Saturday, December 10, 2011

Please People or God?

Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
-- Romans 8: 7-9 (NASB)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
-- Hebrews 11: 6 (NIV)

I shared recently through this blog that one of the tools to battle depression is the worship of God and that I know this through my own experiences.  I was watching some videos on You Tube today and it’s interesting that I’ve been reminded of another tool or weapon to battle depression. 

For me, again, I say for me, when I’m in the funk of depression and low self-esteem usually stemming from fatigue in spirit or body, one of the tools that has proven to work for me to lift me up is hearing folks preach and declare the power of faith in God.  I have my favorite preachers to listen to or to go find and eat at their table. 

I grew up in a household where my parents had their favorite radio preachers.  I know my more sophisticated brothers and sisters reject such, but I know God uses that medium to declare the gospel, and it changed my life.  If you don’t like that, don’t hold it against me, and I won’t hold my bigotry against such “sophistication” against you.  Amen.

Hearing preaching and teaching on the power of faith and resulting testimonies when people act in faith has lifted me up time and time again and thank God for it.  So, I say that trusting in the goodness of God for all is proven tool and weapon to lift my soul & spirit up when little else can.  Alleluia!

The other thing that comes to mind regarding faith in God is that not everyone, particularly in the church or those scared by the church, accepts.  People are uncomfortable with others who believe strongly in the goodness & power of God.  Right now, because I’m in the midst of a battle and struggle and I know what happens to me when I hear faith declared when my faith is failing, I believe in what Paul and author of Hebrews say regarding such and God is my savior and healer.  I want to please God.

…without faith it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11: 6

…and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8: 8

I’ve learned as a pastor that there are benefits to pleasing people in the church.  I’ve also come to the realization that often in this paradigm I don’t please God.  Pleasing people in the church has to do with caring for those who want care and attention.  That does not guarantee or prove that such folks are pleasing God already.  Is there proof that they believe?  Is there fruit?  Usually not. 

For me, I want to please God.  Not to earn favor from heaven but because I want more of God because he is my savior and healer.  What will please my heavenly Daddy?  When His child denies the value of the sinful nature and believes in the gracious, merciful goodness of God in all circumstances.

Praise God!  Join with me in trusting God and worshipping Him and kicking the crap to the curb that doesn’t do anything but accentuates death and sin.  I will please Daddy because He’s always good.

…he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  – Hebrews 11: 6

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