The Secret to Pleasing God
Image Credit: Natalie Schutt Photography
I think something is going on. An awful lot of people are experiencing hard things or new challenges in their lives. Yes, the enemy is no doubt taking advantage of it through fear, doubt, and discouragement. But what I am seeing, and experiencing myself, is that God seems to be turning up the dial on maturity. We know that God is committed to growing us up. But rather than naming this as just the hour that we live in or the enemy really coming on strong. Although those things may be true, I do think there is a phenomenon going on here that is affecting a lot of really good people.
It seems like God is cranking the dial up on the process of maturity.
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. - Romans 8:29-30 The Message (MSG)
This is the moment we have to decide to be strong in our faith. We have to hold on to what we know is true about God. The scripture you study in the silent seasons will be what sustains you during the storm. We have to choose to believe God is for us and is going before us (Deuteronomy 31:8). Every word of God is on a mission. The coolest thing about God's word is that it is alive and full of power! Every word of God comes with the very power to perform it. That should be super encouraging to us! Every word of God is overflowing with accomplishing power and it will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:10-11).
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:10-11
God's word becomes seed in our hands to sow. Between seed and harvest there is this little thing called time that tends lead us to question if God will really come through. Here is a promise I can make to you according to the authority of the Word of God: You are not here to just get through. God Himself has something not only to speak to you, but to accomplish in you and through your life. You have an irreplaceable Kingdom Crowned victory story to fulfill. Our charge is to do it by faith, not by sight. Without faith it is impossible to please God. It is impossible to please God by living a life worthy of the calling you have received without living in faith (Ephesians 4:1). Living with the assurance of the things we have not seen is truly pleasing to God. Walking by faith is foundational to our confidence and belief in God.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the confidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1
Many of us are right in the middle ground: You know that this is what you're supposed to do, and you've gone far enough that you can't go back. But if we don't have the right balance, the right effort and the right momentum, we won't make it and we will fall over. This is where we have to hold fast to our faith in God and His Word. Every Word of God has accomplishing power.
We're not going back, yet we're not in the full calling and momentum of what the new season holds. Being in that in-between spot requires unwavering faith. Faith is the space between what we once knew and what we know to be true. It feels like a pausing, a waiting and incomplete knowing of where we are heading. That's normal, so don't change your motivation and direction. Keep going forward!
Faith is not a feeling, it is an assurance. You cannot please God without the assurance that the next season is coming. The more we live in faith, the more hope we will have for the future.
If you're in a season of transition today, know that faith is that weird pause, that in-between spot. But don't let your brain wander. Don't let your emotions dominate because you can't enjoy the journey that way. Set your mind on God and let the Word of God surround you. You will get there, just keep going forward.
Now is the time to run towards the goal! Now is the season to soar! Don’t give up on the woman you are becoming. Don’t give up now when you have come so far. Be strong and courageous! What lies ahead is far greater than what you could imagine (Ephesians 3:20). God is committed to the good plans He has in store for you. Now is the time to breakthrough.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will callon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:11-13