A life that is pleasing to God…
Inside your heart and mind, you know that is the life that you want. It is good for you. It is good for others. And it glorifies God.
But every day there are things that battle against you living a God-pleasing life. The concerns and duties of life come at you: chores, health concerns, financial challenges, work, relationships, family responsibilities and more. These can challenge your focus and can cause you to drift away from being laser-focused on the life God wants you to live. God wants you to live a life that is pleasing to Him in the midst of your daily activities. Jesus says that we are to live “in the world” but not “of the world.”
Also, every day, worldliness battles against you: materialism and selfishness; things that distract you from pursuing holiness and faithfulness to God; things that tempt you to focus all of your energies on the things of this world and tempt you to forget about God.
And, every day, sinfulness battles against you. Bad habits, unkind words, sinful attitudes, and a host of other sins tempt you to live a life that is less that God’s best.
In the midst of these battles, it is possible to live a life that is pleasing to God. It is good for you. It is good for others. And it glorifies God. God will help you. His Word shows you the way.
Romans 8:5-11 (HCSB)
5 For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.
Big Point #1 — A life according to the flesh is NOT pleasing to God. Notice these phrases from Romans 8:5-11 that describe a life according to the flesh. You may want to re-read the verses above.
A life according to the flesh…
- thinks about the things of the flesh (v5)
- mindset is death (v6)
- hostile to God (v7)
- does not submit to God’s law (v7)
- unable to submit to God’s law (v7)
- cannot please God (v8)
- do not belong to Christ (v8)
- do not have the Spirit of God living in you (v10)
Galatians 5 describes a flesh-focused life this way:
Galatians 5:19-21 (HCSB)
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Big Point #2 — A life according to the Spirit IS pleasing to God. Notice these phrases from Romans 8:5-11 that describe a life according to the Spirit. You may want to re-read Romans 8:5-11 above.
A life according to the Spirit…
- thinks about the things of the Spirit (v5)
- mindset is life and peace (v6)
- you are NOT in the flesh (v9)
- the Spirit of God lives in you (v9)
- Christ is in you (v10)
- your body may be dying, but your spirit is alive because of the Spirit of Christ in you (v10)
- you are spiritually alive because of Christ’s righteousness (v10)
- you have the promise of the resurrection, spending eternity with the Lord in heaven (v11)
Galatians 5 describes a life that is lived according to the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-26 (HCSB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
And Galatians 5 tells us that God desires for us to live according to the Spirit. This is a life that is pleasing to God.
Galatians 5:16-18 (HCSB)
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Big Point #3 — How do you live according to the Spirit?
- You must have the Holy Spirit living in you (Romans 8:9). God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside you when you turn away from your sin and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Have you done this? If not, or if you are not sure, CLICK HERE for guidance on this most important decision of your life.
- The Holy Spirit shows you the way, always in line with God’s Word (Romans 8:10). Read the Bible. Commit to a life of faithfulness and obedience to Him. A life of loving God, loving others, serving, giving, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and much, much more.
- The Holy Spirit empowers you for victorious living (Romans 8:11). Ask God to help you live a Spirit-filled life of holiness, Christlikeness, faithfulness to Him. He will help you.