FATHER’S GOOD PLEASURE
Luke 12:32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Father God has good pleasure in giving the kingdom to those who come in faith. Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Yes? You came in faith. It’s Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. That’s truly wonderful. However, there is more to this than Heaven someday. Jesus does in fact come into your heart when you choose to put your trust in Him. When He enters He brings the kingdom. When He gives you the kingdom He gives you His righteousness, His peace and His joy.
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Righteousness, peace and joy are manifested within the believer. The word says that is where the kingdom is, within.
Luke 17:21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
God gives you the kingdom and He puts it within you. He gives you righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He gives you Jesus, for He is the King of the kingdom. He lives within you. When you choose to believe in Jesus as your Savior, He becomes one with you and makes you righteous.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
Righteousness is a gift, given to you for one reason only, because you believe. You become one with Him and with the Holy Ghost in the righteousness which is theirs. As that happens the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into your heart. His love is manifested as peace and joy.
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Righteousness is not from you. You cannot earn it. Peace and joy are not from you. These things are given to you by the God who loves you so much He sent His Son to give His life as payment for your sin. The ultimate purpose was to overcome your unrighteous unbelief toward Him (John 16:9) and reveal God’s righteousness toward you.
God made you for Himself. He created you to live and rule His kingdom with Him (Revelation 5:10). To do so in harmony with Him there must be confidence in His love, His goodness and His faithfulness to His promise. You must be able to trust Him implicitly. Without that trust, you will always be questioning His will and His goodness. You will be working against His will and against yourself. For He will not give you the kingdom by your independent work to gain it on your own. You cannot boast that you earned it or deserved it. He only gives it to those who trust Him to give it by the only means He has ever declared it to be His will to do so. He gives it freely to those who choose to receive it from Him by faith alone. This is His passion to give His kind of life, His kingdom, freely to those who believe. There is no other way to enter His kingdom. There is no other way to receive the kingdom within you. When the first man rejected God’s way to enjoy His Life for free, he set in motion God’s plan to redeem man and grant him access again to the Tree of Life. The first step of that plan was to deny access to that tree until the promised Messiah could open the way to that tree again.
Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”
Bertie Brits observes that by denying access to the Tree of Life God was saying, “I don’t want legalism in My family. I’m too passionate about this. So I will not fund the law with life.” This is the passion of God.
It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
PICTURE OF FATHER’S GOOD PLEASURE
Isaiah 55:1–3, 7
1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you— The sure mercies of David.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Come to the Lord with empty hands. Bring nothing to prove you deserve His mercy and His grace. Drink freely the waters of life. Drink of the wine of His Spirit, paying nothing for it.
David understood that he had never done anything that he could boast of before God. When he sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, her husband, he could offer nothing to God. He lived under and by the law of Moses. By that law he knew he should die. Nathan the prophet was used by God to expose David’s sin. God then spoke through Nathan His verdict upon David.
2 Samuel 12:13, 14
13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
Surely David deserved to die, not the child. Under the law someone had to die for the life of Uriah. Yet, God did not sentence David to die. David suffered much because of his sins. But he had a heart after God, so he returned to the Lord. He trusted God with his life and his family, despite the sufferings that would come to him and his family under the law of Moses. God would promise David that his throne would be the throne of the Messiah. And the Messiah, Jesus, would come through his family (Mary). These are the sure mercies of David.
God is saying through Isaiah, in chapter 55 above, that if we come to Him with empty hands, the way David did, making no excuses, and offering nothing of our own merit, He will include us in an everlasting covenant of grace and mercy. The only requirement is that we trust Him alone.
Picture Jesus standing next to God the Father; the Holy Spirit surrounding them. Jesus is holding His Father’s right arm up at waist level and Father’s hand is open. Jesus is holding out His own right hand toward you. The Holy Spirit is all around and surrounding you; whispering in your ear, “Do not fear. Only believe. Jesus is waiting to wash you clean. Father is waiting to receive you into His family. I will pour Our love and the kingdom into your heart.”
Have nothing to offer God except your heart in whatever level of faith you have. God wants you to know it is enough. As you come to Jesus, He embraces you and places your hand in to the right hand of Father God. He is your Father. As He embraces you, all fear goes. You know He has given you the righteousness of Christ. The peace and joy of the love of the Spirit fills your soul. You are forever God’s child.
