Performance Part Two
by Curt Klingeman
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When a believer becomes more concerned about pleasing man than he does God, he moves out of the realm of faith and into the realm of performance. When a person seeks to please man, he ceases to serve Christ (see Galatians 1:10). While we are supposed to serve one another out of love, we do it as unto the Lord. We first give ourselves to God, and then we serve others according to His will (see 2Corinthians 8:1-5). The moment we put man in Godís place, we will fail to operate by faith which comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). Simply put: we will obey the voice of man instead of Godís, thus moving away from faith.
Sometimes, people inadvertently move into performance mode by trying to be someone they think they should be, or what others think they should be. For example, a person can formulate in his mind what a Christian should be and how one should act. He then tries to live up to his own expectations based on that perception. In the process, he burns himself out trying to fulfill his lofty goal while falling short of it, and feeling like an absolute failure as a result. If we try to live up to other peopleís expectations we will bear burdens that were never meant to be ours in the first place. Jesus said, ďCome unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is lightĒ (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV). If you are beginning to feel weighed down, it would be a good time to examine what you are doing and why you are doing it. You may either be carrying a load you have no business carrying, or walking in rebellion to Godís Word. Doing something you are not called to do can be very heavy!
Since God is equal, we all have the same spiritual principles in which to live. Nevertheless, we are all uniquely designed to have a unique relationship with the Father. That means He has a specific way He wants each of us to be while conforming to the image of Jesus. Likewise, each of us has a specific calling that no one else has. There may be similarities in respect to our individual ministries as we all have the ministry of reconciliation (see 2Corinthians 5:18-20); however, each of us will minister differently than others because we are different. The moment we try to conform to someone elseís expectations, we move away from our rightful place, and who we really are in Christ Jesus. We begin to operate according to manís limited thinking and cease to fulfill our specific calling. If you want to please God, stop trying to please man. Stop trying to please your flesh while walking in the pride of life. You are called according to the will of God, not the will of man! But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13, KJV).
As long as we try to conform to manís opinion about who we should be, we will never see ourselves the way God sees us. We will fail to live at our fullest potential in Christ Jesus. Those who have self-esteem issues would not have them if they believed God. This is not about self-help (which is pride based); this is about God raising each of us up into our appointed positions. Ironically, His placement is much, much higher than what we think it should be, no matter how big we think it is. If we truly understood that, or at least had a greater understanding, we would walk more confidently in Him. If God says it, we can say it. Therefore, it would not be prideful to say, ďIím Godís favorite,Ē for example. Pride would say, ďI am an unworthy worm.Ē In all your unworthy worminess, you just spoke out of false humility which is pride. You just contradicted the Most High God, the Creator of the universe, Who redeemed you by the precious Blood of His Dear Son. If He calls you His son or daughter, who are you to say differently? God is a Respecter of none, which means everyone is His favorite!
If God has called you to do something wonderful for Him, it is not prideful to believe it. Those who do know their God will be strong and do exploits (see Daniel 11:32). As long as our confidence is in the One Who lives in us, we will walk humbly before Him. Society might call you arrogant when you walk in such a confidence, but it is really an act of humility. When we walk as God desires and do those things He has called us to do according His purposes, we glorify Him. When we glorify God, we cease to perform dead works!
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