Today's Terrific Tuesday guest is Mike who writes at Christian Cognition.
Mike describes himself this way: "A husband of a wife, a father of a son, a child of the Almighty. I honestly know I am the greatest sinner I know. The longer I live, the more I realize how desperately I need a Savior." He also claims: "I'm short...like my hair!" He's a police officer and sometimes relates about his experiences at work and sharing Christ there.
Here's a post from Mike written just for today:
THE FUTILITY OF TRYING TO PLEASE GOD APART FROM CHRIST:
I used to stress over all that I needed to do to please God. I’ve even stressed over all that I needed to not do in order to please God. I long struggled to live a life that would give God pleasure, and it was truly a roller-coaster ride. So when I failed to do what I thought would please Him (Romans 7), I questioned if I was saved at all! What a miserable experience it was for me, for a Christian who was supposedly assured that I could not be removed from God’s hand. I examined my life and found it to be lacking whatever necessary to please God.
I saw my salvation in light of the stringent set of laws given by God. I thought, “If I can’t obey them, then I must not please God. And if I am not pleasing God, then I must not be saved.” How could I possibly meet God’s heavy demands when my life is plagued by sins of commission (things that I did that are forbidden) and sins of omission (things that I did not do that I should have done)?
I would finally realize that I would never please God on my own, or “in the flesh”, as the Bible puts it. Apart from Christ I can do nothing. Sure, I can dress and eat and sleep and work apart from Christ…but it was in this phrase “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” that I found hope as a Christian man struggling to please God. Finally, I have assurance that I DO please God, but only by and through Jesus Christ! John recorded Jesus’ words in John 15 that apart from Him we will bear no fruit of salvation that pleases God.
Watchman Nee puts it this way: “If I try to please God ‘in the flesh’, then immediately I place myself under the Law. I broke the Law; the Law pronounced the death sentence…but it is Christ who works in me what is well-pleasing to God.” (“The Normal Christian Life” pp.164-165). A drowning man will fight for his life and possibly even drown his rescuer. But “a drowning man cannot be saved until he is utterly exhausted and ceases to make the slightest effort to save himself” (ibid, p.168).
What truly brings God pleasure is the glory that Jesus Christ brings Him. I share in glorifying God when it is Jesus Christ doing the glorifying on my behalf.
Have you noticed any efforts in your own life to please God, not because you enjoy living a life that pleases Him, but because you felt the obligation to do so for the sake of your salvation?