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. Hebrews 11:5 (ESV)
Have you ever eaten at a Chick-fil-A restaurant? In case you are not familiar with Chick-fil-A it is a restaurant specializing in the chicken sandwich. One thing that separates Chick-fil-A restaurants from most other restaurants is when a customer thanks the cashier for their food the cashier replies, “My pleasure.” It is the mission of each Chick-fil-A employee to ensure that each customer has a pleasurable experience when they eat at their restaurant.
How much more should it be our pleasure to give God pleasure? Isn’t that the very reason for our existence? Worship occurs when God receives pleasure from our existence. God’s pleasure is complete when it is our pleasure to exist for him. You might conclude that we perform an act of worship each time we give God pleasure.
The Greek word for pleased in Hebrews 11:5 means to gratify entirely. God was so gratified with Enoch that he couldn’t wait for him to die to be with him, so he took him. What a life of worship!
No one exemplified a lifestyle of worship more than Jesus Christ. The fact that the Father took pleasure in Jesus (and received pleasure from him) was evident from the very out-set of his ministry. As he came up from the water after being baptized by John the Baptist the Father said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17) Matthew quotes God through the prophet Isaiah saying, Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, my Beloved in whom my soul is well pleased. (Matthew 12:18; Isaiah 42:1)
The Greek word for pleased in these passages is eudokeo. Eudokeo means to think well of, i.e. approve (an act); specially, to approbate, (a person or thing). Approbate means to sanction or authorize. So, like Jesus, we give God pleasure when he approves, sanctions or authorizes our behavior and activities.
It is equally pleasing to God when we receive pleasure from the worship we offer him. Can you imagine a man saying to his wife, “I receive no pleasure from spending time with you or doing things for you. The only reason I spend time with you or do anything for you is because that is what a husband does; it is my duty”? If doing those things for his wife didn’t give the husband pleasure would that be edifying or insulting to his wife? God gets pleasure from our worship when it is our pleasure to give it.
Do the behaviors and activities of your life give God pleasure? Do you serve him from duty or pleasure?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 147:11; 149:4