As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. — Buddy Hackett
Christianity offers us two choices: Please God or Trust God — Bruce McNicol
Religion is all about “pleasing God.” If we have to choose between that and “trusting God,” “pleasing God” seems to be the logical choice. Simply trusting Him just seems too passive. Striving to live a life that is “pleasing to God” shows our sincerity, our commitment, and our appreciation for what God did for us. Right?
“Pleasing God” seems to be the priority of serious believers. Right? If you head down that road, you see that the path is very well traveled. But where does it lead? In Bruce McNicol’s words, it soon leads to a door with a sign on it that reads:
“Striving to be all God wants me to be!”
And there’s a label on the doorknob with the word, EFFORT! On the other side of the door is a vast hall filled with people who are sincerely determined to live God-pleasing lives. In public they ooze well-groomed devotion—though it comes across rather… um, “plastic.” They display dedication and continual smiles—but sometimes that smile seems rather… um, “uncertain.” Still, their hearts seem noble and their quest is clear:
Strive to be free from sin and work to achieve an intimate relationship with God.
Yes, it sounds and looks sort of right, but almost imperceptibly the road of “pleasing God” turns into a rut of “What I must do to keep God pleased with me.”
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3)
Does this resonate with you? Has the road you have chosen lead to good intentions where you are trying to flesh out a life that pleases God?
Holy Spirit, reveal to me which road I am on, and the implications of that choice. Amen.