“Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10 (NLT)
To please God, you must “carefully determine” how to do it. The reality is, it is in not that hard to discover, though can be challenging to walk out. It is found in one simple word – FAITH. In fact, we are implicitly told that it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). One time while talking about persevering in prayer, Jesus expressed His concern about the level of faith on earth when He returns. He was concerned that the faith of many will waver in the last days (Luke 18:8). Elsewhere He expressed that because of wickedness the love of many will grow cold and even believers would be deceived (Matthew 24:12, 24).
The heroes in God’s eyes are those who choose to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In fact, Jesus told Thomas that it is better to believe without seeing (John 20:29). The heroes of the faith have been listed in Hebrews 11.
It’s our faith that causes us to diligently, earnestly, urgently, passionately, wholeheartedly, relentless … seek Him. And such a faith pleases God to the point that He rewards it (Hebrews 11:6). The faith of these heroes listed in Hebrews 11 resulted in kingdoms being conquered, mighty armies being routed, dead being raised to life again, and more! But many of those heroes didn’t see the promised prophetic words fulfilled in their lifetimes. Instead they were tortured, faced jeering, flogged, stoned, even sawn in two (v37). Many wandered about in deserts, mountains, caves and lived in holes in the ground. God says the world is not worthy of such people (v38). Then this amazing chapter wraps up with none of them received what had been promised because God had something even better that would be fulfilled in the future because of their faithfulness (v39-40).
Still want to please God? Cry out for Him to increase your faith, to not live and evaluate by what you see and feel, but by faith. Ask Him to expose your places of doubt and unbelief. Whenever you experience fear, anxiety, worry, stress, panic, etc., know that these are simply symptoms of places in your life where you lack faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to expose and uproot these areas, and release faith where they once were. Obviously, this is not simply a one-time prayer, and you’re done. It is a life-long quest of laying yourself before the Lord asking Him to be ever increasing the kind of faith that pleases Him.