“So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, 13 for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world 16 by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. 18 And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.” Philippians 2:12-18 NET2.
Pleasing God is Not Difficult
I have seen my share of people with excruciating painful expressions saying things, “I am afraid that I am NOT PLEASING to God!!” Sometimes I think people lost sleep over this traumatic experience for they truly did find it difficult to feel that they were NOT pleasing God. The point is simple, “Stop trying to please Him and just DO IT!!”
“How am I supposed to please a holy and sinless God when I am not so holy and certainly NOT sinless?” Obedience is the key to the problem. Obey His teachings and life will be what He expects you to be doing. Paul wrote to the Philippians that obedience to finding joy in salvation. “You have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence.” verse 12. But, there is an activity that everyone must choose to be involved in: reading His Word for in there answers concerning how to live according to His principles are found. Simple enough. Jesus said this, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31b-32. Jesus was speaking to people who had heard about and heard Him personally teach certain things that would please God, but we have those things written down and we are able to read and study each of them. Just DO IT!!
I would suggest that everyone stop making ‘being Christian’ so difficult when the truth is in the pudding. Living for Jesus is not difficult at all.
“Living for Jesus a life that is true, Striving to please Him in all that I do; Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free, This is the pathway of blessing for me. O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, For Thou, in Thy atonement, Didst give Thyself for me; I own no other Master, My heart shall be Thy throne, My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.” “Living for Jesus”– Hymn written by Thomas O. Chisholm.
Falling Into the Hands of an Angry God
The difficulty of pleasing God might be that we spend too much time attempting to please ourselves and/or other people rather than God. In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites simple instructions to follow that would please Him, but they disobeyed His voice, angered Him and suffered the terrible consequences.
“Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:28-31.
What I understand from reading the Word of God is that He desires for everyone to follow His commandments for He is serious about what He says. Most people seem not to care and, therefore, suffer the consequences. But we must understand that “The Lord will judge His people.” This is not a hoax and certainly not a fantasy. This is for real. But, pleasing Him is really not difficult and the results of following His instructions are wonderful.
Results of Following Jesus
Christ insists that we turn from sin and to stop desiring the things of this world. He said, “No one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33). We cannot love the things of the world and God at the same time (1 John 2:15). These verses (and others like them) are not written as options for the super-committed. They are requirements for all who follow Christ. But even those of us who seek to follow Him fully will face times when we wonder, “Am I making a mistake to give up all this to follow Christ?”
Christ calls His followers to turn from sin and the pursuit of the things of this world. He said,
“not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.” Luke 14:33. We cannot love the things of the world and God at the same time, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16. These verses and others are not written as options, but are requirements for all who follow Christ.
We are encouraged to not be distressed over things that bring harm to us, but to rejoice in the things of God that offer and do bring hope for us.
Jesus is Lord.