Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611

Lessons For Ladies
This Series was taught by Mrs. James Modlish

Lesson Twenty Nine

How To Impress God


Our local newspaper carries a weekly column devoted to chronicling the soirees and galas attended by Pueblo’s society. Not being particularly interested in the upper crust’s coming and goings, I nonetheless read the silly column because I find it so amusing. The author of the diatribe attends every social event deemed important in the city whether it’s a wedding shower, a 60th birthday party or a fete to raise money for some obscure charity. And each event is described in painful detail with a guest list that sounds like an excerpt for who’s who in the blue collar world. However, given the amount of names listed each week, there are many who feel they are making a big impression in being mentioned. Needless to say, my name will never grace the society page, but all this did cause me to ponder who I would like to impress, and frankly, God is the only One I could come up with.

So that leads to a real quandary…how do I, a sinful creature, even begin to impress a holy and righteous God? How do I even attempt to exhibit any quality that would be pleasing to the Lord? To be sure, in our natural state, we can never reach the level of perfection needed to impress God, but that should not prevent us from making efforts in that direction. To solve this problem, I consulted the Rule Book, and this is what I found:

Psalm 147:10-11 – There is little in the animal world that exhibits more power than a horse; after all, how do we measure the capability of a car engine…horsepower! Years ago while we were in the South, we visited a few thoroughbred farms and were amazed at the monumental effort that goes into creating a winning race horse. My biggest thrill was being able to actually touch the great Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, but the statistic that wowed us the most was attributed to the great horse Secretariat. In his performance at the Belmont Stakes, he ran the one and a half mile race in 2:24 minutes and won by 31 lengths, a record that is still unbroken…now that’s power! But Psalm 147:10 says that even the Lord will return on a horse, He isn’t necessarily impressed with them.

The ability of man to move at breakneck speed has been a source of interest since the inception of the Olympics centuries ago. The record speed for a human according to Guinness World Book of Records was set by a man named Donovan Bailey in 1998; he was clocked at 27.1 mph…that’s pretty speedy! It’s impressive to us, but not to God.
So, according to the Psalmist, what does please the Lord?

[1]. Those who fear Him – According to Scofield, “the fear of the Lord” is a phrase which means reverential trust. If we place this concept in a familiar context, it can be compared to the parent/child relationship. The child in the ideal setting should have a degree of fear associated with the parent…not in a dangerous sense, but in the arena of security and boundaries. Consequently, we as God’s children should have that element of fear/trust with our Heavenly Father. It’s just smart (Proverbs 9:10), and it impresses Him.

[2]. Those who hope for His mercy – The foundation of our faith is based upon the mercy of God…without it, we are certainly hopeless. Indeed, the birth of the salvation experience begins with the recognition of the wretched, lost state of the sinner. We please God immensely when we place our trust in His mercy.

I Samuel 15:22 – Complete Obedience

Have you ever observed a child trying to make amends to a parent by doing some overt action in order to draw attention away from a misdeed? Sometimes I think that’s what we as children of God do. In presenting an elaborate sacrifice, we somehow think we can divert God’s attention away from our lack of obedience.

But the Book is disturbingly clear…God would much rather have our obedience than our sacrifice. This causes me to wonder how much of what I have done ostensibly for God in my own way, will amount to wood, hay and stubble at the judgment seat? Let’s remember that the setting of this verse is Saul’s encounter with Samuel after the battle with the Amalekites; to cover his disobedience to God’s direct order to slay the enemy and all they possessed, Saul offered the lame excuse that the surviving animals were to be used as sacrifices to God. This results in a scathing sermon by Samuel in his last encounter with the king. For obeying the voice of the people and more importantly, his own ego, Saul forfeited the throne.

As we study further, we find the chilling edict that disobedience equals the rebellion, and rebellion is equated with the sin of witchcraft. That puts a whole new spin on doing it “your way.” We think we can chart our own course, unnoticed by God, but that is a foolish assumption. The best way is always God’s way, and He is pleased with our complete obedience. If you want to walk to God, you must go God’s way.

Psalm 69:30-31 – A Thankful Heart

There are many situations if life when bursting out in a song of thanksgiving just isn’t the first thing that comes to mind! When building our home here in Colorado a couple of years ago, we learned that the water well, which had been drilled on our land in December and had yielded eleven gallons a minute, had an “interruption in service” and was giving up only one gallon. Possibly, an earthquake far below the surface had caused a chasm which sucked up our precious water. At first, we were very disappointed and concerned about the additional cost of drilling deeper; but then it occurred to us that this could be an opportunity to be a good witness to those with whom we were dealing in this predicament. It could actually be of the Lord, and for that we are instructed to give thanks. I can now tell you that our well driller subsequently trusted Jesus as His Savior, is serving God faithfully and is a dear friend of ours. Wow!

The psalmist tells us that singing songs of praise and offering thanksgiving is more pleasing to God than tangible items. And the great thing about this is that you can let loose with a hymn anywhere, anytime! As I travel up and down I-25 between Pueblo and Walsenburg, I receive the biggest blessing by turning my CD player up full volume and listening to some of the great gospel singers I enjoy; I have my own personal camp meeting right there in my Trailblazer! The Bible endorses this in Ephesians 5:19-20…“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” See, God says it’s okay to talk to yourself! And He is delighted with our songs of thankfulness.

There are undoubtedly more avenues to take in our journey to impress God, but these few should give us a good start. How much more valuable is the attempt to please our Father that to turn the heads of our fellow mankind, and how much more edifying to ourselves. No, I will never be listed in a society page, but, praise God, my name is in the Lamb’s book of life!

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