Do I Seek to Please Men?


Please open your Bible to the place where it is written: "Do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Jesus Christ."   This text in Galatians 1:10 presents part of the definition of being a servant of Jesus Christ.

The text speaks clearly: if one seeks to please men, then one is not a servant of Jesus Christ.  There is no twisted mystery in the words.  The contrapositive is, if one is a servant of Jesus Christ, then one does not seek to please men.  The truths are equivalent, precisely.

One seeks to please men because one loves the praise of men more than the praise of God, being a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God.  One loves what men give, what one would not get otherwise from God, and so one caters to the pleasure and will of men instead of to the pleasure and will of God.

Do you seek to please men?  Are you motivated in word and deed by whether others approve or not?  Does the mere fact that others are happy with you tend to gladness and satisfaction in your heart?  Does the fact that those about you are angry and disappointed with you bring you sorrow, turmoil, and heaviness?  When others respect and admire you, do you rejoice in this?  When others despise you, are you deeply troubled?  This was not Christ.  This is not Christ.

Are you solely motivated by the will and good pleasure of the eternal God?  Is it true that you are only concerned with God's pleasure?  in every matter?  that only God's approval is significant to you?  Are you dead to the world? Crucified unto it?  Is the world crucified unto you?  Are you dead to your own will and pleasure?  Are you alive unto God?  Are you willing and anxious to please God if some action will anger all but Him?  Would you much rather please God than yourself?  This was Christ.  This is Christ: "I do always those things that please Him."

Is it true that those things that are highly esteemed among men are an abomination in the sight of God?  Is it true that if any man love the world, then the love of the Father is not in him?  Yes.  It is true.

Is it also true that self-love is so commonplace today that it is hardly recognized? "For all seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's." (Phil 2:21) So it was in the early days, so it is today.  So few are the servants of Jesus Christ today, in any day.

Let us be frank.  You are not a servant of Jesus Christ.  You love your flesh, and so are driven by it. You find much of your carnal pleasure in those about you. You fear the wrath of man, and love his praise and recognition.  You consistently choose to please yourself, and you are mostly pleased when others are pleased with you.  You are deeply moved when others approve of you, or disapprove, when they smile or glare, when they promote, or threaten.  When they caress, you swoon; when they punish, you cower.  You are well trained by the enemy of God. The fear of man has brought the snare, and you are taken in it. 

You pretend that God likes it this way, that you are serving Him, that He loves you as you are, and understands you, and likes you, and wants you happy.  He takes care of you and answers some of your prayers, yet you are confused, disoriented, hurt, restless, unhappy.  Truly, your life is ticking away in failure, wasted; all you have stored in the heavenlies is wood, hay, stubble.  You are complacent, cold, wanton.  You have loved your life until now, and you have lost it until now.

All is spiritually dark.  The churches are loud and empty, clouds without water, yet you keep going back to them for nourishment instead of to the Fountain of living water.  You do not know the voice of God yourself, you do not know His Word and Revelation, and you do not care enough to seek Him earnestly.  You are not in hot pursuit of God, or holiness, or truth.  You are dull and lazy in spirit.  You wake to emptiness, purposelessness, and the measly clutter of your stuff.  The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches have sprung up and choked you, and you are unfruitful.  It will all be burned soon.  And you are content to spend another day just like the last, and then another, and so you do, day after day.  Oh, how WRETCHED you are!

Who are you?  When you stand naked in the mirror and look into your own eyes, who do you see?  What do you see?  You see yourself, as you are, with no props or crutches, nothing to hide behind: a soul dwelling in a piece of dust, a carcass. The breath, the bodily life that ebbs in your bosom, it is a vapor that is vanishing right in front of you. 

And you are a slave to this?  You are a slave to this!  And those you fear, they are no different!  Why do you serve this instead of the living God?  Do you really think He understands?

Be not deceived friend.  God does not understand you.  Neither do you understand yourself.  What you are doing makes absolutely no sense at all.  It is nonsense in its purest form. God is not mocked: whatever you sow, that is what you shall also reap. If you keep on sowing to your flesh, you will of the flesh reap corruption. If you sow to the Spirit you shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:7-8) It makes no sense that you have spent all these years sowing to your flesh.  It is insane.  Your slavery to the fear of man, to the pleasure of man, to your own self... this must stop.  You must stop.  You must stop now.

Be drastic.  Subtlety does not break the deep bonds of slavery.  It takes full-scale war.  Be intense.  Be afflicted and mourn and weep.  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness.  Fast.  Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.  Offer up your whole entire wretched self to God, back to God.

Put yourself back up on the altar where you belong.  Lock, stock, and barrel, put that old flesh, that old carcass of yours, back up on the cross, and nail it there to stay.  Now, take everything that you ever wanted in this world, and nail it to the cross as well.  Your children, your spouse, your career, your reputation, your health, your wit, your intelligence, your knowledge, your wealth, your home, and all of your possessions… nail them fast… one by one… to stay.

Be drastic, friend… drastic as the devil, who leaves no room for righteousness.  Be as drastic as God, Who in the person of Jesus Christ became poor for you, was despised for you and rejected for you and hated for you, Who was wounded for you, Who suffered deeply to redeem you, and Who died for you. Half-heartedness is useless; lukewarmness is a tasteless joke.  No one can serve two masters. (Matt 6:24) You cannot serve God and yourself; you cannot serve God and your spouse, or God and mammon, or God and others, or God and family, or God and work, or God and anything.  A double minded soul is unstable in every way. (James 1:8) If your eye is single and focused your whole body will be filled with light, but if your eye is evil and lazy and wanton, your whole body will be filled with darkness. (Matt 6:22-23) You, leave no room for sin, no room for self… and no room for anybody else's self.  Focus on God and let the world blur.

You are now a living sacrifice.  You are not afraid to die, but ready and willing to die... body and soul.  You are already dead... but ever alive in the Spirit. You are counted as a sheep for the slaughter.  You will die today.  You will die again tomorrow.  You will die daily. (1 Cor 15:31)

Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for you in the flesh, arm yourself likewise with the same mind, for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.  (1 Peter 4:1) When you have a mind to suffer according to the will of God, you find you are no longer panting after sin, coddling your flesh, and are free from the fear of men.  When you do suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of your soul to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:19) Suffer the loss of all things, and count it all as nothing more than sewage, that you may win Christ and be found in Him. (Phil 3:9)

Remember what you deserve.  You have no rights.  You have no claim upon this world or anything in it.  You are a candle to be lit, a precious metal for the purifying furnace.

Now you are ready to live, ready for God to live in you, ready to live for God. You are now a servant of Jesus Christ.