How Can I Please God?

Have you ever wondered how to please God? This question can seem overwhelming to answer. Where do you even begin? What if you found out that it was "easier" than you first thought?

In John 17, we find Jesus praying and in verse 4 He says to His Father, “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” If we took a deeper look at this verse, we will find nuggets that can help us to know how to please God.

When Jesus prayed, “I brought you glory,” the original language reveals through two pronouns that point to the fact that the work of Christ was nothing other than to glorify the Father. What does that mean?

To glorify someone or something means to honor them by making known their greatness. Jesus, through His life, honored God by making known His greatness. We see this demonstrated in His miracles, in His distribution of forgiveness, in His provision to people, in His humility to surrender His life on a cross, and in His powerful resurrection.

Did you know that God expected Jesus to accomplish the task for which He was sent to do? The words in this verse prove this to be the case. In other words, God believed in why Jesus was on earth and He fully trusted that the work He had entrusted to His Son would be accomplished.

How specifically did Jesus please God?

...by completing the work God gave him to do.
— John 17:4

The word completing implies a task that was completed to its fullest extent. Perhaps we could say that it reached maturity. The work started small and grew until it reached its desired heighth. Jesus finished His assigned task. Of course this prayer took place before the cross. However, this expression looks to the cross, thus including it in what He was to accomplish.

How can we please God?  

Listen to Him and do what He says.

In so doing, we will accomplish the task that He believes we can do. This will be reflected in our thinking, decision-making, speech, actions, extending love and forgiveness, and our responses to people. Our task will start small but grow over time, and we ourselves will increase in maturity should we choose to stick with it.

For each of us, the level of sacrifice will look different. For most, time will be a central element. The truth remains that we are overscheduled people. We often need help in organizing what is important. For anyone to change, they have to want it. If I want to please God, I will change anything in order to achieve that priority.

There is no work better than to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all are one; to wash dishes and to preach are all one, as touching the deed, to please God.
— William Tyndale