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Are You a Person Who Pleases God? 8 Ways to Please God.

Updated: May 30

Do you ever wonder what it truly means to please God? I know I have. This question has crossed my mind countless times throughout my Christian walk.

The truth is that pleasing God isn't about jumping through hoops or following rigid rules. It's about cultivating a deep, intimate relationship with our heavenly Father that transforms us from the inside out and empowers us to live in joyful obedience to His will.

In this blog post, we'll tackle the nuts and bolts of living a life that pleases God.

  • Who are God pleasers

  • The Importance of being a pleaser of God

  • Why some people don’t please God

  • Things we need to do to please God

God's pleasure should be our top priority. So, grab your Bible, put on your thinking cap, and let's dive in!

Watch the YouTube Video

youtube video on pleasing God

Striving to be God-Pleasers

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) — 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Our ultimate goal in life should be striving to please God on a daily basis. By reading Philippians 2:13, we are without excuses. I don’t say that to condemn anyone, but this should bring hope and excitement to you.

We are never left alone and without help. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” But often, when we take our own yoke upon us and refuse to take upon the Lord’s. We are left alone, trying to live our lives out in God. Trust me, you don’t want to try to please God alone. It will never work out.

The Word says THAT GOD IS WORKING IN YOU. He is doing the work through you. He is GIVING YOU THE DESIRE AND POWER to what PLEASES HIM! Glory! How powerful is that! No more guilt trips or shame. No more condemnation.

Pleasing God is only a prayer away, and you submit to the Holy Spirit as He leads you to please God.

It is not uncommon for me to take this scripture before God and share it with Him about an area I struggle with. I tell Him, I know you want this fixed in my life. I know it will please you. Lord, I need the desire and power to do it. No joke, in time, I will witness the Holy Spirit working in me. Soon, I will witness myself being free in that area!

Philippians 2:13 is probably one of the most powerful scriptures in the Bible for life transformation in God!

satisfied guy

The Importance of a God-Pleasing Life

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NLT) — 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.

Why is it so important to please God, you might be asking? Doesn’t God love me? If he loves me, isn’t he already pleased with me?

Think about it this way. As a parent of two daughters, I am madly in love with them. I would almost do anything for them. They bring me such joy. I am on cloud 9 when I am around them. Our daughter lives here in Guatemala. When she visits, I always tell her thank you for coming. It was such a joy to have you here today. That is the love in my heart for her.

But I can tell you this: even though I love her so much and always have, she can push my buttons sometimes to the point where I am not pleased with her. This displeasure can hinder our relationship. I will still be praying for her. I want the best for her, but the relationship is fractured.

Yes, God will always love you, but that doesn’t mean your relationship with Him is at its best! We need to be God-pleasers, not merely God-lovers. This means going beyond just declaring our love for God. It involves living a life that pleases Him and reflects His love and goodness. It's about obeying His commands, respecting His authority, and honoring His name in all we do.

Be careful; I am not talking about walking a tightrope of legalism and following all the do’s and don’ts in the letter of the law. This is only bondage, and it will only turn you into a religious follower of the Lord. You must return to Philippians 2:13. Allow the Lord to work in you. Take the yoke of Jesus upon you. The do’s and don’ts will no longer be drudgery and condemnation but a joy, and you will find yourself wanting to please God passionately!

Why Some People Don't Please God

Why do some people struggle with pleasing God? There can be multiple reasons, but it comes down to the individual's heart. Many people don’t want to serve God. Even though some say with their lips they want to, really deep inside, they don’t.

1. Living under the control of our sinful nature

Romans 8:8 (NLT) — 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

Upon accepting Jesus Christ as your savior, you are set free from the bondage of sin. The rebirth of your spirit makes you a new creature in Christ. But you have two other things to contend with: your body and mind. Romans 12:1-2 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and renew our minds in the Word of God to change how we think. If you do not do those two things, you will still be under the control of your sinful nature! You will have no desire to please God.

2. Not living in faith

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) — 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith.

Romans 12:3 says we were given THE MEASURE OF FAITH by God. This faith is not of your own; God gave it to you. If you follow me, you will see how good this gets. Paul says in Galatians 2:20 that the life he lives is not of his own, but Jesus is living in him. Then he goes on to say the life he lives in the flesh is by the FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD. The faith we have is NOT ours, but Jesus’ faith. We are to live our lives through Jesus’ faith given to us by God the Father. That is powerful!

