“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
For months the Lord has been revealing to me this verse and every time He does He shows me something new. I remember the last time, before my most recent encounter, he did was when I was overwhelmed with responsibilities because I was saying “Yes” to every offered opportunity to serve in any way I could. You see, I was trying to please others instead of serving the Lord. What I should have done was gone to the Lord and prayed if He would want me to serve there; I did otherwise. My consequence was very frustrating as I was trying to help everyone and because I was being pulled everywhere at the same time I didn’t get anywhere. In other words I ended up being unable to meet anyone’s need. It really hurt me that I was unable to help those who I gave my word to and letting them down. When I looked back just a few weeks ago, I noticed that I did not go to God and seek His will. If His will was where the people wanted me to serve or if during that time I was trying to help others, the Lord had better plans for me somewhere else and could have invested my time on His will.
My most recent encounter with this verse was two Fridays ago when Mary, Jerry’s mom, felt like sharing this verse with a group of girls, I being one of them. I thought it was a coincidence and thought that maybe the Lord wanted me to share what I had learned and so I did. Little did I know that it was, what I think, a friendly reminder from the Lord. That same weekend on Sunday, Jerry and Ricky(another brother in Christ from our church) decided to ask me if I would like to help them out with taking care of the kids on the following Friday during “Cry Out” night. I happily agreed with no second thought on the matter, because either way I was going, so I felt like I didn’t have the need to “ask for permission”. The following days flew by and on Thursday afternoon my parents and I had a bit of a misunderstanding and they immediately decided to not let me go Friday night as my punishment, especially after I told them I was going to help out with the kids and I needed to go. At first I was confused why I was being punished. I did not want to ask why because my parents were mad at me and I did not want to stir up their anger. I stayed confused until Friday afternoon, when I asked my mom and she said it was because I did not ask them for permission to serve! So now I was confused as to why I needed their permission to serve when I was already going. I prayed to God asking for Him to reveal to me why I needed their permission to serve at place where I go every Friday night for youth group. I knew He would answer and He was faithful.
On Sunday, it all became crystal clear to me. I was not looking for it and neither was it anything that spoke to me like a verse or a sermon but the Holy Spirit Himself. He made me see that at the bottom of my heart, I was trying to please my brothers in Christ. I wanted to help them which was fine because my intentions were good, but I did not pray about it so I did not know if it was the Lord’s will, if He wanted me there to serve or to be at the service of the “Cry Out” night. Not only did I not go to God and sought His will, but I also didn’t go to my authority for permission! It was a good reminder that my parents are my spiritual authority that even if they are not “Holy” or “godly” they are the parents He has placed in my life. The Lord spoke to me once again with this verse and made me aware of this subtle sin of trying to please others.
I bet many of you are probably reading this and think that you are definitely not a people pleaser but I am praying that y’all humble yourselves and re-examine your lives carefully. Thing is, sin is sneakier than we give it credit for. It secretly creeps in when you are not looking or too focused on something else and it begins to take root in your lives. We must have eyes like eagles to be able to recognize the most subtle sins in our lives that lie in the dark places of our hearts and remain like shadows. I wonder if you guys are probably thinking that I am contradicting myself from the last post I wrote, The Living God, about leaving God to fight Sin in our lives but I am actually supporting it. Have you ever heard “You do your best and God will do the rest”? Well it applies here! You see, we must let God fight our Sin but we need to lift up every Sin to Him in prayer and when we pray it is important that we pray specifically.
When we are on our toes watching vigilantly over the Holy temple of God,
(19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
like eagles hunting for their prey, we are able to detect every Sin and prayerfully give it up to God. It kind of reminds me of that quote, I can’t seem to figure out by whom, that says something along these lines:
“Sin must be dealt with and hit at it right in the middle of a bullseye! You are not going to have a line of soldiers at war shoot everywhere on the enemies’ side without aiming because if you are lucky you will hit about one of the enemies. But if the soldiers are aiming directly at the enemies you are sure to kill many.”
That is very cut out and paraphrased, unfortunately, but I did my best from my memory (If any of y’all happen to know it please don’t hesitate to write it out in the comments below , I would really appreciate it.) That is why we should always be asking God to search our hearts and reveal to us anything wicked within us so that we may pray for that specifically and lift it up to Him.
This also reminds me that by lifting up our Sins in prayer we are also confessing them which is an important part of the process of the Lord fighting our Sin and cleansing us:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: 9
We must be aware of all the sin in our lives to be able to lift it up to God in prayer for Him to fight for us and for us to continue running for the kingdom of God. This brings me back to encouraging you guys to reflect upon your lives and how you might be pleasing men and not serving the Most High.
Even if the whole pleasing others is not something you have a problem with, is there any other subtle sin in your life?