Mark Beaird | Books

Is God A People Pleaser?

Often you will hear people say when things are going well for them that God has worked things out or that He is blessing them. I am certainly not disagreeing with that outlook. However, I also have noted that when things do not go their way, the same people will often blame the devil, circumstances, and even God Himself for things not turning out the way they wanted. The unspoken thought here seems to be that when we are pleased with our lives God is at work on our behalf, but when we are not pleased with the outcome God is not at work.

For many, it is inconceivable that God would not accommodate them if they use the right "faith" or prayer "formula" when they ask God for something. Of course, some disappointed souls are quick to console themselves by saying, "There is a reason for everything," or something similar. However, it is the elated feelings over getting what we want versus the feelings of despondency and abandonment that many feel when we do not get what we want that worries me. It denotes a basic underlying problem with our true theology.

The whole idea of assuming that God is behind only things that make us happy invites the question, "Is God only at work in our lives when we are pleased with the outcome?" The obvious answer is no, but we often act as if the answer is yes. After all, doesn't God want me to be happy? "Well," the truthful response should be, "the only way I am going to be happy is to get what I want."

This problem is more common than you might expect. Many go about frustrated or angry with God because things have not turned out the way they wanted. They are so focused on receiving that they never question that God could want something else for us. Is it too much to believe that God may not want to dote on us all the time like a parent dotes on a spoiled-rotten child? Could He actually have a better plan for us? A plan that would actually make us - dare I say - uncomfortable?

I realize that some things should never be attributed to the actions of our Creator. Any deed that would go against His holy and righteous character should never be ascribed to His actions, nor do all prayers fall into this category. Yet, I think that Biblically we can see that there is a great deal of submission, humbling of oneself, denying of oneself, and otherwise yielding the way to God's will over ours that is never discussed in some pulpits or religious gatherings.

I submit that God is not as those we know who nervously run about trying to please everyone around them with the hopes that everyone will like them. He is God. No votes or poll results will ever change that. Of course, God wants us to be happy, but He wants it to happen His way. His way is best.

So, perhaps instead of being upset and fretful because God has not answered every prayer the way you thought He would or done things as you would have liked, be wise enough to understand that He knows what He is doing. Be secure enough to believe that He will do what is best for you. Remember the words of the Apostle Peter, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6 NIV

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