Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“Stop Trying To Please Man; Please Me!”

Back when I was a new Christian, it was difficult being around some believers. Seemed no matter what I did, what I said or how I acted, it was unacceptable to them. I was always falling short in their eyes one way or another.  I found myself continually trying to please them; just hoping they would accept me and believe that I was a Christian just like they were. But nothing seemed to work.  Then, one day as I sought the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Stop trying to please man; please Me!”  It couldn’t have been any clearer if it had been a lightning bolt shoot from the sky.  Almost instantly the heavy burden I carried for so long was lifted from my shoulders. I finally understood that it didn’t matter how other’s judged me for my past or present situation; as long as I truly repented and was seeking the Lord to please Him.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Paul, (once known as Saul).
Remember the story about his conversion? 
At one time, Saul persecuted the Lord’s disciples; murdered many and received approval from the chief priests to seek out more believers to have them killed. He was on a mission and no one was going to stop him; or so he thought. However, while on the road to Damascus, Saul had an amazing encounter with the Lord; one that would prove to change his life drastically and cause him to turn from persecuting believers to professing Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior.
The bible tells us in Acts 9 NIV, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
Saul fell to the ground. But when he stood up, he was speechless and couldn’t see.  The bible tells us that in a vision he saw a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.  In the meantime, the Lord was preparing Ananias to do exactly what Saul had seen in his vision.  However, Ananias was reluctant as he reminded the Lord that Saul was there to persecute & arrest all believers.  And then the Lord said something that goes completely against the grain of our human minds.  In Acts 9:15 NIV, it says, But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
Wondering how the Lord could use such a vile man as Saul to bring forth His message?  
Truth is…God’s ways are far beyond what we could ever understand.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV, it tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Wondering if the Lord could ever use you to reach the lost & hurting people of our world?  Are you worried about what others might think, what they might say or how they will treat you?
Moses was clear in Deuteronomy 13:4 NIV, where he says, “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.”
Still not sure?  Ask yourself this simple question that we find in Galatians 1:10 NIV
Am I now trying to win 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.
In the words from the Holy Spirit, “Stop trying to please man; please Me!”
Be blessed my family & friends and walk in the Lord’s total favor as you seek Him.
Love you all,

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV