Saturday, January 22, 2011

Living to Please Christ

This week was a good, but stressful one at work. Several unexpected things came up (an internet service provider company messed up the routing to our website which took down almost half our customers... had to get test materials delivered with one days notice... etc.). It all worked out well in the end, but it was a bit stressful at times. I am thankful for His grace and help through this week. I have been thinking quite a bit about what it means to please God rather than man this week. I am in constant need of reanalyzing my heart and asking Him to show me the areas in which I am not fully pleasing Him. This evening I was reading in Deuteronomy 12 and verses 5-11 caught my attention.
But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. There also you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you. You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord.
Obviously, a lot of these things don't apply in the practical sense... we don't offer burnt offerings now. However, what God is teaching them through this is something I need to be continually reminded of. I am thinking specifically if the emphasis on doing what is right... doing it at the right time... and at the right place. The purpose is to please Him. The place in which God has chosen for His name to dwell is your heart (if He is your savior and Lord) and my heart. We are not to do whatever is right in our own eyes. My job (even in the areas in which I am called to be a leader) is not to think of a great plan and then carry it out. That is "leaning on my own understanding" and "doing whatever is right in my own eyes", but rather, my job is to seek the Lord, rejoice in Him, rest in Him, offer the living sacrifice of my heart to Him, and do what is right in His eyes. It is for His fame that we must live.

God, I ask that You would make my ways straight as I acknowledge You in all my ways. In order for You to do that, You must first give me a heart that acknowledges You and seeks Your will above my own. I ask that You would reveal to me any area in which I am doing what is right in my own eyes and turn my heart to do only what is right in Your eyes. Continue teaching me what is pleasing to You and give me the courage to live it out day by day, moment by moment. Strengthen your Spirit in me and cause me to continually present myself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You. It is the only reasonable thing that I can do since You have ransomed me. "Faultless I stand, with righteous works not mine. Saved by my Lord's vicarious death and life. I cling to Christ and marvel at the cost. Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God. Bought by such love, my life is not my own. My praise, my all, shall be for Christ alone." God, give me that heart--a heart that understands the depth of Your love for me and responds with living for You alone.

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