Remember: The Father's pleasure is entirely in the work of His Son on our behalf. In the passage above, Jesus explained why He was going to the Father-that He might come to them in the person of the Holy Spirit. He told them He would come to them, and in that day they would know that He was in the Father and also in them. Furthermore, they would know that they were in Him! How would they know? Jesus said it would be clear. The ones in whom Jesus lives will live for God (14:19), love Him, and keep His words in their hearts because they are the Father's words (14:21, 23-24). The Father's response to them will be blessing! He will pour out His love on them because the Spirit of the son abides in them and does in them what Jesus always does-delights in pleasing the Father by loving His words, speaking them, and doing them.
From the lips of God's sons and in the example of their lives come the words of the Father because they love Him and delight in pleasing Him. If Jesus dwells in you, then you delight to please the Father by loving Him and putting His word on your heart. Jesus taught that the "mouth speaks from that which fills the heart (Luke 6:45). This characterizes those who are Father-pleasers. Their hearts are filled with love for Jesus and His word. Humility, joy, and peace fill their souls because they know their love and obedience come from the life of Christ within and not from themselves. This doesn't mean they don't struggle with the flesh and often fall short. In fact, the Father-pleasers will be quick to admit that without the life of Christ filling them, they fail miserably to love and walk in a manner pleasing to the Father.
In contrast, men-pleasers think their love and obedience stem from themselves. Delighting in pleasing men and gaining the praise of their own consciences, they resist admitting their sins and asking forgiveness. Minimizing or denying their shortcomings and maximizing and accentuating what is worthy of praise is common place in the men-pleasing community. It is not uncommon for men-pleaser to make much of themselves by publicly flattering others who do what they commend in themselves. They feel duty-bound to read, learn, memorize, and teach the scriptures. Often without realizing it, they search the scriptures for more ways to show their righteousness and commitment to God. When they obey and memorize scriptures, they feel good about themselves and believe they gain God's pleasure and blessing. Making much of Jesus and His righteousness gets upstaged by their making much of the standards by which they live and judge others. Men-pleasers tend to testify to themselves, their spiritual disciplines, and their outward adherence to religious standards. Father-pleasers on the other hand speak of the presence and power of Christ working within them and the joy of relationship with Him.
The Son delights in doing the Father's will
"Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come in the scroll of the book it is written of me to do your will, O God' (Hebrews 10:7)."
"Your kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)."
He who searches the hearts [Jesus] knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:27).
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done (Matthew 26:42)."
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me (John 5:30)."
There is a second reason the Son of God brings pleasure to the Father God. Jesus delights in doing the Father's will. We notice in the first passage above that Jesus came for the purpose of pleasing the Father by doing His will. The aim of His prayer life was that His Father's will be done. He intentionally sought to do God's will on a minute by minute basis. That's why the Father loves the Son and finds His pleasure entirely in the work of His Son. What could we do that would surpass or supplement Jesus' delight in and perfect obedience to God's will? The heavenly Father takes pleasure in His Son because His Son delights to please Him.
What stands out to me about Jesus' relationship with His father is this: Jesus' will is surrendered to His Father's will. Facing the most difficult moments of His life on earth, Jesus said, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done (Luke 22:42)." To what degree is your will surrendered to the Father's will? How intentional are you about pursuing the will of God, your Father, in the use of time, the use of the body He gave you, the stewardship of money, your love and care for the wife (husband) and children He has given you, the way you relate to your parents, neighbors, and brothers and sisters in Christ?
I have spoken with many men who confess they have a problem with pornography. The primary issue is the heart. A man does what he wants. A man looks at porn because he wants to do it and wills it. The man who reserves the right to do what he wills when he knows it does not please God fools himself if he thinks he loves God. The issue is surrender. Are you surrendered to God's will when it comes to what you look at on the internet or when you are in private? "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3)."
Can you see why true sons and daughters of God please Him? It's not because they have exercised their free will and live by higher standards than others, which by the way, they will. It's because the Spirit of God's Son, Jesus Christ, dwells in them and delights to do God's will. The man who surrenders his will to do God's will and choose not to satisfy himself with porn does so because he delights in pleasing the Father. He brings pleasure to the Father as Jesus expresses his Father-pleasing life in his body. His resisting temptation to lust with porn is viewed as an act of worship of God through Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul nailed this truth when he wrote, "For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). To the Galatians, who were caught in a struggle between Father-pleasers and men-pleasers, he declared, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in [context indicates it should be interpreted "of"] the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal. 2:20)."
Jesus contrasted the Father-pleasers and the men-pleasers in the Sermon on the Mount. He said one could tell the difference between the two by their fruit. The men-pleasers focus on the things they say and do whereas the Father-pleasers delight in hearing the Father and in pleasing Him. He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter (Matthew 7:21)." At another time Jesus testified, "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother (Matt. 12:50)."
Are you filled with the knowledge of what pleases the Father?
How can a man be a Father-pleaser and walk in a manner that pleases God in all respects if he isn't filled to overflowing with this powerful, life-changing truth: the Father is only pleased by a man when he finds his fullness in Jesus Christ, God's Son (Col. 1:19). The only way a man is going to find his fullness in Christ is if he makes much of Jesus by considering him first in everything he does. You'll discover that you are complete in Jesus Christ as you set your mind on Him and look to Him as the source of your life (Col. 2:10, 3:2-3) instead of looking to people and things that are on the earth.
Our wives, children, and associates need to see members of the body of Christ living powerfully satisfying lives as they find their satisfaction in their head, Jesus Christ, instead of the things and activities of this world. I invite you to take time to examine the object(s) of your delight. Do you seek the approval of men above God? Is your delight in satisfying your own desires or doing what you know pleases the Father in heaven? Discuss what intentional steps you and your family can take to please the Father in heaven by how you relate to Jesus Christ. How will you implement those steps? What goals can you establish that will nudge you toward living in a manner that's worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all respects? Here's a good question to ask if you want to be a Father-pleaser. In any situation or relationship ask, "How can I make much of Jesus Christ and what He has done on the cross?"
• The Father in heaven takes pleasure in His Son because Jesus loves and obeys His Word.
• The Father in heaven takes pleasure in His Son because Jesus' will is surrendered to do His will.
• The son of God lives in believers giving them a love and heart to obey God's Word.
• The son of God lives in believers giving them a delight in doing the will of their Father in heaven.
• Father-pleasers recognize their words and actions flow out of the presence and power of Jesus dwelling within them.
• Men-pleasers think their words and actions are a result of what they know and do, which gains them God's approval and blessing and sets them above others.
The only way a man is going to find his fullness in Christ is if he makes much of Jesus by considering Him first in everything he does.