Quit – I Double-Dare You!

21 11 2013

There is a better way to live life than from a “Bounded Set.” It is the way of freedom.

Freedom to love authentically

Freedom to live authentically.

Freedom to pursue God with our whole heart.

It is living from a “Centered Set,” so called because our focus is centered on the Lord.

We live to please Him through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and let Him sort out the rest.

Living from the Centered Set is beautiful in its simplicity.

We are released from people-pleasing, the root of which is fear.

People-pleasing causes us to say “yes” to something when we really mean “no,” and visa verso. We find ourselves compelled to do and say things that we really don’t mean in an effort to control how others feel about, and what they think about, us.

Let’s face it, when we do this, we are lying. {gulp}

However, this is not God’s will for us. We are told:

“Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.” (Matthew 5:37)

and again,

“Speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)

Here’s His promise concerning this:

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).

When our primary goal is to please the Lord every day, we can evaluate others’ requests, demands, and expectations through this lens. We are no longer subject to manipulation through guilt, anger, or concern for what others might think.

When He is our focus, and we move toward Him, our attitudes and behaviors begin to change. We begin to see growth and freedom like never before. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).

When we blow it, we apologize, repent, and re-align our focus on Jesus.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17

Before we can live a centered life, we must know our identity in Christ. If we define ourselves by what we do, our only option is to continue “performing” in ways that others will applaud.

Further, if we define ourselves by others’ evaluation of us, we have no choice but to continue to keep them happy by doing what they want, when they want, and how they want.

This is bondage!

As the blood-bought children of the Lord Most High, who have been chosen before the foundation of the world; ones who are accepted (as we are), adopted, redeemed, justified, sanctified, glorified, seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, and sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit, we are free to be who God says we are.

No one else has the right to define us.

At first, the changes we make will feel scary. Fear is only a feeling…not reality. Step over that fear and do it anyway. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

We may get “change back” messages from people around you by way of anger, frustration, or hurt. Let them carry the responsibility for their feelings. Who knows, this might be the very thing that pulls them closer to the Lord as well!

If we’re not meeting a need like we used to, they will seek to fill it with something else. That “something else” could very well be God…and it may be that we’ve been in His way!

Meanwhile, we become the individuals God intended for us to be all along – and are free to discover His plan for us (which is often vastly different than what man would have us do).

It will feel risky…but it is the way we discover that God is trustworthy.

Here comes the most challenging part:

We must allow others to live from the Centered Set as well!

No more manipulating people to get what we want.

No more demanding that they “make” us happy.

No more insisting on having things our way. (We are not Burger King!)

We extend grace to others and encourage them to seek God’s will for their lives.

Where we see a weakness, we come alongside them to strengthen them; to pray with and for them.

As we do this, we set others free from the bondage of people-pleasing as well.

When we live from a Centered Set, we view ourselves as:

Loved

Free

A dearly-love child

The apple of His eye

A joint-heir

Valued

We view others:

As friends!

Equals, not competition

As sisters and brothers

Fellow travelers

And we can celebrate one another’s progress

We can be honest and authentic with one another.

We view God as:

A very good Father

Our great Provider

A Lover

Our Caretaker

Faithful

Unfailing

Trustworthy

Sympathetic

Our Protector and Defender

Compassionate

What a difference is ours to enjoy when we shift our focus from man and place it on the Lord!

Quit striving to please mere mortals. You’ll be glad you did!

To help you on the journey, I leave you with this “walking stick:”

I can only please One Person per day.

Today is not your day…

…Tomorrow doesn’t look good either!

***

“For am I now seeking the favor of men,

or of God?

Or am I striving to please men?

If I were still trying to please men,

I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

*****

Intimacy With God is the current topic. If you missed the beginning, it’s here: C’mon In…

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6 responses

22 11 2013
nopew

Respect, compassionate love, loyalty. The missing things in our culture of “me first, and you second (if I get around to it!). Galatians 1:10 is a great check in – please people and loose God, please God and people are loosed!
Peace

22 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I actually wore the little saying, “I can please…” along with Galatians 1:10 around my neck for a couple of weeks to remind myself and others that my job wasn’t to try to garner their favor by trying to make them happy.

It worked! This is a once-in-a-while issue for me these days.

Guess what I got out of the deal?

Peace!

\o/

23 11 2013
nopew

Good deal!

21 11 2013
shadeakinbiyi

Amen, Awesome Word!!! Thank you and remain BLESSED as always!!:)

21 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Loved this study!!! 🙂

Grace and peace to you and yours.

\o/

21 11 2013
shadeakinbiyi

🙂

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