The River of God's Pleasure

By Francis Frangipane

The Clamor of Many Voices
As the days unfold toward Christ’s return, a multitude of voices will clamor for our attention. Additionally signs and wonders, judgments and upheaval will also burst into the collective consciousness of man, demanding our focus. Our world will experience the increase of sin and lawlessness, which will further deplete the love of many Christians (Matt. 24:12). If we are true seekers of the Most High, we must beware the contagious nature of an embittered heart. We cannot allow ourselves to be infected by, or conformed to, the attitudes of angry, loveless Christians.

These are the "difficult times" (2 Tim. 3:1) Paul warns about. Yes, our world is full of artificially sweetened, salt-free Christians who are trodden underfoot by men. We must not assume it cannot happen to us. Yet it is in this very environment that our Father has purposed to reveal Christ in us. Even now our destiny is courting our preparation. Let us press toward full transformation!

Created for God’s Pleasure
What does it mean to become Christlike? It means we choose to live for one purpose: to give pleasure to God. To accomplish this, we must be intimately acquainted with that in which His soul delights.

Jesus always chose to give God pleasure, even in the midst of conflict and cruelty. Thus when injustice wounds us, we must redeem our experiences with mercy. Let us make the Sermon on the Mount our standard of conduct. Let us discover those ways that will reveal Christ through us and thus bring pleasure to God.

As it is written, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created" (Rev. 4:11).

The key to lasting happiness and true fulfillment in this world is not found in self-gratification but in bringing gratification to the heart of God. And while the Lord desires that we enjoy His many gifts, He wants us to know that we are not only created by Him but for Him as well.

A Lay Worker for God
To His neighbors Jesus was just a carpenter’s son. Yet to God Jesus was the one pearl of great price. Indeed, before His public ministry began---before there were any miracles or multitudes---yes, as a carpenter, Jesus’s devotion to God flooded the Father’s heart with pleasure. At the core of His existence, Christ’s motive was always to do only those things that pleased the Father (John 8:29).

It was His desire to please the Father that caused Jesus to perfectly fulfill the Law, and it was to please the Father that He went to the cross. It was not raw zeal for His culture or religion that compelled this carpenter to a sinless life. It was something higher and far more extraordinary: the law of love for God. His passion to give pleasure to the Father was all consuming.

Could Jesus have heard more wondrous words than the praise spoken by the heavenly Father at the Jordan? At the sound of the Father’s voice the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and the river of God’s pleasure flowed outward to His Son. In words unheard by any human being, the Father spoke: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased" (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).

Remember, Jesus was still a lay person during this encounter. He had not yet entered public ministry. I am awed as I consider this reality: it was Jesus’s life as a tradesman, a "blue-collar worker," that increased the Father’s bliss! He did not need miracles and multitudes, or great insights, to touch the Father’s heart. He had not yet fasted for forty days. While accomplishing common, everyday tasks, Jesus flooded God’s soul with delight!

Likewise those who truly seek God are dedicated to bringing pleasure to their heavenly Father, even in the common tasks of everyday life. Jesus’s ability to please God while working a "secular" job tells us God is seeking something from us that is more hidden, more precious, than the things esteemed outwardly by man.

In other words, God delights in that man or woman who serves Him with joy, even when no one is there to observe or impress. In God’s eyes, the origin of true ministry is not found in what we do for Him but in what kind of people we become to Him.

No God-Seeker Is Insignificant to the Father
You who seek the Lord ponder this wondrous privilege: we can bring pleasure to God! In a world where sin and injustice actually pain the heart of God, with our love and steadfast faith, as we seek God daily, we can please the Father!

To set our goal to reveal Christ is to arouse God’s pleasure at its highest level. No one, nor any thing, brings pleasure to the Father as does seeing His Son, even beholding the Spirit of Jesus Christ revealed in us. Each time we submit to Jesus, giving Him access to this world, we please God. Every time Christ forgives or loves or blesses through us, the heart of God finds pleasure in our lives.

In every one of life’s varied and challenging situations, let us seek to know how we may reveal Christ. For in the love between the Father and His Son the river of God’s pleasure flows.

O God, the thought that my life may bring pleasure to You is so high, I can barely believe it. Lord, look upon me as Your workmanship; create in me that which will most glorify You. Make my life an aroma of thanksgiving that ever brings pleasure to Your heart. 

Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "The Days of His Presence" available at