Are You Pleasing God or Trusting God?
“You are doomed to make choices. This is life's greatest paradox.” —Wayne Dyer
The problem with questions is that sometimes they lead to more questions. That's where I found myself while reading Bruce McNicol’s book, TrueFaced. I do a lot of reading, but his questions stopped me in my tracks:
Am I trying to please God, or am I trusting God?
Quite frankly, I didn't like the idea of having to choose between these two. So I connected with my friend, Dr. Ramesh Richard from Dallas Seminary. “Ramesh, have you read through True Faced? (Of course, he’d read it; he’s read everything.) I asked him what he thought. He said, “You know I really like the concept. I would probably word it a little differently, but I think Bruce’s wording is completely clear and accurate.” Rats. I was still on the hook to figure this thing out. The question seemed to be boiling down to this:
- I can choose to trust in myself, and in my own efforts in order to earn God's pleasure.
- I can choose to trust in Christ, allowing Him to live His life through me, to enable me to live a life that is pleasing to God.
At first, it seemed like a very subtle difference. Maybe this was all just a little word game? But the more I thought about it, the more the significance of this choice impacted me.
- The question revealed what I believed about my own abilities outside of Christ.
- The question revealed my true beliefs about God's grace and mercy.
- The question revealed a lot about the natural tendency all humans have towards self-righteousness.
- The question revealed what I believed about God, and how I thought He saw me in Christ.
How would I answer the question? How would you answer the question?
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalm 139:23-24
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