During the opening service of the 2021 Joint Clergy School of the Dioceses of Lagos West and Awori held at Caroline Adefiola Women Conference Centre, Ipaja, Lagos, the Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, the Rt Revd. Dr. James Olusola Odedeji in his sermon spoke passionately on a theme titled living to please God in a corrupt world and society. He charged the clergy of the two Dioceses to live their lives in their ministries to please God. He said God created man for his own pleasure according to Revelations 4:7.
Bishop Odedeji spoke from 2 Thessalonians 4:6-7 that there were conditions to walk with God. He stressed that it is becoming difficult to please God these days because pleasing God is warfare because of the forces of darkness resisting us so we need the power of the Holy Spirit to live. He highlighted the three objects that demand us to please them: self, man and God.
According to host Bishop, self has been judged from the beginning by God. He said when you yield to flesh; you cannot please God because flesh is an enemy of God speaking from Romans 8:5-9.
Moreover, Bishop Odedeji said we must not please man. We must avoid eye service and pleasing men but doing the well of God from our hearts because whatever we do shall be rewarded by God.
Pleasing God is a battle between the power of light and the darkness. You must go out to please God because we are surrounded by darkness according to Bishop Odedeji. Pleasing God makes Him to accept us as His children. He said it would be an understatement to say our culture is corrupt because the world is full of evil now. He quoted a friend that, pastors in training now needed serious invigilation during examinations in the seminaries.
He continued by highlighting some reasons why men find it difficult to please God. First, carnality: the church is now full of competition instead of collaboration. Carnal people cannot please God. Secondly, recklessness: a lot of people are careless about everything in their lives. They fall for everything under skirts. Thirdly, prayerlessness: some clergy pray only when they wanted to preach sermons. Fourthly, hypocrisy: many are not real and they have multiple faces. They live as chameleons.
Bishop Odedeji concluded by highlighting how we can please God. To please God, we must live in the consciousness of God’s presence, we must live an absolute obedience to the Master, we must ensure fruits bearing lifestyle and we must be friends of God.
The Revd Oluwole Ibikunle
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