This is God’s good pleasure. God’s good pleasure can also be described as His good passion. He is passionate about freely giving the kingdom to whoever comes. His passion is that it must be a free gift. It cannot be earned by anyone. That’s why He reluctantly gave the law to the nation of Israel when they refused His invitation to come to know Him the way Moses knew Him. He gave them a perfect set of laws, knowing they would not live up to them. He knew they would need a Redeemer. Jesus is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). God knew what we would choose, yet before He created the first man He prepared to give the life of His Son to free us from the destruction of our choices.
God’s passion has always been to give us His life for free. He has never changed His mind. He will never give us His life by works of any law or for any price. We must trust His way to get it to us. For free, by faith.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
HOW WE MISS IT
Genesis 2:16, 17
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Here we see God’s passion. “Have everything for free. Eat anything you want. I have prepared everything for you. You will never lack for anything. And every day we can walk together and I will tell you everything you need to know. You never will need any other source of knowledge. I will not hide anything you need to know. It’s all good.”
You can also freely choose not to trust Me. You can choose to know the distinction between good and evil. But you really don’t need to know anything I don’t freely share with you. All you really need is to trust Me in everything. By this choice of faith you will be partaking of the Tree of Life. And you will live forever.
If you choose to not trust Me and seek after knowledge to take care of yourself, you can eat of that other tree. But you will never gain the life I offer you by that knowledge. Hear My heart. What I offer is only available for free. I will never give it to you by the power of your human abilities apart from faith in Me. Your flesh, separate from Me, will never be sufficient to gain you life, no matter what any deceiver tells you.
Living by knowledge may empower your flesh to do great things. But it will only inflate your feelings of self-sufficiency and self-importance. My passion is to never give My life in exchange for such poor achievements. Your abilities alone will never suffice. What you are capable of, joined to My Spirit and full of My life, is far above anything you will ever imagine in the power of your flesh alone.
I cannot pour My life into such a weak limited form. My passion forbids me, or you would live forever in a state of deception and poverty, compared to what I offer.
But if you will just trust Me, I will give you My Life the way I have always wanted to give it; for free, by faith in Me alone. Will you lay down your efforts to gain life on your own and let Me fill you with My Life?”
We miss it by rejecting God’s choice to give His life to us for free. We miss it by choosing to find a way to earn it so we can boast that we did it ourselves without God.
Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God
We miss it by listening to a deceiver and putting more confidence in his insinuations about God than in the clear evidence of God’s continued faithfulness. The more we listen to the lies of God’s adversary the more we doubt God. We begin to interpret events through a lens of deceit crafted by the deceiver. If we don’t turn back to God and listen to Him, our hearts become hardened in unbelief. In that condition, though God speaks the truth of His heart, we cannot hear Him. We cannot mix faith with the Gospel. We cannot rest in His word and enjoy the fruit of life in Christ.
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Unbelief keeps so many, even in the body of Christ, from entering into a life of rest in God’s faithfulness. We believe that the death of Christ on the cross paid our way into Heaven when we die. But we have not believed the full Gospel and we continue to strive for everything in this life in the strength of our flesh. We eat of the wrong tree to learn how to be good enough, wise enough, strong enough to earn God’s blessings for this life. And we never enter into the promised rest. You won’t need it in Heaven. You need it now in this life.
Psalm 27:13, 14
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
But we believe the lie that God only blesses those who work hard enough, long enough and smart enough. We enter into a life of constant striving; never able to rest in His promises.
God has sworn in His wrath that we will not enter into the rest He has promised through the works of our flesh. God’s wrath? It’s interesting that this word is very much like the word pleasure. The definitions of both words contain the similar idea of passion. It is God’s passion that He will not bring us into His rest through our hard work directed by the knowledge of good and evil. He only brings us into His rest by faith in the finished work of Christ to pay for our sin of unbelief (John 16:7-9). Jesus is our Tree of Life! We seek knowledge of good and evil so we can know how to please God and earn His blessings. When God gave the law He was saying, “Here is My definition of knowing good and evil. See if you can live by these standards.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.
