When You Can’t Seem to Please Anyone
Do you ever feel like you can’t please anyone? Or, at least you can’t please someone you want to please? Maybe it’s a co-worker, spouse, parent, child, or friend. You do your best, but it seems they’re never satisfied. Trying to please people who are never pleased can cause us to feel defeated and drained. Unless we keep in mind that we can’t please everybody, and we focus on pleasing the most important person – our Heavenly Father. Jesus models doing that, even when others were disappointed in Him. For instance, the disciples were no doubt shockingly disappointed when Jesus didn’t resist being crucified. Martha and Mary were disappointed when Jesus delayed coming to their sick brother’s side. John 8:29 explains Jesus’s position. ”He (the Father) who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” No, we can’t always please others. But we can follow Christ’s example of pleasing our Heavenly Father.
Following are some of the ways Jesus pleased the Father. Which are you already doing? Which do you want to begin doing?
- Jesus used Scripture to stand against Satan’s temptations. We can do that.
- Jesus shared His Father’s kingdom principles, how to be forgiven, and how to be saved. We can do that.
- Jesus was sensitive to others and reached out to them. We can do that.
- Jesus looked up in prayer and thanked His Father for hearing Him. We can do that.
- Jesus prayed before He made decisions. We can do that.
- Jesus followed His Father’s leading rather than doing things on His own initiative. We can do that.
Heavenly Father, as Jesus was well-pleasing to You, help us please You.
When Things Are Bearing Down On You
Do you ever feel like the world, your flesh, or the devil are bearing down on you and you need a rallying point where you can find victory over your fallen nature and temptation? Moses discovered that the Lord was his rallying point. When he held high the BANNER OF THE LORD, the Israelites were victorious over their enemies. They fought in God’s name and strength, not their own. The same holds true for us. The LORD IS OUR BANNER. When we lift His name high in prayer and look to Him for strength, we find victory over our sin nature and the enemy. The next time temptation or your old nature is getting the best of you, look to the heavens. Lift high the LORD’s name: Victorious Warrior, Prince of Peace. Faithful. Provider. Wisdom. Build an altar of praise to the Lord as Moses did. “Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner.” (Exodus 17:15) Return to the altar of praise daily to meet your needs.
LORD, we praise You and lift high the BANNER of YOUR NAME over our flesh and the devil.
Rethinking Who and What We Praise
As we’ve studied, there are times when God announces, “This is who I am. This is my name.” Such is the case in Isaiah 42:8, when God announced, “I am the LORD, that is My name;” In the same breath, He continues; explaining what it means that His name is LORD. It means He will not give His glory to another. It means that our praise is to be given to Him alone. His pronouncement should cause us to rethink our lives, “Are we giving our praise to anything or anyone besides Him; making them the priority of our lives?” If so, we must bow before the LORD in repentance and profess Him LORD of our lives and give Him praise.
God, You alone are LORD. Forgive us for putting anything or anyone before You. We bow in humble reverence and praise.
Who Is Your Spirit Guide
When you were a child, did you play “follow the leader”? If so, you probably remember how important it was to do what the leader did. If they placed their hand on their head, then you were supposed to place your hand on your head. If they touched their toes, then you touched your toes. In order to follow, you had to keep your eye on the leader. You had to pay attention to the leader’s words. In Isaiah 48:17 God explains something that is not child’s play. Rather, it’s an incredible offer by the spiritual coach and mentor from on high. He tells us, “‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who LEADS you in the way you should go.'” Many people seek out a spirit “guide” or life coach so they can learn the best way to go in life. God freely offers His LEAD for us to follow. He teaches us to profit. How closely are we listening to Him? Are we following His lead?
God, You are our LEADER! What a blessing to follow You!
Better than Bootstraps
Do you feel hopeless? Perhaps the last bit of hope to which you’ve clung just went out the window. Your future may appear bleak. Dark clouds may seem to hover over you no matter where you go or how hard you try. But the good news is, if you’re a Christian, you have every reason to hope. Why? Because Romans 15:13 explains that the GOD OF HOPE is in you through the Holy Spirit. “Now may the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s not a question of if you have hope. You do. The question is, are you allowing the GOD OF HOPE to fill you with His joy and peace? You can experience hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a matter of switching from pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to believing God is on the throne; that He sees you and loves you. He has your best interest at heart. In faith, pray, “GOD OF HOPE, fill me with joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.”
