“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5.6-10
“So we make it our goal to please him….” What does it mean to please God? How can we even please him? Sinners that we are? Unworthy in all our ways. What a Calvinist would call “total depravity.”
But I don’t believe we are totally depraved. Sure, we have original sin and that is our bent, our way, and our natural inclination. But we are made in his image and what he called in Genesis as “very good.” If we are very good, made in God’s image, how can we be completely bad?
Paul encourages the church that while we are living in these bodies we “live by faith and not sight.” We live according to God’s will for our lives, his plan and his ways. We desire to be with him, Paul callings it being “away from the body and at home with the Lord.” But until that day, we “make it our goal to please him.” This is our every day want, desire and passion. Pleasing God must be above everything else.
But pleasing God means denying myself, walking by faith, trusting in his goodness and grace. ”For one day,“ Paul writes, “we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” And what’s the purpose of this? To “receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” I don’t know about you but I am trusting the blood of Jesus to wipe away all of my sins and to present me holy and blameless to the Lord.
But until I met God face to face, I make it my own personal desire to please God. It is my goal in life, or at least the desired goal. The outcome is holiness. The trophy is eternal life and relationship with the one who made, called and created me. Pleasing God is not easy and so I need each day to perfect this task. I deny myself, take up my cross and follow him, as Jesus told his disciples.
Are you doing the same? Is your goal to please yourself or the Savior? Let us lean in to the cross today, draw near to Jesus, receive the filling of the Holy Spirit and be the people of God. For his grace and by his glory.
“O Lord God, I am sometimes but a weary traveler upon a road called Faith. I walk according to this faith and not by sight. For my eye sight is poor. But my faith is rich in Christ Jesus. Come now, Lord God, fill me with your power and love. Use me as you will. Call me as you will. Direct my path to the place that pleases you the most. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen