Why are you striving these days?

Something, in the midst of all the things going on, has shifted in my head.  I’ve had this on my mind since Wednesday, and last night it laid itself out fully before me.  This statement is what caught me by the jaw and really rung my bell:  “Compare the amount of time you worry about what others think and your attempts to please them to your level of concern for what God thinks and honoring Him.”
Much of what I have been doing is an attempt to please others and really strive to meet their standard.  My focus has been on them, and most definitely not on God, nor on pleasing Him.  What I’ve been pushing myself on, and beating myself up over, is the approval of everyone else.  I’ve placed these expectations in God’s arena, fully expecting them to be okay with Him.  I’ve given them free-reign in my life, and they have wreaked havoc over and over again. 

I’ve listened to others, before God.  I’ve let their words matter more than His.  I’ve gotten my intentions out of whack, and forgotten God’s call for my life.  I’ve consistently beaten myself up over how I can please ________.  In all of this, I’ve thought God was the one I was pleasing.  But He’s not been pleased with me on this.  I had blinded myself to what I was actually doing, because it was me doing, not God.  The work that God was doing in me got tainted by all of this.  I cannot continue to do this, knowing now that it’s not God I’m working for in this.  My priority has to be on Him, and what He commands of me, on His work and where that leads me.  I have to stop leading myself, and allowing others to affect that path. 

I must “fall in love with the work God’s called me to, not the results” in order to be pleasing Him, rather than myself or others.

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