Addicted to Pleasing…God!

“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NLT)

“We are unwavering – We will not cater to personal preference in our mission to reach this city. We are more focused on those we are trying to reach than those we are trying to keep.” – From “The Point” of Lifepoint Church

Eleven years ago a personal moral failure left me faced with the complete collapse of everything that I believed in and made me who I was.  Hindsight being 20/20, I now know that the primary cause of my moral failure was precisely because I didn’t have a clue of who I was or who I was supposed to be.  So when someone told me who they thought I was, it sounded better than who I thought I was.  I so wanted to believe them that I totally abandoned, not only who I really was, but also who God said I was.  The collapse was so utterly devastating and complete that it left me devoid of any identity at all and sent me on almost a decade of searching for my true self.  The burden of guilt and shame that I bore, coupled with my ever-growing fear of people’s negative reactions to my failure sent me searching, not for my self, but for the self that people liked and accepted.  It is true that the definition of insanity is continually doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results each time.

My search took an upward turn, literally and figuratively, in October of 2006 when the intervening hand of God led me to a place and a people called Lifepoint Church.  It was there for the first time, that I found genuine acceptance, not for who I was, but for who they believed faithfully that Christ could cause me to be.  Here, no one cared where I had been, all they cared about was where the Lord was leading us together (Lifepoint and me) with Him.  What I found at Lifepoint was not the cookie cutter church I had always been accustomed to.  It was different!  They celebrated the fact that God had called them to be different!  And, this church pointed people to a Life in Christ that is different from what the world and even religion says that life is. And yet, in its distinctiveness, it affirmed the same profoundly imperative truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I had always known in my heart and held dear.  My wandering heart had found a home!

My new home not only allowed me to be who Christ declares me to be, it demanded that I be no less than that, to His glory.  Through their challenge to “Love God…Love Others and Serve the World” I slowly….gradually….with determination and faith, learned to understand and even enjoy the person Christ knows me as, and to accept the name and the purpose by which He called me.  Now, more than a decade after my long fall into despair, He has more than restored me; He has renewed me.  He has given me the true identity I always longed for, but could never find.  As long as He knows me that way, and He assures that is who I am, it does not matter what anyone else says about me or what they call me.  With this finally discovered new identity also comes a renewed mission, a renewed calling, and an UNWAVERING determination to respond to the Great I AM with all that I am.  Or, in the words of the Todd Agnew song:

“They called me broken, worthless, and a shame
They called me wasted, used up, and chained
But You made me Your child
And You called me Your own
Now they can call me,
But they’ve got to use my new name!”

– “New Name” © 2005 Integrity Music


1 Response to “Addicted to Pleasing…God!”

  1. May 27, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Such a great post Eddie! So wonderful to hear a snippet of your story!

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