Please Mister Please…
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. The question is “who are you trying to please?” This is the battle cry of all people who are naturally trying to “measure up” to the standard we have set in our own hearts about what makes us right with God. How do we actually measure up anyway? Paul dealt with this a lot in the early church because the Gentiles were at times trying to measure up to the over the top way the Jews were trying to live by the law. You can read throughout Paul’s writings that he was having to reteach grace at every turn because the legalists were watering down the grace of God. Like we do…You say “What?”
Isn’t that what we really do? We try to measure up to a standard we can never achieve on our own to try and be as righteous as others. Knowing that we can never totally measure up drives a wedge of dissatisfaction in our hearts and totally poisons the grace God has given us. Most of this way of thinking was given to us by our parents living it in front of us or was molded by classmates in school who totally intimidated us with their evil. We are trying to please someone, or something, or whatever. The never-ending struggle to please will frustrate us to no end and the life of a believer should not be lived that way. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. We might reason out that scripture by saying “I’m doing this act of service so someone else won’t have to do it.” But is that really your motivation? Sincerity of Spirit is birthed in the Holy Spirit in our life and the effort to please our inner self will taint even the best of attitudes. The question comes again. Who are we trying to please?? I might say, “Well, I’m trying to please Jesus!” Which brings up the rich young ruler who came to Jesus with this same attitude. In Matthew’s account in Chapter 19:16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; He missed the whole point of salvation because he had wealth and position and thought that just being good was enough. In verse 17 Jesus brought into focus the “good” thing by saying “There is only one who is good.”
Salvation is not about our merit, our goodness, our work, our way. Salvation is all about Jesus and what He did. That is where the honor lives and should stay. Not us!! But then we have to learn to live our daily lives out of that extreme truth. It’s only about Jesus and what He is doing. That changes our perspective about what we do and why we do it. If it is about what we do then we will soon quit “doing it.” Because it is done in our power and our might. if it is about doing what we do because of what Christ did for us, then “mission accomplished.” That kind of service is not about pleasing ourselves by making us feel good, but about living for God because He IS GOOD. Let’s not lose this in syntax arguments, but suffice to say we can’t do enough to please God because we are supremely “right” with Him anyway because of what Christ did…not us. If 1 Corinthians 4:5 is right (and I believe it is) then we need to make sure our relationship is right with God by spending time walking with God. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. Then whatever we do out of that right relationship with God will be done with the right heart and for the right reason. Proverbs 16:2 says All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Base level faith is a faith lived out of the freedom made possible by Jesus. We don’t measure ourselves and we don’t measure others because it is all about Jesus. When this basic foundational truth is applied in our lives we will see great growth in the areas of worry, pride, jealousy, and many other sins that seem to creep into our daily lives. A daily walk with God dispels all of those thought patterns that make us think we can work our way into better graces with God. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! What is done is done and that is it. Please not yourself, but please God in all things by living a life of grace. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
The Pilgrimage continues…..