Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pleasing God - walking in faith

Article text
Heb 11:6 (KJV) - But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Do we really want to please God?
Do we really want to please God?  I find that perhaps, we genuinely desire and will go about pleasing another only when we are truly loving the other. 

There are of course, many motivations that can be cited for us to please another; where at the base of them, is the question of “what is in it, for me?”  I speak from first-hand knowledge that when this (“what is in it, for me?”) is frequently posed in a family setting, trouble maybe coming, divorce etc. may even be, in the works.  Why?  Because the true love component is ceasing.

You need to be loving God
When the other party is God, I believe it is also similar; i.e. you will only in a mode of wanting continually, to please God, when you are loving God. 

The posture that we should be having, should NOT be, “I will please God because I want this or that!”  When it is so, when you don’t have this or that which you need God to give it to you, you don’t please Him, or He becomes furthest from your heart and mind. 

It is NOT so, when we are loving certain individuals, like our spouse or children; for them, don’t you always think of them (they will come into your mind) when something to be decided will impact/affect them.  You will have their interest and welfare at heart all the time.  You will think about whether they will lack something, for example, when you are considering to be away for a time.

In love, you will heed
When we love another, we would like to please that someone, generally speaking.  And we will give heed to what will please that someone. 

Very simple, if that someone does NOT like durian, don’t buy him/her durian; if he/she likes custard apple, then get him/her custard apple. So, it is with God.  If we love God, we should like to please Him, and we should give heed to what will please Him, God. 

God said faith is needed
And so, if God has said, and He has said, without faith it is impossible to please Him, then we should develop our faith and move in faith, and NOT neglect the development of our faith and go about things without faith.

Posture of faith – 2 angles
What does it mean to be with a posture of faith?  One can look at it from various angles.  Two angles I will touch on, here. 

Angle no. 1 - Fear NOT, but are you walking after & with God
One, faith is like you fear NOT when you get up an SIA plane and fly to, say, USA.  You don’t worry if the pilot is fit to fly or NOT, or if the plane is air-worthy or NOT, or that some terrorists are on the plane, and the plane may be forced to plunge into the Empire State building. 

God is much, much and much better than SIA.  If you don’t worry with SIA, how more you should NOT worry with travelling with God (or walking or moving with God)!  SIA may get you to where you want to go, in time and comfortably too; “that is your reward for your “faith” in SIA”.  God NOT only get you to a place, and in more than in 1-piece, so to speak, He will get you to where He knows best for you, and you will be with peace and joy, NOT only when you reach the destination but along the way.  Will you have faith in God, the Almighty?!

When we fly on SIA, there are rules and regulations you have to abide by, including things you should and should NOT do.  You cannot for example, say, “I will NOT eat plane food; I will lit up naked fire and cook my own food”.  That would be disastrous if one or more people do that! 

Another silly example, but nevertheless is a valid one, is that you cannot say, “I want to sit outside of the plane!”  No, you cannot open the plane door in mid-air and decide you want to sit outside of the plane! 

It is so, too, when you walk with God, there are rules and regulations  (those who say they are saved by grace and purport that, that “saved by grace” meant that there are no rules and regulations, are plain na├»ve). 

So, while it is true there is nothing to fear when you are walking with God, but the issue is how are you walking with God? Are you really walking with God? Are you having the situation of “God is going there, but you are NOT going there, but here?!”  Or are you ignoring “Hey, you cannot get to the outside of the plane!” (so to speak).  You can try it, NOT be “an obedient passenger”, and see what will happen. On second thought, don’t do it, don’t blame me if you are man-handled!  God is graceful and merciful, still you and I cannot profane His grace. 

Are you walking after and with God?  The walk with God is a walk “after and with” God.  It is NOT God to walk with you, but it is you follow God.  It is you follow Him, and you walk with Him.  If you follow Him NOT, you won’t be walking with Him, no matter what you may think or say!  Therefore, walking with God, always involves seeking Him, and earnestly and diligently, too.

Angle no. 2 - Leave room for God
What is the other posture of faith that I want to touch on?  It is connotated in this “Surely, you do NOT need to do, to this extent!”  Or another simple way to put it, “Leave room for God”. 

Are you God or God is God?  Is it NOT you are following Him; or is it you are saying He is following you?  If you leave no room for God to do His part, you are in fact, NOT following Him; you are saying, “You just watch and see; or you (God!) tag along”  If there is any tagging along, it is you and I, tag along God, NOT the other way round! 

When we try in the extreme to cover all grounds, so to speak, it is NOT only, we have no faith, we are saying (to God) we are on our own!  And that is pride!  Needless to say, God is NOT pleased with a prideful person (James 4:6)

Don’t get me wrong; I am NOT saying God cannot be expecting you and I, to be able to independently do certain things.  Maybe an illustration is this: 

When you are small, a child, your father or mother may teach you how to brush your teeth, but now you can brush your teeth, and your father or mother is NOT at all bothered with this activity of yours, although they would still be keen to know if you brush your teeth regularly. Is your dad NOT interested in your life anymore?  If He loves you, you try getting married, all without him (NOT informing him, NOT getting his views, NOT involving him in the wedding proper, etc), you can see if he is pleased or NOT.  Of course, he is (interested in your life), and of course, he is NOT pleased.

Don’t stray, don’t run ahead
Of course, in our walk with God, it can also be that we run ahead of God; but don’t do that.  We are sheep, He is our Shepherd; we still are to follow Him, or we may fall into the ravine, for example; painful for us and painful for God!  You and I, should NOT stray from, and we should NOT run ahead of, our Shepherd.

Can please without faith?
Now, can you and I please God without faith?  We may do a thing or two, without faith or without specific regard to God, or as NOT unto God (like brushing your teeth; even this, can be argued to be with faith), but as a walk (and if you looked at the earlier verse, Heb 11:5 {blog text is Heb 11:6}, you see it there, a walk with God {Enoch’s walk with God – Gen 5:24}), you cannot be pleasing to God, if you operate without faith, so very often.

Heb 11:5 (KJV) - By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

This Hebrews 11:5 was quoted from Gen 5:21-24.

Gen 5:21-14 (KJV) - 21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

The Genesis passage above revealed to us, that Enoch did NOT walk with God from day one, but after he reached 65 years old, and he walked with God for 300 years before he was translated to Heaven, by-passing mortal death.

But, but …
But I could be wrong, make the wrong move, when I try to walk in faith (that is why I walk in FACTS/SIGHT), then how, bro Anthony?  You ask yourself: Isn’t He your Lord, and isn’t He faithful, and isn’t He mindful of you and caring of you, and isn’t He all capable, and knows how to take care of you meanwhile, if you will love and call unto Him; and isn’t He to you, dependable?  Only this (I say): “Will you die, die, follow Him?

But bro Anthony, how can I begin to move in the right direction of operating always with faith?  For a start, get into this posture (meaning, always, asking): “What would Jesus do, for this thing, situation or scenario?  This puts us into the mode of doing thing as unto the Lord.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions
PS: I have arrived?  No.

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