The demands staring me down seem so daunting;
the requests opposing who I know I am.
God, help me be true to You,
and true to who You have made me to be.
Series Focus: “Resurrecting Hope in the Midst of Life’s Storms”
Have you ever been posed with the instructions, “Do whatever it takes to get the job done”? Maybe you have said that yourself. It’s not necessarily bad instruction or a bad confession…unless it conflicts with who God has made you to be, and what He has called you to do.
I can recall different seasons in my life when I chose a certain path because I was unsure of which way to go; or, I pursued a goal that maybe wasn’t something I should have committed to. All of us have made those trial and error decisions as we try to understand who we are and what God has purposed for us. That is simply growing in the knowledge and experience of our destiny. As we commit ourselves to God, to His word, and to the leading of His Spirit, and as we “put our hand to the plow,” so to speak, clarity in our purpose does come.
But sometimes, whether we are on a wayward path, or we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be, people can put unrealistic expectations upon us – that oppose who we are and what we are to be doing – good or bad. It could be within a relationship with a sibling, a friend, or perhaps even a spouse. Maybe an employer or manager has required something outside the job description and responsibilities.
Sometimes, those expectations and requirements are okay morally, ethically, spiritually, and we make the exception to perform whatever the request may be. However, there are times those expectations cross the line and put us in a difficult position. Do we perform the task to save/maintain our job? Do we bow to the demands to preserve the friendship? Do we abandon our convictions to keep peace in the family?
Paul, in the letter to the Galatians wrote, “For am I now seeking the approval of Man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
In all the demands we are presented with on any given day, it is imperative we run them through this filter Paul presents. But once we do that, then we have to determine to stand strong and resolute in our convictions, and answer the daunting demands requiring our response. What will we say when faced with the pressures, insistence, and appeals of others? Will we cave and accommodate those requests that oppose our purpose? Or will we be able to stand resolute in God’s plan for our lives?
Know that you are not alone in these struggles. Each of us are faced with them often. Even in scripture we read of instruction, experience, and encouragement in these battles:
The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectations of the wicked will perish. (Proverbs 10:28)
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. (Psalm 62:5)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
The next time someone poses a request, demand, or appeal for you to perform some task that opposes your purpose, your direction, your conviction, refuse to give in to those distracting paths, and stick to the way God has made for you. Hope in Christ alone. Wait for Him, knowing He is faithful to fight for you, to answer you, to strengthen you, and to defend you. Do not be afraid to be resolute in your stand, knowing God is with you – everywhere you go. And finally, seek not to please people and the wayward requests they present. Instead, seek, with whatever it takes, to please the Lord alone. He will never fail you, and He loves you with the most perfect love ever.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Galatians 1:10; Psalm 62:5-8; Proverbs 10:28; Joshua 1:9; Romans 12:2; John 10:10