It’s never too late to start walking with God
God’s message in Malachi’s day was, “I am not pleased with you” (Mal. 1:10 NIV). What an indictment to people claiming to follow God! Their behavior was unacceptable; it dishonored God. So, how can we please God today?
Enoch Pleased God
“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years … Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:21-24).
It is mentioned twice that “Enoch walked with God.” This phrase replaces the word “lived” in the other verses and reminds us that there is a difference between walking with God and merely living. It’s figurative for saying he was going the way God was going. They had an ongoing relationship. It means not letting sin rule in our life, moving at God’s pace and seeing things as God sees them. It seems like Enoch started walking with God after the birth of a baby; a new life caused him to remember the author of life (Gen. 5:22, Acts 3:15).
We learn more about Enoch in Hebrews: “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away … he was commended as one who pleased God” (Heb. 11:5). Like Elijah, he did not experience death; he was transported to heaven. Two reasons are given: he was faithful, and he pleased God. Enoch pleased God by his faith which was shown by his walk with God. What an example for us!
Jesus Pleased God
“As soon as Jesus was baptized … heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’” (Mt. 3:16-17). God proclaimed that He was well pleased with Jesus. One of the reasons was because Jesus chose to do the Father’s will and not His own (Mt. 26:39,42; Jn. 6:38). He was not selfish; He obeyed God instead of pleasing self (Jn. 5:30). He had a lifetime desire to finish His mission and said, “I brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do” (Jn. 17:4).
This message was repeated at the Transfiguration, when Peter, James and John saw Jesus’ appearance change so that His face shone like the sun and His clothing became dazzling white. “While He was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’” (Mt. 17:5).
God’s message to the disciples was to listen to Jesus. On one occasion He told them to do God’s work while there was opportunity (Jn. 9:4). On another He stressed obedience to Him (Jn. 14:15,21,23; 15:10). He is our best example because He followed His Father’s commands “exactly” (Jn. 14:31).
We Can Please God
So how can we please God? First, we can become a disciple like Peter, James and John, and follow His guidelines in the New Testament. The Bible says “without faith it is impossible to please God,” and “those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God” (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 8:8). Second, we can offer our bodies to God. “I urge you … to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” (Rom.12:1). A sacrifice is an offering to God. The greatest example is Christ offering His life on the cross. Third, we can offer praise to God. “Through Jesus … let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:15-16). God loves worship from those who “confess His name.” Fourth, we can offer our possessions to God (Heb. 13:16) by sharing our resources with those in need – the opposite of accumulating things for ourselves.
Let’s walk with God like Enoch, do God’s will like Jesus, and offer to God our bodies, our praise and our possessions.
Published, September 2008