Have you ever thought you understood something or had a stance on an issue only to find out later that you were totally off base? Well that is what happened to me recently.
When Joy and I accepted the call to full time missions, I thought that we were making 'quite a sacrifice' and that because of that, we would be really pleasing to God. I thought that since I considered the house we had just moved into 'better' than the house we moved out of, that giving up this house to go to the mission field would be a more pleasing sacrifice to God than the house we had sold a year earlier. After all, this house had land and a pool and more bedrooms and we liked it more. So because of that, if we agreed to give it up, God would some how be even more blessed by the whole deal.
Boy was I wrong. Three times in the last couple of months God has brought I Samual 15 into my life. In that passage we learn that God does not want sacrifice. That sacrifice is not what pleases God. It turns out that I easily found 12 other passages that clearly state the same thing. That sacrifices are not what please God. I do not know how I missed it before. It all started even with Cain and Able. Why did Abel please God and not Cain? It was not the sacrifice of Abel that pleased God it was the OBEDIENCE. Abel had done what God had commanded and Cain had not.
In the passage in 1 Samuel God says that sacrifices do not please him. Obedience pleases him. The size of the sacrifice is a measurement for us to see our level of committment but it is not a leveraging tool to please God. God is only pleased by obedience.
God told us to go to Haiti and serve the Haitian people and we would be pleasing to Him. We will be pleasing because of obedience. Not because of the acts or ministry we perform. We will be pleasing because we will be obedient. If we go to Haiti and do everything in the world to help people and even preach the good news and see souls saved, we will still not be pleasing to God if we do not serve the people as servants because that is what God called us to do. He is pleased by obedience.
What is it in your life today that God has told you to do that will please Him. It does not matter how many good things you are doing, if you are not doing what God told you to do, you are not pleasing Him.
We don't like that. We want to call the shots and do what we want to for God and Him accept it and be pleased with us. So many Christians spend their entire lives burning themselves out in ministry that is UN-pleasing to God because it is not what God told them to do! Don't fall for it. Don't get caught in the cycle. Seek God. Pursue after Him and allow Him to tell you what it is that YOU can do to be pleasing to Him. He wants to show you. You just have to let him.