“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” - Ephesians 5:8-10
The greatest freedom any of us can ever possess is when we finally decide to seek to please God above anyone else. Some of us are people pleasers, living our lives for the approval of others, while others of us live by the mantra, “Whatever makes me happy.” Both of these philosophies are contrary to God’s Word, and will rob us of the fulfillment that comes from living for God alone.
Letting the expectations and opinions of other people drive us will leave us exhausted, frustrated, and often brokenhearted. It is like scattering our energy to the wind because it is impossible to please everyone all of the time. When we live under this self-imposed pressure, life can be like a roller coaster of emotions. When the people we are trying to please are happy, we are happy. When they are unhappy, we are unhappy. This is not the life that God intends for us to live.
Living only to please ourselves will undoubtedly leave us feeling unfulfilled and empty. Inside of each of us is a deep longing for more. That “more” is God. Because He created us in His image, we all desire to know our Creator. The problem is that sin has marred this image of God in each of us, leaving us searching frantically for something to worship other than Him. We can try and try to cure the ache ourselves, filling the deep sin-hole with almost anything…but it will never work. We were not created to worship ourselves.
Only God will never drive us to be what we are not. He will never ask us to perform to gain His favor or acceptance or love. He will never ask us to go anywhere other than Him for purpose or fulfillment. He doesn’t look at our appearance or achievements. He looks at our heart.
Freedom in Christ means letting go of everything and everyone except for Jesus. This does not mean we will no longer love and serve others. It does not mean we will hate ourselves or have low self-esteem. The opposite is true. When we seek to please God, not only will our lives be better, but the lives of those we love will be better as well. The more we love Jesus, the more we will love others. And wholehearted devotion to Christ will satisfy us more than all of the treasures and pleasures of this world ever could.
Dear Lord, I want to know what pleases you so that I can live my life in a way that honors you. Give me the clarity, the wisdom, and the discernment to live in accordance with your will and your plan for my life so that I can please you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Topics: Freedom in Christ