All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The problem with trying to please God is that we’re stuck wondering whether or not it worked. Defeated, our heart cries out: Is it even possible to please You? Show me a better way, Jesus.
If we’re listening, His response will be something like, “Stop trying and start trusting.”
It seems counterintuitive to stop trying; but maybe if we finish our hypothetical walk, we’ll understand. This time, rather than walking the “Trying Trail,” we head down the “Trusting God” path.
As we round the first corner, there’s a man waiting; it’s Jesus.
“Yes!” he exclaims. “I’m so glad you’re here!”
“Why is this the right trail?” you ask. “I want to please You and trust You. Why didn’t “Pleasing God” – a.k.a. the ‘Trying Trail’ or ‘A Waste of My Time Trail’ – work?”
“Great question,” Jesus says. “Walk with Me.”
As you walk, Jesus shares how the Trying Trail is a type of Russian roulette. We do whatever we can imagine and come up with all sorts of new ways in an effort to make God smile.
“But I’m never frowning at you,” Jesus explains. “I’m walking with you, asking you to do things with Me. And as you say yes, you learn to trust. The ‘Trusting God’ path is the essence of life with Me. Do you remember what Paul wrote? He said, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live… I live by faith in the Son of God... ’” (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus places a hand upon your shoulder, “To trust is to live by faith, and that is what pleases Me.”
“So you don’t prefer the KJV over the NIV? Or grape juice over wine?”
“My preference is that you listen when I speak to you. Do you have your Bible with you?”
“Yes,” you answer.
“Good. I have something to say. Open it to Hebrews 10:38.”
It’s Jesus, so you do what He says.
“My righteous one will live by faith.”
Pleasing God isn’t a magical combination of the right behaviors at the right time. Rather, it’s responding to Him with a yes. Yes, we will trust and live by faith.
Lord, decrease the noise in my life so I can hear You. And may all You ask evoke a reflexive yes from me. Amen.
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