"For am I seeking the favor of man or of God? Or am I striving to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
I believe if we are honest with ourselves, man pleasing is one of our greatest struggles as disciples of Christ. We all have a great need to be loved, valued and accepted. It is a natural desire of the human heart. In order to be a true bond-servant of Christ we must seek the approval and favor of God more than man. We cannot survive with a divided heart. We must be wholly His.
As for all of God’s commandments, they are for our good. If we love Him above all else it is a great protection. There is no other relationship where we are loved perfectly and unconditionally. There is no one or ever will be who has sacrificed more for you to prove that love than God the Father and His only Son, Jesus Christ. He is all powerful, holy, and righteous. He alone holds all wisdom of the ages. He is all knowing. All the answers of life are found in His Word. There are no wounds inside or outside of us that His perfect love cannot heal. There have been many testimonies to this truth since the beginning of time. He never leaves or forsakes us, ever. When we try to capture a description of the goodness of God with words we are left wanting. What language can we borry?
May I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to take an honest evaluation of your time and thoughts. Whose approval are we truly seeking the most? Does the praises of man mean more to us than the approval of God? On a day to day basis who are we striving to please? Paul says if we are still striving to please each other we are not a bond-servant of Christ.
Might we focus on the reward for pleasing God rather than man. We are safe when we are in the right relationship with God from each other. When we seek to have our needs met by man alone we will never be truly fulfilled and loved as we were intended to be. You were created by God, and you were created to be loved by Him first and foremost. Then we are to impart that love to one another. The natural man is self seeking and self absorbed. We aren’t quick to forgive unless we have experienced forgiveness we can only find in Christ. We cannot produce what we aren’t equipped for within ourselves. We are in great need of the God of love who created us. Is it any wonder the first and foremost commandment is to love God with your all?
Matthew 22:35-40 decrees:
One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, " Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it. "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
We cannot do the second one till we obey the first one. It is the simple answer to a very profound problem we all have — a divided heart. If we love Him with our all we will certainly live to please Him alone. It requires a simple act of obedience to the greatest commandment ever given. Think about it.
In His love.
In the mountains winter lingers and springtime comes in gently. I watch the wildflowers struggle for survival, but they always prevail coming into full bloom glorifying their creator till their season of life comes to an end. May we allow the greatest teacher of life itself, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear follow their heroic example and live the same.