When it comes to living the Christian life, many are consumed by the preoccupation of pleasing people at the expense of pleasing the Lord. They are concerned about what others think about them and are concerned as to whether they are matching up to the standard of others. As a result, many start telling others what they want to hear; they fail to affirm their confidence in God’s word because they are frightened of offending people. When you consider the life of the apostle Paul, he was an individual who lived for an audience of one. He was consumed by the priority of pleasing God. Pleasing God should be the believer’s greatest ambition. Consider the following references:
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” 2 Cor. 5:9-10.
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts” 1 Thess. 2:4.
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” 1 Thess. 4:1.
It is clear that this is a biblical mandate, but what does it mean to please God?
Pleasing God is walking with God – which means you are going in a Divine direction. The term “walk” carries the meaning of conduct in the Bible. This presupposes that one is saved and as a result of his salvation, he lives his life in harmony with this grand truth. The Scriptures give specific examples of what the believer is to walk. For example, we are told to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4), “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7), “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), “walk in love” (Eph. 5:2), “walk in light” (Eph. 5:8; 1 John 1:7) and to “walk” wisely (Eph. 5:15). All of this “walking” is a reference to obedient Christian living that is pleasing to the Lord. Such conduct ought to be a response of gratitude to the Lord for all that He has done for us in Christ.
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