faith, Uncategorized, Word Wednesday

A Secret to Faith that Pleases God

 

The fiery glow of day’s promise lingered deep beneath the horizon. Darkness touched the earth; no glow escaped, but I knew the sun was on her way. I expected her in an hour or so. I needed to start writing.

As I sat in my sleeping house, (I love that kind of quiet) my Bible open, candle lit, coffee poured, I began to study the “Bite of Bread.” I talked to Him, the invisible Presence sitting with me. “Is Hebrews 11: 5 and 6 really what you want me to write about?”

Silence.

I continued to look up the ancient words under our English. The definitions were interesting yet nothing jumped in me like it does when I write my Word Wednesday posts that dig into the Greek or Hebrew words under our translations.

So I continued to pour over the scripture:

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:5,6).

The story of Enoch fascinates me. He stood on earth one day and then  he didn’t. Death did not take him; God did.I wonder if his family made “Missing Person” posters or if they knew. I guess they were privy to the source of his disappearance because the author of Hebrews knew.

I wonder if Enoch came home one night to tell his family goodbye before he disappeared.

I wonder if they were upset.

But the Bible states, “Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.”

Did God hold a special ceremony for Enoch?

Are any of my questions important? No. Not really–they’re just fun. What’s important is the why. Why did God choose to carry Enoch home? Why did Enoch experience such favor?

The author of Hebrews simply wrote that Enoch “pleased” God.

The Greek word is euaresteo (yoo-ar-es-teh’-o): to gratify entirely. What does “gratify” mean? According to Webster, these are synonyms of gratify: gladden, make happy, delight, make someone feel good, satisfy. 

Enoch “made God happy.” How cool is that?

Maybe it’s the people-pleaser in me–I’d like to think it’s the “want to please God” pleaser in me. But I can’t think of a greater honor than making God happy. After all, I believe He gave me breath this morning. The sun did sneak over the horizon and is now shining. I hold the promise of eternity in my heart because of Jesus’ sacrifice, and His Presence is with me always because of His Holy Spirit.

Why wouldn’t I want to make Him happy?

How did Enoch do this?

Genesis 5:22 tells us that “Enoch walked with God.”

My friends, before Jesus, before His Holy Spirit was given, walking with God was only possible for a few. The Bible didn’t tell us Enoch escaped death because he didn’t sin, but he simply walked with God. He spent his days with Him. They talked. They walked. I think they were friends.

Listen to Jesus’ words:

You are My friends if you do what I command you. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.…(John 15:14-15).

What did Jesus command? “Love God and love each other.”

And you are my friends.

. . . .Friends.

Hebrews continues to explain Enoch’s story,

…he (God) rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 my addition).

It’s that simple.

What are we seeking today?

  • Answers to a problem?
  • Healing?
  • A job?
  • A significant other?
  • Money?

or . . .

Jesus?

 

Let’s pray together. Grab my hands.

Dear God, we love you. We thank you that because of Jesus we do please you. But Lord help us really walk that out and walk daily with you seeking to be aware of more and more of You. You are present. Open our eyes and hearts and help us clear our schedule or get up earlier or what ever we need to do to read the love letter you’ve left for us and have a conversations with you all day long. Help us not only talk but listen. In the power and purpose of Jesus we pray. Amen.”

Who is your favorite Old Testament character? Why? Or What’s the one thing you will do this week to practice your walk with God? Join the conversation! Leave a comment. 

 

Digging deep to live fully in His daily grace,

 

andy

 

 

This post first appeared as “Faith that Takes You Away” in 2014.

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