The Path to Peace-Pleasing God, Not this World
Have you ever looked at someone else and felt disappointed because they had what you’d been working so hard for? Perhaps a friend had bought a beautiful new home, or their kids were better behaved. Maybe they started a successful company, and your attempts have fallen flat.
How the world measures success, and by extension, how we've learned to measure it, can leave you feeling like a failure. But if we can shift our perspective from that of this world and look to what pleases God, we might just find peace and fulfillment from the one that matters most.
What is Pleasing to this World
It's easy to get distracted by how the world views success. All you have to do is spend five minutes on social media to see it being lived out with…
- Perfectly Styled Homes
- Trendy Clothes
- Fancy Plated Food
- Overnight Success Stories
And the list could go on and on and on. When we focus on all those external things, we begin to feel like we'll never measure up. And consequently, we never rest in the peace that comes from seeking what is pleasing to God.
What is Pleasing to God
While the world measures success from an external perspective-how much money we make, the clothes we wear, etc. I think God measures it from an internal perspective.
- What effort did you put in?
- How did it build your character?
- How did it strengthen your faith?
- What lesson did you learn?
- Who did it Help?
There’s this beautiful Scripture passage that helps me shift my perspective away from worldly success.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Things of this world are perishable. They go away. At the end of the day, when you leave, you don't take any of it with you. But your soul and your character are things that you can build here on earth that I think do go with you. And that's what I think matters to God.
Practical Steps to Please God and Build Success that Lasts
So where can we focus our heart, effort, and faith to find everlasting success? To answer that let’s look at some Scripture on what pleases God and how we can apply it to our lives.
2 Timothy 3:1-All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…
- A great way to know what is pleasing to God is to remain in Scripture. Not only will you begin to understand what is pleasing to Him but you’ll discover that the Holy Spirit is filling you with what you need to know when you need to know it.
Mark 12:28-31-One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
- The second to the last line is to love your neighbor as yourself. How can we achieve this when we're striving to succeed? While working on something, we can pause and ask ourselves if anyone else will benefit from what we’re doing? We can also think about who we can reach back to support and mentor as we become more and more successful.
Jeremiah 29:13- You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
- Ask yourself if you are seeking God as you work towards something, or are you trying to do it yourself? Trying to do it alone is a quick recipe for frustration. God gives us the gift of his presence merely by asking Him, so invite him in when you're striving to do something.
- An easy way to do that is before you start working towards something, say a prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you on the steps to take so that you will be aligned with what is pleasing to God.
What are the Benefits of Pleasing God as You Pursue Your Dream
If we can change our mindset of building our dreams from a worldly framework, I think we’ll find ease in what we do. We’ll find our strength through Jesus and feel at peace with whatever the outcome because we’ll find our success in the heart of God, not from things of this world.
JOURNAL PROMPTS INSPIRED BY SCRIPTURE:
Colossians 3:23 (ESV) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
- Journal about a time you feel you failed at something from a worldly perspective. Then journal about how you think God views it.
- What things of this world are you striving for? Journal about how you think God values those things.
- What's one small change you can make this week to please God? At the end of the week, journal about how it felt to make that change.