Given the opportunity to either please God or trust God, which path would you choose? Most of my life has been spent trying to desperately please God and striving hard to be all God wants me to be and so much depended on me. I had to do all that others told me to do in order to be a “good Christian.” I wanted to please God so I could have an intimate relationship with Him because if I wasn’t pleasing Him, I could expect His chastisement, “For whom the Lord loves, He chastens” (Hebrews 12:6). So began this crazy cycle of “doing,” but it didn’t seem that I could ever do enough. There was always something more and good things that needed to be done.
I talked a lot about God’s unconditional love for others, but for me the level of His love was based on what I was doing for Him. Instead of living in freedom of Christ, I was trapped in the bondage of doing. Over time, God began to strip away the lies I was believing about myself and the disconnect between doing and being.
One major connection point was realizing I am fully pleasing to God because of who I am in Christ. The baptism of Christ drove home this point. Remember what the voice from heaven said at the baptism? “This is my Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Do you realize that at this point we have no record that Jesus had performed any miracles, no changing water to wine, no healing, no feeding hungry people. God was pleased with His Son not because of what He had done, but because of the relationship. I am pleasing to my heavenly Father not because of what I do but because of who I am. It is in the relationship not in the doing that pleases my Father.
It is only in trusting God that I am pleasing Him. Anything else depends on me and not on Him. God has used several resources to ground me in the freedom of this great truth. One source I would highly recommend is, The Cure written by John Lynch, Bruce McNiol and Bill Thrall. The subtitle of the book says, “What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you.”
There is great freedom in living a life trusting God. After all, that is the only way we can please Him.