We have everything we need, but now let’s roll back to Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the RENEWING YOUR MIND.” We must renew our minds to learn and know how to work the faith we received from God. If we don’t, our faith will lie dormant, never being used. This, in return, will not please God.

3. Caring more about pleasing people

Galatians 1:10 (NLT) — 10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win people’s approval, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Trying to please people can be a dangerous precedent in our lives. We can be steered in the wrong direction and misguided into areas that can bring more harm than good.

By doing so, we will find ourselves trying to gain the validation and approval of people rather than God. We will spend our whole lives obsessively thinking about what others think. We will not be concerned about what God thinks. We will dictate our decisions based on what they think.

Years ago, our mission ministry was connected to a church in the United States. They regularly supported us on a monthly basis. I would find myself making decisions for the ministry and wondering what the pastor of that church would think about it. Then, I decided what to do based on what I thought he would think. After about 6 years of support, it suddenly stopped. I took it to God. He told me I thought so highly of the pastor’s opinion that God told him to stop supporting us.

I can tell you this: today, only God dictates the direction of our ministry. Sure, I listen and allow certain people to speak into my life, but ultimately, God has the final decision.

Shawn Paul speaker

4. Not trusting God, even though He gives great blessings

1 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT) — 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

This verse is about the children of Israel after leaving Egypt. Even though God delivered them from slavery and bondage from the Egyptians, they still complained and murmured. They continuously said over and over, “God, you have brought us out into the desert to die.” Why? Because they didn’t trust God. They failed to see His goodness and love for them.

When people don’t truly know God and His character by not reading the Word, they miss out on the opportunity to build trust with Him. Sure, we can build trust by experiencing life with Him, but we will never make intentional steps in that direction because of the failure of not knowing what he has to offer.

We do this by reading His written promises. As we do, we find Him and discover who He is. As we do, we gravitate towards Him. We build a relationship with Him. Then, we trust Him. As we trust Him, we begin to please Him.

What We Need to Do

I pray that you are at the point where you want to take more significant steps to please God. Doing so should consume our whole lives. I believe that as we do, everything in life comes back full circle. Everything will become richer and more vibrant.

Just recently, I was talking to my wife. We expressed to one another how amazing our marriage was. After 37 years, we are not sick of each other, but it is the exact opposite. We are best friends, and we are rarely without one another. We love being at each other’s sides. Then it hit me: the reason why is because our lives are so full of God, and we pursue Him so much. We want to be pleasing to Him in all areas of our lives. As we do, he is pouring back into our lives; part of that is our marriage!

1. You have to have faith in God

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) — 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

You can’t have any doubt in your heart that He exists. You have to know that you know that He is there and wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to be involved in every area of your life. As you seek Him by faith, He will reward you. That faith and seeking pleases Him greatly!

If you are a parent, you will know what I mean when I say what an incredible feeling it is to be a hero in your kids' hearts. When you get home, they ensure you know they missed you all day, showering you with praises, hugs, and kisses. God feels the same way but in a greater way!

2. Obey God’s commands because you want to

John 14:15 (NLT) — 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.

The key to this verse is IF YOU LOVE ME. When we love someone, we want to please and consider them first. If you love the Lord, you will want to know His commands and not violate them.

The other day, I was thinking about an area in my life and how I was conducting it. The thought kept coming to my mind: Was I sinning against God? I thought I knew what scripture said about it. But I want to ensure that I did. So, I looked it up to study it. Why? Because I truly love God. I seek to please Him constantly. To my amazement, by studying the Greek, I realized that I didn’t have the whole meaning and was sinning against the Lord. I immediately repented and made the needed changes in my life.

Many will say, Shawn, you are going overboard here. It’s not a big deal. God will understand. No, God doesn’t understand the sin in our lives. That is why the Holy Spirit dealt with me on it and had me research it. The Lord wanted it fixed in my life!

woman praying

3. Pursue a close relationship with God

Colossians 1:9–10 (NLT) — 9 We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

Developing a close relationship with God involves pursuing Him. As I said before, in the pursuit, we find Him. We begin to be filled with the knowledge and understanding of His goodness. We find out who He is more and more. It only gets better and better.

