Something came up recently, and these words, “I want to do things right before the Lord,” sparked these thoughts:
Those words sound like if we please the Lord, things will go well for us. While that is true, it could also be false, depending on the understanding and motive. We aren’t here to be sycophants or pleasers. We are so prone to please, this being a very selfish thing indeed. Primarily, we seek to please people, so we’ll be accepted by them or benefitted somehow.
We then presume to do the same with God, like Cain did. He was a pleaser! And where did it get him? Abel didn’t bring a sacrifice to please God. He brought it because he knew it was right. Had his sacrifice been rejected, he wouldn’t have felt badly, as did Cain. He would have sought for the right way (of course, the reason his sacrifice was accepted was because his heart was right, and therefore he could not but be accepted). However, Cain was offended: “Well, if that’s the thanks I get, phooey on God! I won’t believe in Him anymore!” We have heard that many times.
We are called to do right because it is right, whether pleasing to anyone or not. We are here to choose the successful and true right, the one and only kind of right there is, and not what we ignorantly and foolishly imagine and choose to be right, in that it is selfishly advantageous. Choosing right, things will go well for us. Choosing to please, we destroy those we pretend to please (not that we can destroy God, of course, but we grieve Him), and we destroy ourselves.
God isn’t asking us to please Him. Where in the Bible does one find God wanting us to please Him? It isn’t there! Did you know? He isn’t primarily interested in His own welfare and feelings. He wants to see things go well for us, and He has shown, and is showing, us how that can and must be because He cares for us.
God is called “Love” because He cares about us over Himself. That is the nature of true love. When we do right and things go well for us, then He’ll be pleased. He’ll be satisfied because we are fulfilled and satisfied in reality, by His satisfaction and not by the destructive, blind-alley kind of satisfaction that comes out of self-serving lack of knowledge and understanding.
– April 17, 2011