GOD OF HOPE, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit so we can abound in hope by His power.
A Blessing to Slow Down and Think About
Do you ever hurriedly read through familiar passages in the Bible? I often have to remind myself to slow down so I grasp the fullness of God’s words. Such is the case with Matthew 26:27-28; which is often read during Communion. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.'” When we slow down to read this passage, we realize that Jesus identifies Himself as the Covenant Maker. He makes a covenant with us and seals it with His blood. His covenant with us is eternally binding. Nothing can separate us from Him. What a blessing for us to slow down and think about.
Lord Jesus, COVENANT MAKER, You not only made a covenant with us, but You sealed it with Your blood. We worship, praise, and adore You, our Lord and God.
Have You Ever Wished You Had Someone to..
Have you ever wished you had someone to watch your back? Or, better, to watch over your soul? The fact is, believers have just that in Jesus. First Peter 2:25 tells us “…you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” When doing research for my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion about God being the guardian of our soul, I discovered that the word “guardian” is translated from the Greek word episkopos and means an “overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things done by another are done rightly.” (page 98) What a blessing for us to have God as the Guardian of our souls!
LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of our souls!
Are you ever blind to something about yourself that others see? The other day after speaking at a luncheon, I got in my car and glanced in the mirror to check my hair. When I did, I noticed I had spinach in my teeth. I immediately winced and wondered why someone hadn’t told me. Of course, we’re ultimately responsible for ourselves. That’s why 2 Corinthians 13:5 is a good word regarding something much more important than our external appearance. It says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” We’re told to see if Christ’s Spirit is in us. In other words, just as we check our external appearance, we’re to check our internal. If you’re not sure Christ’s Spirit is in you or would like to know how to receive Christ’s Spirit, visit Meet Jesus.
PRAYERS PLEASE: Tonight I’m keynoting at Calvary Baptist Lubbock, TX Women’s Spring Banquet. Lubbock is my where I was born and raised, so it will be special to be back there. It’s also the date we buried my mother, Bernice Taylor, 17 years ago. I’d appreciate your prayers for an outpouring of God’s Spirit. I so want to give back to the community that gave so much to me. Thank you. Topic: The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World.
Do you know the answer to this question? Out of all of God’s teachings, what is the greatest of His commandments? and where is it found the Bible? You get extra points for knowing the Scripture reference. According to Jesus in Matthew 2:37-38, the great and foremost commandment is, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Luke 10:27 includes, “And with all your strength.” As a physician, Dr. Luke would have picked up on that important aspect. We’re to love God with every fiber of our being! Jesus quickly followed in Matthew 22:39-40 with a second great command and explanation, “The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” There we have it. Our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus are the commanders of the heavenly hosts and are our Commanders in Chief. As citizens of heaven we are to love and follow no one above them. How are we doing?
Lord, You who have given us Your COMMANDS, may we not be presumptuous or live contrary to Your ways, but rather live under Your commands in praise of You!
I’d Never Do That
The other day someone shared with me that they struggled to have time to pray and read the Bible. I didn’t say anything to the person, but I thought to myself, “Not me. I always have my prayer time and daily Bible reading first thing in the morning.” Wouldn’t you know it – the next morning, as I began my Bible reading and prayer time, a thought popped in my mind. Instead of jotting it down as I typically would and continuing my Bible reading, I decided to make the note on my computer. That led to me checking my email. Before I knew it, I’d done the very thing that I’d smugly thought to myself that I didn’t do. Micah 6:8 is a good reminder to us to walk humbly with God. When we do, we’ll also walk humbly with others. That’s a good reminder in case we ever think, “I’d never do that.” The fact is, we just might.
Do you struggle with staying focused in prayer? If so, you may want to consider journaling.
Prayers of My Heart – a tool to help you stay focused in prayer.