Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today – I can die to the ways of God by pleasing people who do not know His ways.
Mark 15:15 TPT
 Because he wanted to please the people, Pilate released Barabbas to them. After he had Jesus severely beaten with a whip made of leather straps and embedded with metal, he sentenced him to be crucified.
Fear of and pleasing of people often shapes my actions and decisions. When so much of the ways God calls me to live contradicts and turns on its head the ways of the world, there is constantly the challenge between choosing to follow the ways of the world or the ways of God. And the fear and pleasing of people too often motivate and shapes my decision. Jesus gets sentenced to death through the misguided actions of jealous people who manipulate the man in power through the voice of the people.
The subtlety of wanting to be liked and accepted, of wanting to fit in. How often does the voice of culture sweep me up in its torrent of following even against what I know to be my true desire? I sacrifice the bigger life of serving others in the torrent of the crowd’s opinion that self is most important. We give up on the beauty of being loved without cause, the love of Heaven, and become servants of the voice of the people that I must earn love and acceptance. Pleasing the culture we post our pictures pleading for the approval of the crowd. I let go of the power of forgiveness in Jesus for all – and march with the crowd to the seat of judgment and hurl my condemnation, all the while hoping my crimes won’t be exposed.
The ways of the Kingdom of God invite me into stories that shape life in amazingly beautiful ways, but it swims against the pleasing of the people. It’s like speaking French to an English audience, as the ways of God become lost in translation to a culture obsessed with self and consumerism, and if not aware I become the servant of the crowd. I know who I want to be, I know the way I want to walk, I get Peters declaration “I will die with you,” I am full of passion, but I seem to walk with Peter into the steps of denial in the face of the people. I love that God never rejects me based on my people-pleasing, but I hate that I die to the life of the Kingdom when I walk with the people’s misguided and manipulated ways.
Be aware of the people, the culture, the worlds, ways. Know myself well and bring my people-pleasing brokenness to a place of healing and freedom in God. Take my thoughts captive and see whom they serve before I give instruction to my actions.
Father thank you that you don’t manipulate me into following you, into pleasing you. Your steadfast love is unmovable towards me, and your ways are chosen out of loves response. Thank you that you enable me to walk free of the pleasing and fear of people, thank you that the culture is not my shaping truth, thank you that you accept me when I march in the wrong story. Free and forgiven, I need to know both in equal measure. I live a blessed life.
How often do I find myself pleasing people and shaping life in their ways, by their stories over me? Are there Kingdom truths I die too in order to please the crowd?