Two Things We Must Do to Please God
By Joyce Webb 2011
Trust and Obey.
Simple things-----but hard to do.
Trusting and obeying go together. If we obey God, we trust Him. If we trust Him, we obey Him.
You can not obey without trusting, and you can not trust Him and not obey.
Some preachers make people think that they can come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and all will be well with them-----and that there is no more that they need to do.
If you are on your death-bed, that is true. Because you have no more time to do anything more.
You do not do something to "earn" salvation. It is a gift.
But being a Christian is an on-going decision.
There is something you must do to stay a Christian.
A Christian is one who follows Christ’s teachings.
You can not continue being a Christian unless you stay with God and obey Him.
Becoming a Christian happens in one step. You make a decision to believe that Jesus died for your sins. You believe He will take away your sins if you ask Him.
Becoming a Christian also has the understanding that you will follow Jesus’ teachings.
If you ask for forgiveness----that means you understand that you did wrong.
So you can not do that any more-----how do you think you will stay away from it unless you stay with God? Your own nature is not strong enough to keep you from sin-----that is how you got into sin.
To obey and walk with God means becoming like Him in every part of our thinking and doing. We walk with His "life" inside of us.
You can not choose one time to obey and then your spiritual life goes on "cruise control".
Every day we must choose to obey what God says.
Part of our "sin" as humans is our attitude of "I’ll do as I will." "God will not tell me what to do and rule over me."
We do not like God telling us what to do.
We do not want anyone telling us what to do.
We want to be "gods" ourselves. We want to decide what will be done. We want to be the "top authority".
It is in our nature to rebel against God. Rebel means to go against.
We think we know what is best for us. We want to control the things that happen in our life. Sometimes we want to control other people and what happens in their lives.
Lucifer was the first to "rebel" go against God in heaven. He wanted to be as God.
He was thrown out of heaven.
Then when man was made, he came to the Garden of Eden. He was successful in getting Eve and then Adam to "rebel" go against God.
Rebellion has been part of our human nature ever since.
Even in very young children ----younger than one year old------we see "rebellion"----when the parent says, "No", the child keeps going. Sometimes they look right at the parent and keep reaching for the forbidden thing and stare at the parent as if to say, "Watch me, I am going to do it."
No one had to teach that little one to do that. It is part of every human’s nature.
Satan’s main goal is to get us to go against God. Anything that makes us choose a way that is against what God wants----is the thing Satan will try to get us to do.
When we become a Christian and decide to follow Jesus-----Satan is very unhappy. He will try our whole life to get us to give it up.
No matter how old we get----we will never get rid of that "rebel" part of our nature that wants to keep the control for ourselves.
Satan will speak to that "rebel" part in us.
He will get us to try to use our own wisdom and understanding-----instead of seeking God’s wisdom for a situation.
He will get us to feel like God is "keeping good things from us" ----- so we make our own choice instead of obeying God.
Satan will try to get us to think of Jesus’ teachings as "suggestions"------we can do them if we feel like it.
When we first come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness---we stop doing big sins---like lying, cheating, stealing, killing, sex with partners other than our married one, drugs, etc.
We understand Jesus’ words "Go and sin no more." Repent! That means to turn and go the opposite way. If you are doing sin---stop---go the opposite way. Do not sin any more.
Then we learn there are other sins like----jealousy, envy, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, not trusting God, worry, being mean, bad attitudes, unkindness, being lazy and not willing to work, etc.
If you choose to have thoughts of "worry" ----you are not obeying God. We need to have faith and give the situation into God’s hands and let Him control it.
If we will not forgive someone who has done wrong to us----God will not forgive us.
Matthew 6:14, Matthew 18:35, Mark 11:25,
There are many Christians who hold unforgiveness in their hearts toward someone who hurt them.
Just to remind you: forgiving that people does not mean that you think what they did was okay. Forgiving them does not mean that you trust them now. Forgiving them does not mean that you allow them to hurt you again, and again.
It does mean that you no longer hold that thing against them to make them pay for their wrong.
In forgiving them, we may decide to trust them again, if we feel they have really been sorry and do not intend to do it again. We may get hurt again. We must forgive them again. Depending on what the problem is, we may not trust them again.
Forgiving does not always mean forgetting. Some things can never be forgotten.
Forgiving does mean that we try to put it from our thinking and try to think of something else. We do not keep thinking about it and go over and over how hurt we are and how we hate what they did and how we hope they get paid back. We try to put it out of our minds. Forgiving means we do not hold it against them to make them pay.
As we learn to walk with God, we will get better at yielding and giving up control to God-----we will learn to do it quicker and it will not be as hard. But as long as we are in these bodies, we will have a fight with our nature to yield to God. Read what Paul says in Romans 7: 14-25 --chp. 8: 1-39 Paul talks about how we struggle.
The more we learn to let the Holy Spirit work in us and lead us-----the easier it will become to yield to God and obey.
Our own strength will never keep us from sin. Our natures are too full of "rebellion" and wanting our own way. Satan is too tricky in tempting us. We are too quick to believe his talk. Our natures are too much like his.
Only God’s Holy Spirit in us will give us strength to stay close to God and help us stay away from sin.
It is a choice every minute of the day to stay close to Jesus. To do what Jesus says----is a choice we make all day long.
Choose to obey----it will continue as long as we live.
Trusting God goes with obeying.
Trusting is faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "without faith, it is impossible to please God."
You can not obey and refuse to trust God. Obeying is trusting God.
A Christian is one who follows Christ’s teachings.
If you do not follow His teachings-----you are not following Christ. You are following your own choices and wisdom.
Some churches teach that if you get "saved" -----then from then on you are saved forever. They use the verse that says: " And I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish (die) , neither shall any man pluck (take) them out of my hand." John 10:29
No man can take us out of the Father’s hand. If we choose to stay with the Father and Jesus, no man can take us out of that relationship. It is a relationship of the spirit. We are in charge of our spirits. No one can decide for us what our spirits will choose or believe---only us.
Men can take away our life and kill us. But they can not choose what our spirits will do.
In so many places in the Bible, Jesus speaks of following him in obedience until the end of our life, or until the Lord catches us up into the clouds.
Those who are faithful to the end receive the crown of life. Revelation 2:10
Revelation 2:10 "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life."
Trusting is part of obeying. You have to trust in order to believe. You trust what the Bible says is truth. You trust that Jesus meant it when he said he would forgive you and wash away your sins. You trust that in obey Jesus’ teachings you will live forever in heaven.
Trusting your eternal life to a belief in Jesus is a big thing.
Sometimes it is easier for us to trust God with our eternal life, but we have trouble trusting him with everyday things in our life here on earth.
Here on earth we want to use our own wisdom and understanding. We do not ask God to show us what to do. We do not wait for his direction.
We want to see what God plans to do before we trust him. If God does not answer our prayers as soon as we want or in the way we want we try to make it happen ourselves.
Trusting the Lord and seeing him bring wonderful answers makes us rich in our Christian life. It is not always an easy thing-----but it has great rewards.
Let us be determined to be faithful to the end. Let us choose to obey. Let us choose to trust.
We will be given great rewards some day for being true and faithful.