As your relationship with God grows stronger and more real, you will have a passion and drive inside to honor and please Him. You will witness your life producing good fruit in all areas. The fruits of the Holy Spirit will be in a more significant operation in your life.

4. Let the Holy Spirit guide your life

Romans 8:14 (NLT) — 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Galatians 5:16b (NLT) — 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.

I can’t even begin to express the importance of following the Holy Spirit ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY! He has to be a part of your life each and every day. The Bible says that He will guide us into all truth. He is our comforter and counselor. The Holy Spirit is NOT an “IT”! He is a person part of the Godhead! And He lives inside of you!

If you allow Him to lead and guide you, your life will be radically transformed in so many ways. My life would not be what it is today without the Holy Spirit. I continually ask Him for help in all areas of my life, from marriage to ministry, to personal help, living a holy life, purchasing decisions, and relationships. It is endless.

As you let the Holy Spirit lead you, you will be pleasing God.

5. The fruits of the Holy Spirit grow in your life

Galatians 5:22–23 (NLT) — 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Like fruits on a tree or vine, our spiritual fruits must be managed and cultivated. After harvest, they need to be partaken of. If we don’t properly care and partake of our spiritual fruits, they will stink and become rotten.

As you operate in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, you will see a transformation in your life and how you conduct yourself with others. As you do, this will be pleasing to Father God.

6. Live a life filled with love, following Christ’s example

Ephesians 5:2 (NLT) — 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

I know it is not always easy to love those around us. We all have seen a movie or TV show with a character who doesn’t like anyone. You may know someone like that. I know I have to be careful not to be indifferent towards people. I tend to be mentally focused on so many things and don’t like to be distracted.

An example is when I get constant messages from ministers worldwide needing my help. If I’m not careful, I will think, Why are they bugging me? I know this sounds horrible, and I am being really transparent to you. I am human, and I need to be cautious about this. I guard myself very carefully and ask the Holy Spirit to help me. This allows me to respond with love and kindness.

That is why we need to ask the Lord to help us walk in love with those around us. As we show the love of Christ to those around us, it is a pleasing aroma to God.

man helping elderly man out of a car

7. Worship God with holy fear and awe

Hebrews 12:28 (NLT) — 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

I don’t know about you, but worship and praise are not some of my strongest strengths. It’s not that I am not thankful, but I am incredibly grateful for what the Lord has done in my life. What I need to work on is being more intentional about it.

Recently, I listened to a podcast from Pastor Nancy Dufresne. She talked about how we need to practice praising the Lord. During prayer time, we should take a moment to worship the Lord and tell Him how much we appreciate Him. This should be a part of our daily lives.

I have begun to implement this in my life. I make an actual point about doing so. It has radically changed my life. Because I am very intentional and don’t just thank God for this or that. I spend time thinking of everything I am thankful for. I have begun to realize numerous things that I have never even considered in what God has and is doing for me.

As I have been doing so, God has dropped in my spirit how pleased He is.

8. Do good and share with others

Hebrews 13:16 (NLT) — 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

I once heard a minister say jokingly, “Ministry would be great if people weren’t involved.” I know this is meant to be funny, but some people out there wish this. As difficult as people can be, it isn’t an option unless God sends you to be a hermit in the Amazon jungle. Since that is highly doubtful, I think the best option is to learn to allow the Lord to work through you to touch others.

Jesus is the best example we have. He constantly had people pulling on Him, even when He wanted to rest. People followed Him everywhere. He said that He came to serve and not be served. This should be our hearts. We are here on this earth to bless those around us. As hard as that might be, we can call upon the strength of the Holy Spirit to help us be the Jesus in people’s lives around us.

God will be pleased with us as we are good to the people in our lives and share with those in need.

Bringing it All Together

Living a life that pleases God is not an impossible task or a burdensome obligation we must endure. Instead, it's a joyful journey of love and obedience with incredible benefits. Pleasing God brings so much joy and pleasure to our lives! God is always ready to equip us with all we need to do His will as He works in us, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases Him.

