June 30, 2019

“Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

“Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a

Question: Do you seek to please God or simply trust Him? I believe many of us would say that we desire to do both, but if you had to choose or focus on one or the other, which would it be?

In pleasing God, we seem to put ourselves in more of a “what must I do” frame of mind. It requires considerable effort to do those things that are “good and acceptable in the sight of the Lord.” Our way then becomes paved with good intentions. We really do strive to please God, despite the obstacles and detours we constantly encounter.

That very word, strive, means “struggling in opposition” and that really sums it up. We struggle against the sin in our own lives, not to mention the sins in the lives of others. We are not perfect, and those imperfections and shortcomings will continue to follow us as long as we live. “Pleasing,” in and of itself, seems to be an ongoing challenge.

But Scripture also says to “cease striving” … to be still and know that God is God. Instead of all the manufactured effort, perhaps we should rest more in accepting God’s grace. After all, it’s His free gift to us. Though our sin is still there, it’s covered by the Grace of Christ’s blood. When our faith and trust is in Jesus, He is standing between our sin and us before a Holy Father. Perhaps we should consider replacing our selfish, although well-intentioned, effort with a yielded and trusting humility. Quoting from the leadership book, Truefaced: “Effort born out of striving to please God never ceases to tire us. Effort born out of resting in His pleasure never ceases to renew us.”

For you see, pleasing God is a by-product of trusting God. When we trust God wholly, He is nothing BUT pleased. So, stop striving. Start trusting.