Pleasing ourselves is what comes natural. It's our default instinct. Perhaps we live our life to please ourselves because we are unaware of what pleases the Lord.
To learn about the Master's Joy, you can either study the Bible, or read John Piper's book "The Pleasures of God".
In that book, Piper condensed down to this: God does just as He pleases. Yet this thesis opens a universe of implications and questions, some of which the author addresses in the book's ten chapters. They are titled:
- The Pleasure of God in His Son
- The Pleasure of God in All He Does
- The Pleasure of God in His Creation
- The Pleasure of God in His Fame
- The Pleasure of God in Election
- The Pleasure of God in Bruising the Son
- The Pleasure of God in Doing Good to All Who Hope in Him
- The Pleasure of God in the Prayers of the Upright
- The Pleasure of God in Personal Obedience and Public Justice, and
- The Pleasure of God in Concealing Himself from the Wise and Revealing Himself to Infants.
I found that this book stretched not only my mind but my soul. It will take you a while to journey through these 340 thoughtful pages, but it will be a journey you will long remember. Here are some of my additional thoughts, having read through the first 3 chapters so far.
If we love Him, we'll obey Him, right? He says to love Him with all my heart, and we can't do that if we don't want to find out how to live a life that brings Him glory, honor, and the Master's Joy. Sometimes we live to please ourselves even though we are aware that what we are doing is not pleasing to God.
Actually, we should simply ask God directly what is pleasing to Him. I'll be interested in learning how you prayed and what you heard from Him.