Impressing God

Nothing I do impresses God.

Many of us spend our lives seeking to impress others. As young children we learn that people will like us if we impress them; impress them with our grades, our athletic prowess, our artistic skills, our musicianship, our ability to talk, whatever. A little later, we may have even bent over backwards to impress a potential marriage partner.

ImpressIt’s little wonder, then, that we want to impress God, too. “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). We want to pull off something big, something successful … something impressive. We’d like to wow God.

The Apostle Paul urges us to “learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10) but this has to do with obedience, not achievement. Christ is pleased with our surrender; never impressed with our ability. After all, the Holy Spirit empowers the people of God to do whatever the Father needs done in the moment. If Christ is impressed by anyone, He ought be impressed with Himself…and His ability, by the Spirit, through His people, to achieve the purposes of the Father in this world.

The “desire to impress” that we have learned for a lifetime does not shake off easily or quickly, and every effort to impress God diminishes us because it diminishes grace. The desire to impress emanates from pride, not humility. It therefore undoes us.

This week I am not called to impress God, but to be impressed by God.

How differently might we live, if we lived in response to His leading rather than seizing the initiative ourselves, if we replaced the desire to impress with a heart for humble obedience, and if we started to extol His glory and greatness instead of our own?

Grace beckons us in this direction.

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22 Responses to Impressing God

  1. tamraloo says:

    YES. Thank you for this, just what I need to ponder on today. Thank you for continuing to share what He puts on your heart with us…I miss learning from you on a regular basis ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a beautiful day…

  2. Debbie Heim says:

    So glad to see you back in my email! Debbie Heim

  3. roger says:

    Solid! Forwarding to our pastoral team

  4. Scott says:

    Impressive David ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, thanks for sharing the insights God brings to you with us.

  5. Tim ross says:

    This is a battle I fight every day. Being aware of it is a big plus. Allowing God in is my daily medicine. God bless you David.

  6. Such a wonderful reflection! Right now I am looking at the golden hues of the sunset and I am so impressed by the beauty of God’s creation.

  7. Elaine Wilson says:

    Thank you so much for this thought today, Dave. I, too, was blessed to see you appear in my ‘inbox’. The desire to impress is such a complex emotional attitude. There is much freedom and peace to be gained from ‘letting go’ of the desire to impress, Knowing that on my worst day I am still good enough for Jesus is such a compelling truth! From personal experience, it seems the over-riding desire to impress also surfaces from a place of insecurity and self-doubt, when my soul is not open to my value and place in Christ and His grace.
    Thanks for the reminder big
    brother x

  8. Ted Bjorem says:

    Yes regarding learning to not trying to impress; but is not a close companion our desire to honour people? In so doing are we not taking honour away from Him who gave the gifts and opportunities? Yes thank, but not honour. How many times have we honoured people whom we later wished we had not? And does not our honouring create envy, jealousy, pride whose fruit is anger, bitterness, worry?

    • David Timms says:

      Thanks for the thoughts, Ted. I’ll have to ponder the “honor” part of this. 1 Pet 2:17 instructs us to honor all men, but perhaps the sense is different than we may usually think.

  9. Phyllis Heglund says:

    I am thrilled to see your name appearing in my mail again! What wonderful truth in this latest post and what freedom it brings.

  10. Dick and Doris says:

    Absolutely impressive writing David…. (Sorry โ€˜bout โ€˜dat)… couldnโ€™t help it… Boy, does that one give us reason to sit and be still… God is God… Not me! Really Dave, this one has me really excited to have you back with us on a regular basis… Thank you With your permission, Iโ€™m forwarding this to most all my friends… Dick in Show Low

    • David Timms says:

      “God is God. I am not.” Truer words never spoken, Dick. Thanks. Of course you are welcome to share whatever you find helpful with whomever else might be helped. Blessings.

  11. Tim Riter says:

    Good thoughts my friend, again! You have a nice knack of touching my issues.

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