Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. ~ James 1:14 NLT
We all are making decisions as to how we will live in the coming year. I was wrestling with a decision that needed to be made recently. I really wanted to please God and align with his plans for the coming year. As I spent time listening, I sensed the question, “What’s your motivation?”
You see both options seemed good, and if they aligned with God’s plans, would even put me in a position to do good. The Spirit led me to Galatians 1:10, a familiar verse for me. “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” People pleasing is a habit I have battled for years. The habit is based on the belief that loving people, as God wants, is the same as pleasing people, which can often lead us away from God’s will.
So, I had to stop and ask myself, “What is my motivation in this decision?” To be honest, it was hard to discern. Do I want to please my friends, who I love, and perhaps get their recognition? What does God want me to do? I tried to remember the last things God had talked to me about. One was unity. That is, we need to be in a small, supportive group of Christian friends who will help us endure the battles ahead, and be able to press through to victory. Also, he had been speaking to me about “new, greater things”. Which of these decisions aligned best with all of that?
One decision would lead me to turning back to an “old” place where I might gain recognition. The other was to a “new” place where there might be sacrifice and no recognition. So, what is my motivation? Which aligned best with God’s latest words? I gradually began to see the light!
As you consider the decisions you are making for the year ahead, what is your motivation? Will you choose to sacrifice the approval of family and friends to follow Jesus? Trust that his way, even though it may seem uncertain and scary, will ultimately lead you to your destiny. Will you choose to step into God’s new, greater thing? It will look different for each of us.
Pray with me: “Father God, I need your radical faith! I need the courage of David to accept your plan for me, and to fight Goliath, if that is your will. Holy Spirit, strengthen me, fill me with all the good gifts I will need and lead me in the way of Jesus. Wrap me in the Father’s love and remind me that I am never alone. Amen.”
Dear friend, be blessed as you trust that God wants the best for you, and he is able, through his Spirit, to lead you in the way you should go. May you have ears to hear and eyes to see him. May you be filled with supernatural peace as you choose to live by radical faith. Amen.
December 7, 2018