FROM PASTOR'S DESK 2021 Pastor's Desk

How to become an enemy of God | Pst. J.O. Lawal

If you have men as your enemies, God is able to save you from their hands. But if you have God as your eternal enemy, who is going to save you from His hand? Nobody!

Date: August 08, 2021 | Series: From Pastor’s Desk | Number: Vol. 10, No. 14

Beloved: welcome to the second week of the month of August 2021. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you both now and forevermore. Amen.

As we begin this new week, I want to exhort you with the words of Apostle Paul that say, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10NIV) Now does this mean that it is totally wrong to gain people’s approval or to please them? No! On the contrary, it is important that we learn to please people, especially those in our lives. That is because it will promote love, peace and unity in our relationship with them.

And what does God want among men? He wants love, peace and unity among them. So, when we work to please people and accomplish these things, He is pleased. And anyone who will not study and work towards pleasing men in this manner will unlikely give himself to the discipline that pleasing God requires.

However, we need to be careful that we do not displease God while we are trying to please men. And that is the point that Paul is setting before us in that bible text. He wants us to know that while it is true that God wants us to labour to please men, so that our dealings with them may be smooth and peaceful, He does not want us to do this at the expense of our relationship with Him.

What does this mean? Well, it means that God is the one that must define for us how we please people. Yes, people may desire that we act in certain ways in order for them to be pleased or happy with us. But they are not our creator, neither are they the ones that will judge and reward us for the things we do in this life, whether good or evil. So, while it is alright for them to desire that we please them in one way or the other, we must only do what they want if it pleases God. If what they want does not please Him or is not in agreement with His will, we must refuse to do it for them or give it to them.

Will this make them happy? Will doing things that displease people make them happy? No! But as children that are responsible to God, our most important goal in life is to please Him and make Him happy and not to please men and make them happy (2Cor 5:9). Yes, in most cases, when we please God and make Him happy, people will be pleased and made happy too. But there are times that pleasing Him will set us against men. And that will be because of their hatred for His righteousness and truth (John 3:19-21).

Nevertheless, even if in pleasing God, we find ourselves at variance with men, we should not lose heart or feel bad. That is because it is far better to be an enemy of men and suffer their temporary rejection, abuse or persecution than to be an enemy of God and be forever lost. If you have men as your enemies, God is able to save you from their hands. But if you have God as your eternal enemy, who is going to save you from His hand? Nobody!

James says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4-5NIV) Did you see that? If, for any reason, whether it is fear, money, pleasure, position or a desire for men’s reward, you choose to be a friend of the world, you automatically become an enemy of God. And the consequences of that will never be good or enjoyable for you, whether in this life or in the one to come.

Remember Pilate. Why did he release a criminal to go and continue his life of sin but condemn an innocent man to death? It was because he wanted to please men (Mark 15:15). So, he became an enemy of God and of truth and justice just because he wanted to satisfy men. I wonder what he would say to Him on the day of judgment, if he did not receive salvation through faith in Christ Jesus before his death. And I wonder what you too will say to Him on the day He visits you, if you should allow yourself to become His enemy just to remain friends with adulterers, prostitutes, thieves, swindlers, sorcerers or any other kind of wicked person. Well, my prayer is that nothing will succeed in setting you against Him, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do have a great week.

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