As we continue on in the book of Romans, Paul shows us the clear choice that we’re faced with.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
The choice laid before us is death vs. life and peace. It’s clear from Scripture that this has always been the choice throughout history.
We need to understand that peace is the total blessing of God. In opposition to that, the mind focused on the flesh is hostile toward God. Therefore, it cannot submit to God’s law because it doesn’t have the power to submit.
It’s a simple fact that a mind focused on the things pertaining to the flesh cannot please God. That’s because God isn’t impressed by our rules, feelings, logic, or will-power.
What exactly does the Bible say about pleasing God?
On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4
This verse makes it clear. The only way to please God is through the condition of our heart. If that’s the case, than what does it take to have a heart that’s pleasing to the Lord?
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…
It takes spiritual wisdom and understanding in order to please God. On top of that, we must bear fruit. I assume he’s talking about the fruit of the spirit. These are not things that can be accomplished by our mind or our flesh.
This was evident in the life of Christ.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”
This is the foundation of how Jesus pleased the Father. He spoke as He was taught by the Father. That means His wisdom and understanding came from a spiritual source. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit the same way He wants us to walk.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
1 John 3:21-22
When John says that we obey His commands; what’s he talking about? Is it the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on Mount? No, it’s the spiritual instructions we receive as we spend time in the presence of God.
That’s what pleases the Lord. It’s all about our spirit-walk. According to the verse in Romans, above, without my spiritual walk, I do not have the power to please God. Don’t neglect the most important part of your relationship with God. Spend some intimate time with the Holy Spirit.
Question: What has the Holy Spirit impressed you to do lately?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi