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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 7:07 am | Fair 39º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Do You ‘Feel His Pleasure’?

Do you feel His pleasure? Well, I can tell you from experience that there’s nothing more exhilarating than knowing you are in God’s will.

The words written by Olympic gold medal-winning runner and Christian missionary Eric Liddell, found in his personal journal after his death in China, go like this: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

Perhaps you recall those words being spoken by Liddell’s character in the 1981 classic film, Chariots of Fire. That movie was one of my all-time favorite sports films, but it was also a film that documented the lives of two diverse figures.

Harold Abrahams was a Cambridge man, an Englishman, a Jew and the fastest sprinter in the world in 1924, while Liddell was a Scotsman, a devout Christian and Abrahams’ greatest rival in the 1924 Olympic Games held in Paris.

Although I was not a Christian when I saw the film with a co-worker in the theater back then, I was greatly touched by Liddell’s story, and I suspect it was one of several contributing factors to my faith decision three years later.

As an athlete, I could identify with the competition between these two men. In fact, I took up jogging as a recreational pastime right after seeing the film. I’d often imagined hearing the famed original music score by Vangelis as I would run my seven-minute mile splits.

I guess the film inspired me to at least attempt to feel his pleasure. In those days what I felt was the euphoria of endorphins kicking in with my brisk running pace.

These days I do feel His pleasure in much that I do and in whom I have become. I must say that with humility since I know there are many others who also feel His pleasure as they take on their daily tasks of life.

From this point forward you will notice that I’m capitalizing all personal pronouns dealing with Christ, since He is my King and my Lord. I sense His presence in all my writings, when I sing to Him and even in my business activities.

My life these days centers around Christ and the Holy Spirit guides me through the daily dealings of life. Can you relate to this?

Let’s look at this idea of feeling God’s pleasure through the words of Jesus and His disciples. In Jesus’ high priestly prayer found in John 17, we see Him speaking to His Father in Heaven on our behalf.

In verse 3 He states, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” In verse 11 He continues, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

Then Christ ends in verse 26, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make known in order that the love that you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

That love and joy can be expressed in His pleasure if we truly trust and follow Christ in our daily stroll through life.

Peter proclaims in 1 Peter 2:1-3, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted the Lord is good.”

Have you tasted the Lord’s goodness? You can taste His good pleasure, if you diligently remain in His Word and keep away from those things around us that defile our relationship with God.

In Philippians 3:7-9, Paul unabashedly shares “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”

It’s certainly apparent from his writings that Paul truly experienced God’s pleasure in all his trials and circumstances.

In ending, let me ask you directly — Would you like to feel His pleasure in your life? It’s available to all who come to Christ and place their trust in Him as Savior and Lord!

Passages to Ponder

» Matthew 7:21-23

» Ephesians 1:5-10

» 2 Timothy 1:11-12

» James 1:25-27

» 1 John 2:4-6

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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