Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pleasing Men or God?

You can find a lot to study in these verses but I’m going to comment on verse 4 in I Thessalonians 2. Go ahead and read verses 1-13 so you will know the context.

For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe  I Thessalonians 2:1-13  KJV

Now I want you to read it in another version. I like the King James Version because it’s easier to look up the Greek meanings of a word, at least for me.

For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not [come] from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed-- God is witness-- nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing [mother] tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, [how] working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and [so is] God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we [were] exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father [would] his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men, but [for] what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.   NASB

As I was having my prayer walk with the Lord today, verse 4 really spoke to me and I knew God wanted me to look at it closer and see how it applies to my life.
So, after getting busy with other things  - yes I do that too! The Lord gently reminded me as I sat down to turn on the tv – are you going to sit before me and study that verse I gave you earlier?
Anyone been there with me? You know it’s from God, you know it will show you something but you just don’t “feel” like doing it right now and then as time passes you find yourself in bed going…..awww man I did it again, I let something the Lord wanted to teach me slip away. Time to repent and pray I don’t let that happen again – hence my blog today!!

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
I Thessalonians 2:4  KJV

Let’s look at “we were allowed” in the Strong’s Greek it is #1381 and reads ‘we have been approved’.

What does it mean to be approved?
        #1381 says - properly, to try (test) to show something is acceptable (real, approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine).

So they are saying God put them to the test to see if they were genuine, to show they were real and He found they were and He approved them, He trusted them with the Gospel.
I believe He tested them to see if they really believed His Word or was it just lip service. It could also be that God tested Paul and his companions before the Thessalonians to show them they were approved and genuine.
So when you begin to see these tests in your life, it could be God testing to see if it’s just lip service or do you really believe His Word.

Once God saw they really believed, He approved them and trusted them to speak His Word to others. He knew they would not be going to ‘please men’ but wanted to ‘please God’.

Strong’s Greek #700 - pleasing
to please, winning someone's favor (affection, approval) because meeting their expectation (especially by being in moral agreement)

He knew they wanted to meet His expectation because He tested them --  ‘testing’ – examining their hearts (which trieth our hearts).

So I’m hearing the question: Are you using God’s Word to please man, to get something you want OR are you, in faith, speaking God’s Word to please Him and give Him the honor?

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
I Thessalonians 2:4  KJV

Does God see me as trustworthy?

The answer I receive is……………sometimes I do this to please man! And that needs to change. I can’t change the Word of God to please someone that I’m afraid of losing. If I lose a friend or family member over their not wanting to live according to God’s Word it is a sad thing but God will replace them with someone that desires to live according to His Word and that will honor God and bring in all kinds of promises from God into my life.

I am not the judge – God did not come into the world to judge it but to save it – however we will all stand before the Judge in the end. God knows our motives, He knows our heart, and you can’t hide from Him.
You can sound and act so spiritual and others may not see the darkness of your heart, the wrong motives, the deceit, the self promotion BUT God does.

I don’t have a full revelation on the ‘allowed of God’ yet but I know He will reveal it in due time.
The closest thing I can come to is when someone asks me a question or I have a burning desire to share a Word with someone – I don’t remember what I said most of the time. I believe that is because it came from God, He trusted me and allowed me to speak something from His Word into that person’s life. I give all glory to God when I hear someone walk up and confirm that what I said they heard too or when the person says it was confirmation to them, because I know it was God and not me, there was no ‘me trying to please man’ it was me pleasing God by speaking and believe it was a Word from Him.

When someone tries to buddy up with the Pastor for their own selfish reasons – God knows it’s not to His glory.
When someone ties to buddy up with someone that has money because they are hoping to get things from them – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When we work or volunteer and don’t do it as unto the Lord but for personal gain – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When someone goes to church to have their children babysat and they don’t stay or listen to the teaching – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When someone goes to church to try and impress the opposite sex instead of to honor God – He knows………I could go on and on so let’s check our motives – before you start ‘speaking’ ask am I doing this for man or for God? 

I know there are times, and it can be hard, I have to take a step back and seek forgiveness from God because my motives are not pure. I am seeking to please someone other than God.
I want Him to trust me to speak His Word. I want to see Him moving and brining salvation, restoration, healing, provision, peace, joy, etc. I don’t want to get in the way because I can do nothing without Him.

And how exciting when you see people believe the Word of God.

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men, but [for] what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.   NASB

Lord God, I ask that your forgive me for all the times I have been selfish in my sharing of Your Word, in the things I have done to show ‘me’ off instead of You. For the times I wanted to ‘please’ someone other than you, for the times I wanted people to see who I was with so they would think higher of me. I could be with no one greater than You Lord!
Thank You Father, that you are showing me how to be tested by You so I’m allowed to speak what You want me to speak for Your glory not mine. Thank You that by Your testing it shows me areas of darkness that needs cleansed by Your Light and that is something to rejoice about because then I become more like You and Your Light in me will attract and save people. Your Word will perform its work in those who believe.

  In Jesus Name, Amen

1 comment:

  1. Is it possible to seek the approval of men and be an effective servant of Christ? To go with the flow works well unless there is a waterfall at the end of the river. Then the ride can get a little bumpy.

    Galatians 1:10 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.

    The apostle Paul said if I were "still" trying to please men. Obviously while Paul was a Pharisee he was trying to please men.
    Do men today continue in their denominations to please friends and relatives?

    John 12:42-43 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

    Are there those today who know in their heart that Jesus was correct when He said "has been baptized shall be saved," but will not confess it because they fear being ostracized by church members, friends and relatives?

    James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know the friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

    If we have friendship with the world, then we get their approval. Is that approval worth becoming an enemy of God?

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

    If all believers and the world speak well of you, do you think you might want to reconsider your life style, as well as your faith?

    2 Timothy 4:2-3 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    If men do not like what the Bible teaches, they will find people who will teach what meets their approval.

    We sometimes think that speaking the truth in love means that we should water down the gospel, compromise the requirements for salvation, accept the sins of the world or simply offer excuses for sin.