This is a groaning-of-the-heart post. It’s not well-written. It’s not meant to be. I typically share from the heart, but it comes across more coherent than today’s musings will do. But that’s the point. The Lord is asking me to share the raw stuff that I can’t fully do justice with mere words today. So, if it strikes you as you listen with your heart – as you think of the times you prayed and couldn’t even utter the words, but had to let the Holy Spirit just read your heart, please understand that you are hearing me as I do the same thing. I am typing it as I am praying this way today. Words do not suffice, but I hope you will still be blessed in some way by what I share as you read on.
Is it possible that sometimes we Christians hide behind the whole “you only have to please God” stuff in order to bypass our responsibility to honor and fully love one another? In not doing so, we aren’t pleasing Him anyway, are we?
This is what has been on my heart lately, and it’s been squeezed to the point of feeling it quite literally, friends.
Today, driving home from work, God gave me some clear revelations. This is that big thing that I think He was trying to tell me that I shared was “on my heart” about a month ago. I didn’t know what it was and it’s been driving me nutso!!!
But it was worth waiting upon the Lord to come to this place, which is still a strange place to be in, but wonderful too. Quite frankly, I didn’t expect to get this revelation at all driving home today. But God’s timing is interesting and always perfect, is it not?
I think we are often quite well-intentioned about this, so don’t get me wrong on this one. Sometimes though, we can get duped into thinking that if all we do is focus on God and pleasing Him and Him alone, that is enough. It may be enough for salvation, but it certainly isn’t enough to bear the fruit of it to the fullest.
We then do the exact opposite of living for Him and bringing Him joy when we focus on not needing to honor and please others because we start thinking we are in some kind of special relationship with God where we don’t have to answer to others IN FULL.
We stop placing value on the needs of others and the attributes that He asks us to live out.
We stop living like Jesus lives.
I have been so focused upon loving others well, that I forgot about some of the things that are equally as important.
Things like total and complete loyalty when it’s hard or doesn’t make sense.
Things like being okay with wanting to please others, especially when it comes from a heart of love and letting Jesus shine through that endeavor.
Things like being all right with wanting to know I am adding value to the lives of others, and to know it from them as well as from the Lord.
See, I don’t necessarily know that I need it from others – but it’s good to want it from others and I am starting to make peace with that again in my life. Telling ourselves that it’s not important is a lie from the enemy. As long as the intentions and motivations are right, then I believe God is telling us that it is part, and a good and important part, of the greater purpose of edifying and loving one another.
In focusing upon pleasing God and only answering to others out of obedience, my heart started to leave the building in many places and situations.
Oh my aching heart. No wonder He was squeezing it for me!
Yes! We are to do all that we do for God’s glory, not to please everyone around us for the sake of pleasing man and fitting in with this world. That wasn’t my problem. I get the whole “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23) I buy into that and want to live that out fully.
And, Yes! We ultimately answer to God and get our true value, worth and identity through Him, and who we are in Him, not this world or the men in it or all the stuff that we do or don’t do. I get that one too.
This is just all the more reason to remember how very important it is to look at scripture as a whole.
God also tells us to…..
“aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” 2 Corinthians 8:21
Oh, and this too…
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31
Integrity: Doing the right thing even (especially) when it’s hard or may not make sense.
“By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.”Psalm 41: 11-12
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” Philippians 4:8
“But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” Titus 1:8
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” Acts 24:16
Faithfulness and Loyalty:
“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 28:20
We are to “love others as Christ loved us.” That means to answer to Him and always remember HE alone is our God.
But at the same time, it means to love and honor and cherish His bride in EVERY way possible.
His bride is part of HIM. A very, very big and important part!
Guess what? For now, my heart is resting. I still don’t have all the answers, but God does. I know that it’s okay to want to do right by others. Especially when it’s hard.
Are we bondservants of Christ or not? Take a moment and look up the definition in full of bondservant. And I shall leave you with this last word from the Lord:
“Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” Colossians 3:22