Find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. —Ephesians 5:10-11

We learn what pleases those closest to us primarily by spending time with them. By trial and error we also discover things they like and dislike. When it is a relationship we really desire to develop, it becomes fun to make the other person happy.

But this is not always easy—even when we have known someone for years. For example, although my wife, Louise, has repeatedly said she doesn't like surprises, I never really believed it because I do like surprises. But after countless blunders I came to realize that she really means it! She wants to know the plans I have in mind for birthday or anniversary celebrations in advance, and I now adjust to her wishes. She has also had to adjust to many of my eccentricities—like having no heavy discussions late in the evening or in the morning before two cups of coffee!

The Lord has His own ways, too, and He wants us to know them and adjust to them.

We may think they are odd—at first—but the benefits of accepting Him as He is and adjusting to what pleases Him will result in great blessing and peace.

We have the wonderful advantage of having the whole Bible at our fingertips. This surely leaves us without excuse. And yet if we let the Bible replace the immediate witness, guidance, and voice of the Spirit, we quench Him in one stroke.

Unless we are careful, we will not only begin to take ourselves too seriously, but we will also fail to tune into the ways of the Spirit—simply because we already presume that we know them so well.

For we too must learn—by experience—what pleases the Lord. This means spending time with the Lord and developing a sensitivity to His ways. We must find out what pleases Him.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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