Monday, October 21, 2013

Pleasing the Lord

I sat down at the beginning of this new week and read these words:

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. ... For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. ... So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise." {Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10}

Verse 10 jumped out at me: "Carefully determine what pleases the Lord."

These words are surrounded by commands: Don't be sexually immoral, impure or greedy. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes are unnecessary. Be thankful to God. Don't be fooled by excuses for sins. Don't live in darkness. Live in Christ's light. Be careful how you live. Don't be thoughtless. Don't be drunk. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Sing praises. Give thanks. Submit to one another. {Yes, that's my personal summary, but you get the point!}

I was reminded that the specifics of imitating God and living a life in the light aren't always going to look the same. Yes, God calls his people to the same standard, but what we do with that varies. We make decisions about our marriages, parenting philosophies, schooling choices, extracurricular activities, daily routines, and careers. We have different gifts and talents and passions.

Seek God when you make decisions. And then be confident your Maker is leading you where he wants you. Yes, seek friends to encourage you and share this live with you. Yes, look to others you trust for inspiration.

But don't compare. Your life and my life aren't going to look the same. God may call me to give up something he asks you to pick up. My time isn't going to be prioritized the same as yours. Our calendars will look different and so will the ways God surprises us with his presence. You're going to go places I don't get to go and I'll journey down paths that differ from your forks in the road.

And that's OK. This is something that has been on my mind recently. It's one of those topics that crops up in my heart every now and again. God's telling me it's important. He's reminding me there is a mighty power that comes with grace. 

So, yes, pay close attention to those commands Paul wrote to the Ephesians, but also realize God manifests our obedience in personal, unique ways that all come around to pleasing him when we carefully determine our steps.

I'm linking up with ... 
Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party.
Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory.
Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday.
The Hello Mornings blog. 

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  1. Dear Kristin
    Of there is one gremlin that loves to pester all of us; it is that Comparing one. I have found that as we learn to abide in Jesus, these things comes just sort of naturally for it is Jesus' life in us and not us trying our best!
    Blessings XX

  2. Kristin - Seeing as I read this same portion of Scripture yesterday, I LOVE this post! I love that you reminded us that "there is a mighty power that comes with grace". And that power includes power to be who He has created us to be. So grateful that the only One I need to imitate is Him :) Oh, & I am visiting this morning from Soli Deo Gloria.

    Have a great week!

  3. Hi Kristin,

    Visiting from Three Word Wednesday.

    Thank you for your thought provoking post. Yes, I agree, the path of life we walk on into our Saviour's arms has the same destination, but the footsteps we take are different and personal to our walk with Jesus.

  4. Hi Kristin! Thanks for pulling out that sentence from the Word. It's a short command, but, man, what a powerful statement! Pondering this today. (Side note: 152 insights to my soul... is that Meg Ryan's line from You've Got Mail!? You should know you are sort of my sister for life now :))

  5. KristinHillTaylor10/23/2013 12:25 PM

    Hi, Amanda. Good to see you here. :) It's a sentence I've been thinking about all week. I'm glad you are benefiting too. And, yes! You've Got Mail! :)

  6. KristinHillTaylor10/23/2013 12:26 PM

    Thanks for coming by, Anita!

  7. I like the version of that verse...carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

  8. KristinHillTaylor10/23/2013 12:52 PM

    Me too, Debbie! It's the New Living Translation. Thanks for coming by.

  9. I'm so loving the study of Ephesians and love reading what others take away from the study. So good! Blessings to you Kristin. Thank you for linking up. {Hugs}

  10. KristinHillTaylor10/24/2013 9:50 AM

    It's been such a good study for me in this particular season of life - I like how God had that one planned! :) And thanks, again, for hosting the link up.