I have been blogging about what it means to please God. And, as I turn in a different direction from the traditional idea that pleasing means performance, I am more and more convinced that God himself is already pleased with us. He loves His people, and is pleased to lead us, guide us, provide for us, etc… His love for us is unconditional.
Pleasing then is not trying to win God’s approval or earn His love. Pleasing now becomes a matter of coming into alignment with the Father, and learning to live in agreement with His Word. As I have been pondering and studying this subject I have come up with three things that Please God in our lives:
- 1. It pleases God when we live as His daughters ( living in your new identity as His)
- 2. It pleases God when we live by faith ( living to trust that He is who He says He is)
- 3. It pleases God when we walk in the Spirit ( turning to follow Him one situation at a time)
And, though we have the unconditional love and grace of a Big and Mighty God, the lifestyle of pleasing Him is to be our aim. It is something to pay attention to. Paul brought it up to the Christian church asking, Am I living to please people?
“Am I now trying to wind the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“If I were still trying to be a people pleaser, I would not be Christ’s servant.” NLT
Something to ask myself:
Am I living to please just my self? Am I living just to make others happy with me and my choices? Or am I living to please God? Some call this living before an audience of ONE.
This week has been a tough one for me. Coming off the high of a physical healing and a weekend of amazing Easter services at my local church, I was hit hard and heavy with some relational turmoil. All the joy seemed to be sucked out of my brain. For me, these kinds of turmoils cause me to revert to my SELF and my FLESH quicker than anything else.
If it pleases God when we walk in His Spirit, and if relational turmoil stops me in my tracks, then I must take a look at what I do when someone offends me or hurts me…because friends, it will happen all through life. People are just like us….people make mistakes, hurt others, and often leave things in a relational mess.
Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham speak of the three ways we handle our anger:
We spew it, We stuff it, or We study it.
For me the natural bent is to spew then stuff…then feel sorry for myself, then get down in the dumps, then pull the covers over my head……you get my drift, right? Pretty much a time waster!
When I am stuffing my feelings I get myself in a terrible place. In that place it is very hard to see past myself and even harder to walk in the Spirit. Since coming into agreement with God is all about living my life in line with His word, the being “stuffed with self” mode is not a “making it my aim to please God” lifestyle!
Instead of just spewing and stuffing, I need to stop and study the situation and my attitude. While I study the situation and my reaction to it, I need to ask God to speak to me, minister to me what He is wanting to teach me or wanting me to see.
I begin to ask:
What just happened? Why am I so angry? Why have these “words” or this “choice” or whatever it is…making me so down? Is God trying to get to a deeper place in me? A place that needs healing? Or, is this truly an injustice, and is this something to speak up about “in love” and truth? Or is this something to pray about and let go? What would please God, in the middle of this current situation? ( remember pleasing God is not performance but lining up with Him, agreement with His way)
I wished I could tell you that I always snap out of it, put my big girl panties on and praise God….choosing the right things. But, I don’t. I often stuff and get depressed. And, you might be thinking…what is so wrong with that? You aren’t hurting anyone! Yeah, but I am hurting myself when I stew in the situation rather than casting my care upon God, and asking Him how I could Live UP past myself and my feelings….one more time.
“So I say, live by the Spirit,and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Galatians 5:16
“So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” NLT
“My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. for there is a root of self interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit.” The Message
I encourage you to identify the “desires of the sinful nature” that you struggle with the most. Identify what your “default’ mode is when you are rubbed the wrong way. And, determine your triggers. To begin to live up and out of the muck of life, we must be aware of what triggers us. Each of us will be different, but each of us must be aware so that when the thing that pushes our buttons happens…we will please God by choosing His Spirit over the default of our flesh.
The fruit of the Spirit is…love, joy , peace,patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Are you walking in the style of the Spirit today? Or are you clicking your heels to the style of the flesh….hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy. ( Galatians 5)
Here’s to Life in the Spirit!
It pleases God when we live in the Spirit, becase that is a lifestyle that is in agreement with His best for His people! And, when we are walking in the right shoes…fruit will grow, right there, in full bloom!
learning with you,