Monday, May 18, 2009

Living a Life Worthy of God

The follower of Jesus Christ should strive to honor and please God. That is how Jesus lived His life. On two occasions: His baptism and the transfiguration, God declared that He was pleased with Jesus.

Do I seek to honor and please God with my life? The answer is scary. I realize what I seek is the life I want to live, not to honor God. I plan and dream and pray that God will bless those plans and dreams. There is no doubt that I want God to be part of my life, but the part that I want Him to play is to bless me. I am not seeking to live a life that will make God happy, but a life that will make me happy.

I realize that part of this is human nature. It is hard to give up our agendas and pursue God. We have been trained to go after what is best for us and to look after number 1 (me). Perhaps it should come to no surprise that part of what Paul prayed for the Colossians, people he had never met, was that they would live lives that honored God.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit in every good work and grow in the full knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10; ISV)

In order to honor God, to live a life that is worthy of Him, I must seek out His will. The number one way to do that is to be a student of Scripture. From personal reading and study to sitting under the instruction of another person I must be diligent and intentional in learning for God’s Word.

Not only do I have to be a student of Scripture, but I also must be a man of prayer. Paul prays that God will fill the Colossians with knowledge. If I can’t learn spiritual truth on my own, then I must seek out God’s help. Only His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, can teach me the truth that I need to live life.

I also have to obey. It is one thing to know what to do, but it is another to do it. Faith isn’t so much about believing the truth, but about living the truth. When we live out God’s truth then we discover even more, and deeper truths about God. Living out truth isn’t about living a moral life and going to church, but it is about bending our wills to the will of God. It is about making doing those hard things that He asks us to do.

It isn’t easy to orient my life to God’s will. In some ways the easiest thing to do is continue to live life the way I want to live. To live a life that honors God, to align my will with God’s will, requires that I change my dreams and desire so they can match God’s desires for my life. Only when I am willing to give up the life I want to accept God’s plan for my life am I really living by faith.


Ruth said...

Thanks for this post, Paul. Asking ourselves do we seek to honor God with our lives is a crucial question, and I think most of our answers wouldn't be what they should be. You are right that spending time in prayer and reading the Word to learn God's will and then applying what we learn to our lives are the best ways to fulfill God's call for our lives.

That's a good point that this is not necessarily an easy task. The Scripture reminds us that it will be work and that we will be tempted to faint, but Jesus also promised us that the Holy Spirit would help us. And even the small glimpses I've had of what it would be like to live a life completely surrendered to God show me how beautiful and wonderful that would be, certainly more wonderful than a life I could make for myself.

Paul said...

Thanks for the comment. Thank God for the Holy Spirit and the small glimpse of real life God gives to us, they are sometimes the only thing that keeps me going.

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