God does not care how hard you work. He only cares whether or not you trust Him. The hardest work for us to accomplish is to stop working to fulfill the passion of our hearts to prove our own righteousness (Hebrews 4:11, Romans 10:3). To do that we must know what is good and do it. We must know what is evil and avoid it. We must fulfill the law on our own.
All this does is make you angry when you fail. Then you compare yourself to others. When you think you are hopeless, you give up trying and harden yourself in your deception that God doesn’t care or doesn’t exist. In contrast, when you think you have succeeded and are righteous by your own standards, you see the sin of others and try to convert them. When they fail or ignore you, you become angry and strive to correct them. James warns us that the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.
James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
God wants you to stop striving in your flesh and believe His promise to bless you by confidence in His finished work on Calvary; confidence in His good will to bless you and give you the kingdom for free.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
The harder you try to know and do good, the longer it takes for God to work His good pleasure in you. Can you stop striving to be good and just receive His goodness as part of the seed of the love of God? The fruit of the Holy Spirit includes goodness (Galatians 5:22). It grows like all fruit grows, naturally; when the soil is left alone in the sunshine of God’s love and the rain of the Holy Spirit. Human striving never produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It only leads to more strife and human wrath. If you must strive, strive to enter God’s rest.
RECEIVE THE KINGDOM
To cooperate with God working His good pleasure (His passion) within you, you stop striving to know and do good in your flesh. You receive His righteousness by faith alone. You agree with the love of God which was poured into your heart as a seed by the Holy Spirit the day you accepted Christ. You cultivate that seed by receiving the rain of the Holy Spirit by spending time with Him. You allow Jesus to introduce you to His Father in Heaven, who you discover is not angry with you. You come close to Father God and let Him call you His child and bath you in the radiance of His love. And then when God shows you His passion to minister His love to others, you discover the grace of Jesus Christ to do what He shows you. And you are not afraid of failure, so you don’t rush into it. Instead you confidently wait on the Holy Spirit to lead you only in the way He directs you. You will not do the dead works of the flesh to prop up self-image, because your identity is secure in the love of God within you always. So you are able to fulfill God’s created purpose in doing only the works He appointed for you to walk in before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:10).
God’s wrath is His passion to not allow anyone to earn His life by the knowledge of good and evil, by being good enough at obeying the law to earn it or anything else we can do in the power of our will apart from trusting His good and pleasing will; His good pleasure. His good pleasure is His passion to give you the kingdom for free, by faith alone. He says, “Only believe.”
1 John 3:23 And this is His (new) commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ (John 6:29) and love one another, as He gave us commandment (John 13:34).
The wrath of God and the good pleasure of God both reveal His passion that we will not enter His kingdom of rest, His life and love, by learning how to enter – in the power of our own flesh (the law). Those Jesus says aggressively take hold of the kingdom (Matthew 11:12) do so in the confident faith that because Jesus has paid the price in full, they can come to the door without the price of admission and walk right in (Isaiah 55:1-3 above).
What Will We Choose?
God did not appoint us to suffer the anger of His wrath. He appointed every one of us to be saved by faith, if we will but choose to believe Him.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In God’s passion, Jesus has already delivered us from the wrath that was to come.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Before we had chosen to believe God’s promise, we were born predisposed to choose what Adam chose, to identify ourselves based on what we do or what we possess. Until the death of Christ, this meant we would be born as children of wrath. That is, children born into the effect of Adam’s choice to believe the lie that we must work to earn God’s kind of life for ourselves. It’s true; we are born free to believe the same lie or to choose to receive God’s life for free.
Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Even as believers we can choose law based theology; that God is ready to punish us for every failure. Or we can choose the perfect theology of Christ; that in Him we are perfectly forgiven as we accept the life He gained for us by His finished work of redemption. So our sins no longer need to be punished by God: they were forgiven on the cross and in the resurrection of Christ we have been made new creations. Now we can live without external laws to control us. We can choose God’s grace which teaches us that we are secure with Father God and empowered to say “No!” to sin and “Yes!” to righteousness every time we are tempted to not trust God. Trusting God in the face of temptation is and has always been the real issue.
Titus 2:11, 12 (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
Remember, Father God has good pleasure to give the kingdom to those who come in faith. Stop striving. Start living with your Heavenly Father. That is His good pleasure.
Luke 12:32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.