It is so easy to go with the current. When you swim against the current, you require a lot of strength to overcome it in order to be able to move forward a bit. With the onward current, you cannot reach your destination that easily or fast. It is similar to our Christian life. The Christian life is not a life without trials and troubles. It is not always smooth sailing. You will face the storms of life. Your faith in Christ will be tested. You will be confronted with the issues of life. You will be challenged. You often will have questions on the Christian life. The Christian life is basically a life of obedience. How can we live a life that is pleasing to God? What has the Bible to say in regards to such a life? Can we live such kind of life? How are we called to live?
I was reminded in Acts 4 when the apostles Peter and John were confronted by the rulers, the elders and the scribes concerning a good deed done to a crippled man and how they responded to their order not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. If the apostles Peter and John were to please these people, they would simply yield to their demand. On the contrary, they did not obey their order. See how they replied them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” They pleased God rather than men. Their opponents saw their boldness and perceived that they were uneducated, common men. Does our life reflect such boldness just like the apostles? When our friends or colleagues saw our life in our workplace or in our school, do they see our boldness in testifying of the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ? When they ridicule us of our faith in Christ, how do we respond to them? Do we continue to testify of the goodness and grace of God to others despite of their unpleasant remarks or ridicules?
How about those who impart the Word of God to others or teach often the truths of God’s Word to people? The one who teaches others the Word of God knows that they are approved by God to this ministry of teaching. They also know that God is their witness. The apostle Paul told the Thessalonica Christians that they were bold in declaring the Gospel of God to them despite of conflicts. He told them that he shared the Gospel without any ill intentions. He did not come with deceptions or errors but he spoke to please God rather than men. He knew that he was approved by God and accountable to God. Every teacher of the Word is approved by God and accountable to God. The one who teaches should be mindful of what he teaches lest he brings judgment to himself.
In Colossians 1:9-10, the Word of God says, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” These verses teach us that we need to pray often to God so that we may live a life which is pleasing to Him. We cannot please God and at the same time trying to please men. We cannot please God without relying upon Him and His help. We need to ask God to fill us with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. When we have spiritual wisdom and understanding, we will know His will and know how to walk in a manner that is worthy in His sight. Such a spiritual walk will be pleasing to God. You will seek to please God rather than men. You will bear fruit when you stay close to Him and His Word. You will increase in your knowledge of God when you consistently live out the truths of God’s Word in your life. You will not compromise with the values of this world but you will comply with the principles of God’s Word. You will be found often doing the things that please God rather than men.
In order to live a life which is pleasing to God, we need to immerse ourselves in the very Word of God and interact often with God through prayer. Let us, therefore, live a life of obedience to the Lord our God.
May 25, 2014