Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “ — Matthew 4:1-4
How is the fast going? Yes, I am going to keep asking. It is hard to give something up that you depend on too much. But if it is too big in your life, bigger than God, you want to get rid of it, or at least put it in its proper place. At the end of the fast, you can decide if what you have given up should come back into your life, and in what way.
Now onto today’s topic. Henri Nouwen, in his book entitled In the Name of Jesus, talks about three temptations of Christ—to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful. The verse above explains the temptation to be relevant. Turn these stones into bread, Jesus. Do something that matters. Something that will help people, that will make other people value you.
People-pleasing. Are you caught up in pleasing others to the extent it causes issues with your relationship with God? Trying to please others all the time gives those people control over you, and eventually you feel like a puppet on a string. You are only happy if someone else is happy…but you are not really happy because you are running yourself ragged doing other people’s bidding.
Is people-pleasing taking up a lot of room on your plate? The first step is recognizing it is there. But do not stop there.
As you go through this week, bring any of these issues to God in prayer. For example, “Lord, I repent of letting people-pleasing (or whatever the day’s theme is) hinder my relationship with you. Show me when I am doing it. Show me why I am doing it. Help me get it off my plate so I can focus on pleasing you. Help me resist when I am tempted to let it back into my life. Amen.”