By trying to please people and live up to their expectations, we can easily fall into a false form of spirituality. We find ourselves praying, reading Scripture, and worshipping not from the heart but from a secret motive to impress others. We become more interested in how we look to others than how we look to God. The more insecure we are, the more susceptible we become to the opinions of others. Humility frees us from this form of pride, allowing us to live to please the Lord.
We work not for his favour but from his favour. In this position, he entrusts us with more of his power and we are naturally changing into His likeness more and more… Our identity sets the tone for all we do in become. Christians who live out of who they really are cannot be crippled by the opinions of others. They don’t work to fit into other people’s expectations, but burn with the realisation of who the Father says they are.
The number one hindrance to an intimate walk with God, one in which we truly know and are truly known by Him, is the absence of humility. When we are more concerned with what other people think than with what God thinks of us—that is the absence of humility. When we justify our behavior, shift blame, accuse, find fault, criticize, or seek to vindicate ourselves—that is the absence of humility. When we had rather be right than have relationship—that is the absence of humility. When we do not confess our sins and our failures to others—that is the absence of humility. When we do not acknowledge our sins against love—that is the absence of humility. When we do not daily admit our desperate need for God to father us and help in our lives—that is the absence of humility.
Today, Lord I am going to do my best with Your help and for Your glory. I realize that there are many different people in the world with a variety of opinions and expectations. I will concentrate on being a God-pleaser and not a self-pleaser or man-pleaser. The rest I leave in Your hands, Lord. Grant me favour with You and with men and continue transforming me into the image of Your dear Son.
He has great tranquillity of heart who cares neither for the praises nor the fault-finding of men. He will easily be content and pacified, whose conscience is pure. You are not holier if you are praised, nor the more worthless if you are found fault with. What you are, that you are; neither by word can you be made greater than what you are in the sight of God.
Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
On how to sing hymns