Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Hebrews 11:6a

Henry Blackaby writes, “We appeal for help from everyone around us when we have a need; then we explain:  ‘I know God can provide for my needs, but I think I should do everything I can, just in case.’ God calls this faithlessness.”   I wish Hebrews 11:6 were translated with a better word than “please”.  “Please” is a word fraught with bad feelings.  It pushes that button in my flesh that makes me feel like a child who has done everything in her power to please her parents, but they still aren’t happy.  In my case, my parents' unhappiness wasn’t because of me, but in my little child’s mind I believed that if I totally cooperated they would be happy and the trouble in their lives would go away.  Therefore, when I read that I cannot please God without faith but I know that trying to please someone doesn’t make them happy, no wonder I don’t believe faith will make a difference!  As Blackaby rightfully asserts, I quote the scripture because I believe the Bible is the word of God, but I do everything I can, “just in case.”

So, I’ve gone to the concordance to check out this troublesome word, “please”!  Interestingly, the “please” of Hebrews 11:6 is only used in that one verse and means “to gratify entirely” while all the other times in the New Testament “please” means “to be agreeable.”  Hebrews 11:6 is not telling me I must “be agreeable” as I was translating it based on my childhood experience.  What Hebrews 11:6 is really saying to me is God is entirely gratified when I am faithful.  In other words, this verse is not so much a reflection on me as it is about God.  God is entirely gratified when I, His creation, trust Him.  He gives us the faith we need to trust Him, but it’s in obeying that faith--that is, to put our trust in Him--that He is gratified.

“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,” James 2:22

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