So, how do we go about this? Simple, practical steps can significantly impact our journey to please God. Start your day with God, dedicating your thoughts, words, and actions to Him. Make godly choices, even tough ones, and serve others with genuine love. Practice gratitude, always thanking God for His blessings and provision, and be a part of your local church that will encourage, challenge, and support you.

Remember, the goal isn't to be perfect—it's to be intentional. Every day, we have the opportunity to make choices that please God. So, let's step out in faith, keep our eyes on Jesus, and commit to living lives that bring pleasure to our heavenly Father. What a privilege it is to please God, and what a joy it is to see the benefits of our obedience in our lives!

boys reading the Bible

Devotional Questions

1. Reflect on Philippians 2:13, which says, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." How have you experienced God's work in your life, giving you the desire and power to please Him? What areas of your life do you need to surrender to Him more fully?

2. This blog post discusses the importance of loving God and obeying His commands. Take a moment to examine your heart. Are there any areas where you struggle to obey God or put other people's opinions before His? How can you prioritize pleasing God above all else?

3. The article mentioned several practical steps to live a life that pleases God, such as spending time in worship, serving others, and following the Holy Spirit's guidance. Which of these steps do you feel most challenged to grow in? What specific actions can you take this week to cultivate a lifestyle of pleasing God?

Scriptures About Pleasing God

Romans 12:1 (NLT) — 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Colossians 1:10 (NLT) — 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NLT) — 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) — 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

1 John 3:22 (NLT) — 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

Proverbs 16:7 (NLT) — 7 When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them.

Galatians 1:10 (NLT) — 10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Ephesians 5:10 (NLT) — 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) — 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

2 Corinthians 5:9 (NLT) — 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if you are pleasing God?

The Bible tells us that the most important thing is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30 NLT). When we put God first in our lives and seek to follow His will, we can be confident that we are pleasing Him.

Another key is to obey God's commands. 1 John 5:3 (NLT) says, "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome." God's commands are for our own good and help us live in a way that honors Him.

Pleasing God also means growing in our relationship with Him. We do this by spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowship with other believers. As we draw near to God, we will naturally want to please Him more and more.

Ultimately, pleasing God is about having a heart that desires to honor and glorify Him in all we do. When this is our focus, we can trust that God is pleased with us. "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT)

2. What does it mean to surrender to God?

Surrendering to God means giving Him complete control of our lives. It's about letting go of our own plans and desires and trusting that God's way is best. Romans 12:1 (NLT) says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him."

When we surrender to God, we acknowledge He is in charge. We submit to His authority and follow His leading, even when it's difficult or doesn't make sense. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."

Surrendering to God is a daily choice. It means waking up each morning and saying, "God, I give this day to You. Use me for Your purposes." It means obeying Him, even when sacrificing our comfort or desires.

The fantastic thing is that we find true peace and fulfillment when we surrender to God. We may not always understand His ways, but we can trust He loves us and wants what's best for us. "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor." (1 Peter 5:6 NLT)

3. Why is it important to go to church?

The Bible teaches us that being part of a local church is essential for our spiritual growth and well-being. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) says, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

When we are part of a local church, we can worship God together, learn from His Word, and encourage one another in our faith. We also have the chance to use our gifts and talents to serve others and make a difference in our community. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT) tells us, "All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it."

Being part of a church family provides us with support, accountability, and friendship. We were never meant to do life alone; the church is where we can find true community. Galatians 6:2 (NLT) says, "Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ."

Ultimately, being part of a local church is more than just attending services. It's about being connected to the body of Christ and actively participating in the mission God has given us. As we commit to being part of a church family, we will grow in our faith, find our purpose, and make a lasting impact on the world around us.

Shawn Paul author

Shawn Paul is an author and missionary who has been living and working in Central America for the past 10 years. He is passionate about living for Jesus Christ and inspiring others to do the same, which is the focus of his blog, where he shares his expertise in Christianity.

In addition to his missionary work, Shawn enjoys reading books, studying God's Word, growing plants and flowers, feeding birds, and keeping up with the latest technology.

As a writer, Shawn's unique perspective and passion for his faith shine through in his work. Shawn's goal for the future is to impact people around the world for Jesus through his writing and missionary work.



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