PLEASING TO THE LORD
You may say, “I think I’m well prepared for any storm. After all, I’m a faithful witness for the Lord. I’m not ashamed of the gospel and I live a clean, moral life. I tithe, I read my Bible, and I attend church regularly.”
It is possible to be a believer and yet remain distant from the Lord. The fact is, if you don’t spend time with Him — if you don’t draw on His strength — your heart will faint. Your words will have little or no power or results and your testimony will be lifeless. Why? Because you will have drifted away from your source of strength.
Don’t make the mistake of measuring your walk with Christ by your good works or ministry rather than by His presence in your life.
You simply cannot be more pleasing to the Lord — more fulfilled or at the center of His will — than you are through the simple act of drawing near to Him in prayer.
We know this from the apostle Paul’s life. Paul faced many hard, perilous times. This godly man knew what it meant to lose everything: to be hungry and thirsty; to suffer deprivation; to be in poverty; to be abandoned; to lie chained in a dark, damp prison cell, alone and forsaken even by some of his close friends.
But Paul did not faint. In fact, the apostle grew stronger through each trial. How could this be? It happened because he knew this secret to getting and maintaining true strength.
Paul testified: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me. . . . And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever” (2 Timothy 4:16–18, my italics).