12.11.2016

True Success.

Have you ever known someone who pours out words of wisdom like water from a faucet? Every time you talk to her, whether a three-minute conversation in the parking lot or an entire evening of interaction, you walk away feeling edified and refreshed?
The Lord has blessed me with such a woman, and what I love most about her is that she is not aware of her own brilliance. She loves the Lord, drowns herself in His Word, and then lives her life obeying Him and loving others. No matter what you talk about, what counsel you seek, or what prayer request you offer, she responds with Scripture and phrases her thoughts in such a unique way that you cannot forget them.

I sent her a prayer request recently, and her response lingered in my thoughts for days. As usual!

Obedience to the Lord is the measure of success, not the response of others. 
Obey, and then let the Holy Spirit do His job!

I spent much of my life seeking to please people rather than pleasing God.
Fear of rejection was the motivating factor. Will she be mad? Is he disappointed? What will they think? If I tell her how I feel, she will be upset. If I say "no" she will think I'm a bad friend. And on and on it went. I spent much time, energy, effort, and emotion trying to make others happy instead of seeking the Lord and loving Him with my whole heart, mind, and strength. And it was exhausting - because it is impossible to please everyone.
We are called to love, serve, encourage, pray for, rejoice and weep with, accept, show compassion to, forgive, be at peace with, and bear with one another. But never once in Scripture are we commanded to make people "happy." We can fully obey the "one another's of Scripture" and still find people unhappy or angry with us because we didn't fulfill the commands the way they expected or desired.

Obedience to the Lord is the measure of success, not the response of others. 

She is absolutely right - because she drew this thought from Scripture.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

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. Galatians 1:10

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? John 5:44


When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

Learning to please God rather than man has been a long and difficult life-lesson for me. Like a mother who keeps calling her child's name and grabbing his chin to get him to pay attention, the Lord has spent too much time grabbing my chin saying, "Michelle! Stop worrying about what everyone else is thinking, or how they feel about you. Fix your eyes on My face, and obey Me. My approval, My thoughts, and My acceptance are all you need, and when you understand this, you will be content and at peace because you will see yourself through My eyes rather than the eyes of others. Look at Me, daughter. Fear Me, not man. Follow where I lead, and then - trust me to do My will, My way, and for My glory."

Oh, Lord, how thankful I am that You are a long-suffering Father because I know how often I try Your patience when I continue to look around instead of looking UP. Forgive me for spending so many years seeking the approval of man instead of seeking You. Forgive me for putting the preferences of people above Your desires for me. Forgive me for measuring my value by human standards rather than Your own. My only purpose is to glorify You, so teach me to do so without shame, with full abandon, and with an unquenchable desire to follow wherever You lead so people will see YOU when they look at me.

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