Monday, 28 July 2014

Check Please!

Over the past few months God challenged me with one simple question; “Do you live to please people or do you live to please Me?” Life is a constant battle, we seek acceptance from friends, desire attention from loved ones, strive for the appreciation of leaders, yearn to be acknowledged by the one and long for the approval of our parents while on an unmerited pursuit to earn the favour of God.

“Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.” Romans 5:18-19 (MSG)

Adam and Jesus were both created by God and purposed as life giving vessels, Adam and Eve vessels for humanity and Jesus a vessel for eternity, created for the same destiny, but resulting in different destinations all because of one simple decision.

Why the different outcomes one might ask? Adam bowed down to the created (Eve) and Jesus bowed down to His creator (God). Adam lived for one and all died, but Jesus lived for one and died for all.

 “And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.  All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.” Genesis 3:17 (NLT)

Every generation from that point onward was cursed as a result of Adam’s one act of disobedience. He was in good council yet he didn't seek the council of God when faced with a simple choice. If you choose to make decisions based on your feelings towards the people around you, it will steer you away from all God intends to accomplish through you. Our reason for living is to make others happy without letting our happiness depend on others. If you strive for the approval of people and receive it, you will always be striving to maintain it, you might start to feel like a burden and eventually burn out.

When you are a people pleaser you will in-turn become a people praiser; thanking people for the recognition they give you instead of thanking God for using you as a vessel of His goodness.

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Romans 6:16

Then God sent Jesus, whose decisions to follow God’s will above all else gave us eternal life. People tried to distract Him from His destiny, He, however, decided to follow God’s will instead of the people’s pleas.

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16: 21-23

Often those closest to us think they know what’s best for us, but our future extends far beyond us therefore we need to be selfless in our decisions. We are just a spec in God’s spectacular plan therefore we need to surrender our life to God and not to people to live in true freedom.

Human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” Acts 17:25

God doesn't need us to please Him either. He didn't create us to serve Him, He created us to serve one another. God said it is not good for man to be alone so He created Eve the trouble comes in when we turn to others before turning to Jesus. All God desires is our gratitude in exchange for His grace and every act of obedience is an act of gratitude. Instead of staying in the season we are in to make others happy, we should continue reinventing ourselves in the identity of Christ.

The only way to explain it is to look at those who create, Peter, Paul and the rest who established the early Church, artists, authors, and poets such as Emily Dickinson, Anne Frank, Vincent van Gogh and John Keats. All of these created because they had a passion and love for their craft but only achieved recognition long after they were gone. Just like God created us but only received the proper recognition He desired after the death and resurrection of Jesus. If we continue to serve people and love God because we have a passion for Jesus and an innate desire to see the world know the same Jesus that saved us, I believe that our will, will always line up with the will of God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)