1 Peter 4:2 (GNB) From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.

The sound of the ringing phone woke Philip from his evening nap. He picks up the phone, it was Jerry, one of his teenagers, on the other line.

PHILIP: Hello Jerry, what’s good.

JERRY: Oh, sounds like I woke you, apologies.

PHILIP: Not to worry, I needed to be up already. How is it going?

JERRY: Very fine. Just a quick question sir. I have been reading the bible daily as you asked me to do and I came across something today that bugged me. What exactly is wrong with the plans of the man called the rich fool? I thought God delights in the prosperity of his saints and desires our wellbeing? Why was the Rich Fool’s statement found to be so offensive by God?

PHILIP: Jerry, we would need to have a chat when we see to do proper justice to your question. However, I would prepare your heart for then. You see there is a fundamental flaw in the way some persons view the faith. Perhaps because of the passionate appeals of evangelists and soul winners, people tend to perceive the appeal for repentance unto salvation like the wooing of a football club manager or owner to a star player to join their team. This is all shades of wrong.

We must not mistake the fact that there is great rejoicing in heaven for a sinner that repents to mean that the repented sinner is the best thing that happened to God, to the contrary, God is the greatest thing to have happened to the sinner. Life is about pleasing someone, but who exactly? It is about pleasing God and not one’s own desires. When this is settled in the believer’s heart, other things will fall into place properly.

Many believers just see God from a utilitarian point of view, that is, they see God from the point of view of what God can do or accomplish for them. In that sense, God is just a means to an end. This mindset is unscriptural. God is not about pleasing us, but rather, we exist to please Him. Once we fail to factor this into our decisions and plans, we will be walking wrongly.

Go into today knowing that God is at work in us both to will and to do His good pleasure therefore work out your salvation with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12-13). Put God first, always.

—Ikechukwu Mpama

Yearly Bible Plan: Psalms 42-44 (In Devotional Audio)

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