I am one of those “Type A” personalities who never feels that my best is good enough. I remember when I was a child performing in a piano recital; even though I read the music correctly and hit all the correct notes, I thought I gave a lousy performance. The same is true with my artwork. You would think I’d cut myself slack given the fact that I paint holding brushes between my teeth, but not so. I’m always setting incredibly high standards for myself, and as a result, more renderings end up in the trash can than framed on a wall.
I’ve since learned to put my Type A tendencies behind me, but once in a while the “overachiever” deep inside gets me into trouble—especially in my walk with Christ. I have known the Lord for many years and have grown in Him over the decades, but still, I have occasionally lain awake at night, unable to sleep, thinking . . .
Lord Jesus, am I doing this thing called “the Christian life” right? Am I living a life that pleases—I mean, really pleases—you?! It’s during those mad midnight hours that I worry and wonder what God thinks of me. Is my repentance sincere? Are my motives pure when I worship? Am I only obeying You to win Brownie points?! Before long, my stomach is in knots.
Perhaps you identify (no need to be Type A; you could be a completely different personality type)! You long to live a life that pleases God, but self doubt and insecurities keep tripping you up. Or, you may think that pleasing the Lord is a matter of following a lot of rules and regulations, yet you find that “Do this” and “Don’t do that” only leads to more frustration. Or it could be hidden sins in your life that hold you aback.
Strike the Match in Your Heart
Well, you’re a follower of Revive Our Hearts, and perhaps you’re even heading for True Woman ’22. To me, at least, that shows your desire to live a life that pleases God. Not just obey Him, (although that's what proves we love Him), but to love Him with passion, spirited affection, and intense desire. To have a longing to know God better and better with fire in your eyes and a furnace in your heart.So strike the match in your heart: get to know the fountain of love that He is.And there is no better way to know Him than through His Word . . .
- Get into God's Word, and your heart will change—you’ll be disciplining your affections against temptation and teaching your heart not to wander so often.
Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. (Prov. 4:23)
- Get into God's Word, and your passion for Jesus will increase. Emotions of fondness for the Lord and devotion to His ways will grow. Feelings follow faith, and . . .
Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. (Rom. 10:17)
- Get into God's Word, and you will be strengthened to choose the path that honors God.
Train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Tim. 4:7–8)
- Get into God's Word, and you’ll be convinced Jesus is worth following; you’ll know that His pleasures are more satisfying than sin’s pleasures.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. (Eph. 1:17–19)
Find Out What Pleases Him
Ephesians 5:8,10 sums it up beautifully: “Walk as children of light . . . testing what is pleasing to the Lord.” Friend, simply find out what pleases Jesus—ask Him to show you what would bring Him delight, what would honor and exalt Him. Find out ways to “talk Jesus up,” make Him famous, and showcase His attributes. Then, keep Him as your focus. When you do, you’ll be living as children of light, and you’ll be bringing a smile to the heart of God!
Do you want more and more of God's kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us! (2 Peter 1:2–3 TLB)