Thursday, September 30, 2010

God Had a Plan
Thoughts on Being First
Pleasing God

Do you ever find yourself in the position of having to make a difficult decision – and that is to keep the Lord FIRST in your heart even in regard to doing a good thing? The other day I was doing something “good,” something which I did not doubt that the Lord wanted me to do, and yet I clearly sensed Him saying to me, “Keep Me first.” Only after some soul-searching meditation did I recognize the temptation to try to gain the favor of certain people through the “good thing” I was doing. The desire to please people is a temptation I think we all face, and sometimes it is very subtle.

As people pleasers, we can end up in all sorts of difficult situations. Women, I think, are particularly good at taking on more volunteer activity than we are actually capable of maintaining. Who hasn’t, at some time or another, volunteered for yet one more church activity only to find herself too stressed out to be effective and a blessing? Too often we don’t seek the Lord, we simply jump in without recognizing the motivation coming from that ugly little voice that says, “But what will they think of me if I don’t volunteer?”

What about other areas in our lives where we find ourselves striving to please man rather than God? How about family tradition? Or wanting to be friends and fit in with non-Christian, worldly people? How about wanting to fit in with certain Christians – even when they aren’t being faithful to the Word of God? I suppose the list could go on and on. Often, it is difficult to choose faithfulness to the Lord over pleasing people. Yet, the Bible clearly tells us that pleasing the Lord, not man, is to be our goal.
2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

1 Thessalonians 2: 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.

John 8: 29 "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

Colossians 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

In my situation the other day when I sensed the Lord reminding me to “keep Him first” – did I stop in my tracks, turn around and go home? No, because I still believed the “good deed” was the thing the Lord wanted me to do at that time. So I continued on, yet prayerfully. Faithfully praying about everything can make all the difference, because it helps us to keep the Lord first in all our “doings,” remembering that it is only what God thinks of us that matters. When we choose to fear the Lord, we are free from the fear of what people think of us, and our lives are more peaceful, less frenzied, and more effective, full of good fruit!

Be blessed today as you keep the Lord first in everything!

Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.


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