A hidden life
“You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth. You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.” Colossians 3:1-3 (CEV).
Living before God’s face in the hidden is the only way to get anything that has value for this life and for eternity. But society teaches us from childhood to please people, to seek favour, to impress people and to become someone great in people’s eyes. That is the spirit of the times we live in. But Jesus said that these things that people think are important are hated by God. (Luke 16:15.) It leads to a lot of stress, worry and unrest. It’s a difficult life to live. And this can be the same in our Christian life.
Don’t be a people-pleaser
People can use their natural talents to please others and make a name for themselves. But the gifts and natural talents that God gives us are meant to be used to serve Him, and in this way also serve others for His sake.
To push yourself forward and please people does not bring any blessings from God. Jesus told the disciples that their “yes” should be “yes” and their “no” should be “no”. (Matthew 5:37.) When we live before God’s face we don’t have to explain ourselves or prove we are right. We can simply let God take care of things, just as Jesus did, for God judges fairly. (1 Peter 2:23.)
Jesus said, “Be careful! When you do good things, don’t do them in front of people to be seen by them.” Matthew 6:1 (NCV). If you do good things to be seen by people, you already have your reward: earthly honour. Do you find yourself getting offended because you didn’t get the honour you thought you should have? Is it difficult when your name isn’t mentioned or you aren’t thanked? If these things are a problem, then you are living before people and you do not live before the face of God.
As human beings we easily compare ourselves with others. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they shouldn’t think of themselves as so wonderful, by comparing themselves with each other, because that is foolish. (2 Corinthians 10:12.) It doesn’t lead to fellowship and unity.
Why not live before God’s face and compare ourselves with God’s Word and be a doer of the Word? (James 1:21-25.) Paul told Timothy to watch himself and compare his life to the teachings of the Bible, then he would save himself and those who heard him. (1 Timothy 4:16.)
Jesus spoke severely to the scribes and Pharisees in John 5:44 (CEV): “How could you possibly believe? You like to have your friends praise you, and you don't care about praise that the only God can give!” God wants us to have faith in Him and obey His Word; that brings life and blessing. That is not possible if we try to please people. Without this faith it is impossible to please God. God rewards those who truly want to find Him. (Hebrews 11:6.)
The Spirit of truth
If you only want to please God, then stop trying to please people and let the Spirit teach you how to live before God’s face. Paul admitted that there was nothing good in his human nature, and when he wanted to do good he found that evil was right there with him. (Romans 7:18-24.)
If we let the Spirit really judge what we do and say, we will see that deep inside us there are many ways in which we live before people instead of before God. Then we can agree with what the Spirit shows us, and ask God to help us become free from that so that we can live before His face instead.
David wrote in Psalm 131:1 (NIRV), “Lord, my heart isn't proud. My eyes aren't proud either. I don't concern myself with important matters. I don't concern myself with things that are too wonderful for me.” He had become calm and content. Think to stop being a busybody in other people’s matters and be free from the suffering that is the result of that. Jesus offers us a life of peace and contentment within the borders He has set for us. (Acts 17:26.)
It is all about humbling myself before God’s face, and admitting and obeying the truth that the Spirit tells us. If we do this every day, we will get more of the fruits of the Spirit, and our service to others will become purer. Then we will be able to help people in the right way. By only living before the face of God, we will truly become happy and blessed in all that we do.