I have mentioned before that growing up, I was a performance driven girl. In my adult life, I have battled being a people pleaser. People pleasing has its issues and I am learning to overcome with the Lord's help.
Along with the people pleasing, I have a heart that longs to please God.
Now, pleasing God may sound all good, but a majority of my Christian life was spent trying to earn God's approval and pleasure. And likewise, I felt He was disappointed with me much of the time. Again, I didn't feel I could measure up. The truth is I couldn't. However, God never intended for us to go around not feeling good enough.
Emily writes in Chapter 4 of Grace For the Good Girl about the difference in trying to please God vs trusting God.
"Choosing to please God sounds right at first, but it so often leads to a performing life, a girl trying to
become good, a lean-on-myself theology. If I am trying to please God, it is difficult to trust God. But when I trust God, pleasing him is automatic." (pg. 65)
Pleasing God = Works and relying on self
Trusting God = Rest and obedience. God is pleased when we trust Him.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10
The word "still" is the Hebrew word raphah and it means "relax"
Notice, it didn't say, "Work hard and know that I am God." No, it says, "Be still" or relax. Trust.
When we are working to please God, we stay busy striving and doing.
Striving and doing are synonymous with trying to keep the law.
When we are trusting God, we can rest in Him, we can rest and be in His presence.
Resting and being are synonymous with His grace. His grace and power of the Holy Spirit enable us to obey the Lord and complete whatever His will is for us.
One puts the emphasis on self, the other puts the emphasis on the Holy Spirit.
One brings bondage, and the other.... freedom.
On Thursday, I wrote about Understanding Righteousness. When we understand who we are in Christ and that we have already been made righteous through Christ, we have the freedom to stop striving and start being. We can come boldly before the throne of grace to find mercy in our time of need. We can stop trying to please God and just rest trusting God.
When we lay down all our doing and trade it in for the stillness found in His presence, we find His Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us into His will.
Be still. Know. He is God. Trust.