Who Do You Seek To Please? God Or Somebody Else?
Beloved, Today, I am sending you this message from Durham, NC where I am in an intensive week for my Doctor of Ministry program at Duke Divinity School. And, it is intense. Six hours a day of lectures, presentations, and breakout sessions is no joke. I am away from my family and I am away from my normal rhythms and routines of life. I ask for your prayers. When I made the decision to come to Duke, I had one thing in mind, "How is this going to help my ministry, my service unto God, at Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church?" I already have four degrees of higher education. So, another degree would be nice but not necessary for someone to consider me to be a well-educated man and with one of them being my Master of Divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary, I am well-equipped for ministry. For me, the only reason to do this was for me to be better equipped to lead Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church. Prophetically believing that God has brought me to this for me to complete this task in my life journey, I am not simply seeking to become The Reverend Doctor Randell A. Cain, Jr., although it does have a nice ring to it. For me to do so would make this part of my life journey more about me and less about God. It would be pleasing to my ear to be called by a lofty title; but, would it prove to be a blessing to God and others or would it simply inflate my ego without much more benefit to others? The whole process with the investment of time, talent, and treasure that is going into it begs the question, "Who am I seeking to please? God or somebody else with the somebody else being me or others?" Beloved, in everything that we do, good or bad, it begs the question, "Who am I seeking to please? God or somebody else?" Jesus spoke on this subject in Matthew 6:1-24. I encourage you to take the time to read the whole passage as Jesus reveals how and why you should give alms/gifts, pray, fast, and even what you should do with your money. Jesus spoke of how you could be eyepleasers for everybody else and you would get a reward, a fleeting and limited reward. Now, if you like earthly praise, pats on the back, claps, plaques, awards, and things of that nature, then you probably work really hard at trying to please others. But, if your vision is at a higher level and your desire to please is raised to the heavenly realm, the realm where God dwells and where Jesus is preparing a place for you, then who you choose to please and how you do it is probably a little different. You see, Jesus said that we should give alms/gifts in secret, pray in private, focus our prayers succinctly on God, fast openly but discretely, and use our money to bless God not ourselves only. Why should you do all of this instead of posting every one of your actions and deeds on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok or whatever is the current social media platform that floats your narcistic, self-involved, self-indulged, self-directed boat? It is because God wants to reward you openly to prove that His one love of what you do is better than ten million followers on any of these social media platforms or wherever you go for some shallow form of self-validation by seeking someone to like you. Please do note the difference between love and like. You see scripture tells us that all good and perfect gifts come from God. So, if God can give you what is good and perfect, why in the world that is or the world to come would you settle for anything else, anything less? Again, who you do seek to please? God or somebody else? Jesus broke it down in one simple verse, "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Beloved, Jesus was not demonizing money. Jesus was using that as one example. He was basically saying, "You can say that you love God; but, are you devoted to family more than God? You can say that you love God; but, are you devoted to friends more than God? You can say that you love God; but, are you devoted to likes on social media platforms more than God? You can say that you love God; but, are you devoted to praise from others more than God?" And do take note that whenever you use the conjunction, "but", you are basically striking a line through what came before the "but" and focusing attention on what comes after. So, beloved, do you really love God? Or, does it just sound like the right thing to say while you are really loving someone and something else? So, beloved, now that I have likely stepped all on your toes, intentionally, because I love you, how will you respond to the question, "Who do you seek to please? God or somebody else?" How you answer will absolutely bring revelation to how you are living and it could change your life! Dang Reverend Cain, is that what they are teaching you at Duke? No. This is what God is teaching me through His Holy Word and I am just as convicted as you are and I need to repent where light has been shone on some darkness in my life as well. Beloved, we are journeying together. God, through the Holy Spirit, is leading us. We need to strive, encourage, and provoke one another to seek to please God, above and beyond anybody else, even ourselves. Let's continue to journey together in seeking to please God. We will be journeying together at Noonday Prayer. We will be journeying together listening to Zion's sermonic message on The Light radio/internet broadcast. We will be journeying together at worship service on Sunday morning. And, we will be journeying together every single time we humbly yield to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as God directs our lives to what is most pleasing to God. Why? Remember, God loves you and I love you too! Be blessed, Rev. Cain