Pleasing God and trusting God are both good desires. So why do we, at some point, need to choose one path?
This is a question of our primary motivation in our walks with Jesus. Scripture is very clear, throughout both the Old and New Testament, that our motive matters. In the Old Testament, God declared that all the sacrifices and ceremonies were detestable to Him when the Israelites hearts were not right. We may make a big show of our dedication, but the heart behind our actions matters.
The Pharisees obsessively followed the letter of the law, and yet Jesus said that they missed the point. They kept all the rules, but didn’t have the right heart position. Many of us can relate to this—perhaps we are keeping a lot of the “rules,” but our hearts are hard, or proud, or we’re keeping rules in order to try to earn God’s favor. While our outward behavior can certainly be an indicator of our heart position, it can also be an excellent way to hide or mask our hearts.
Motive matters to God. Whether we are primarily seeking to please Him or trust Him matters too. While they start in similar places—and are both good desires on their own—they will lead us to very different destinations. But before we get there, take some time today and consider: What is your primary motivation? Which path have you chosen, or which path will you choose? Pleasing God, or trusting Him?