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The Cure: Chapter 1 Two Roads

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One road I had the pleasure of traveling down this fall.

I’ve been reading this book, The Cure, and attempting to live this book, for about six months now.
I don’t want to give away the book’s content, because I want anyone with a grain of interest to pick up a copy, and read it for yourself.
But as I’ve been marinating in it, first, on my own, and then, in a group of women that meets each week, and finally, with a group of women in a small group online, I feel like I have to have a place to write down my takeaway from the book.

Two Roads

Chapter 1 is all about Two Roads that the believer can take in life.
One road is labeled Pleasing God.
One road is labeled Trusting God.

Pleasing God has been a lifelong theme for me.
I’ve said it out loud, both to God, and to others, that there is nothing I want more than to make God happy. To please His heart.
And at least subconsciously, I’ve thought the way to do this was to try hard. To try really, really hard.

A verse that I’ve often thought about in relation to this was Jeremiah 29:13, which says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

And so on some level,  I believed that the way to pleasing God was to demonstrate to Him how hard I was seeking for Him. I wanted to show Him that I really was willing to seek Him with ALL my heart. And I thought that if I prayed long enough, and read my Bible with great faithfulness and diligence, and participated in Bible studies, that I would ultimately show God how very sincere I was, and finally, I would “find Him”. And that this would please Him, and make Him happy. Because, with all my sin, and sinful desires (whether it was arrogance, or pride, or selfishness, or whatever) I certainly felt deep down inside, in private, that I must be a huge disappointment to Him. 

Maybe for you, it’s been other things. Maybe for you, you were convinced that the way to pleasing God was to live self-sacrificially. So you gave more money. Or you worked on the streets with the homeless. Or you visited prisoners. Or you organized the pantry at church, or the clothes closet. Or you adopted a child, or children. Or you went on mission trips to serve others, and spread the gospel. Or you attended church regularly, whenever the doors were opened. 


These really ARE the way we live out love.


If I’m engaging in these activities with “pleasing God” as my PRIMARY motive, as in, “Maybe if I do this, and this, and this, then God won’t be so disappointed in me, and will actually be happy with me”, then our thinking is messed up.
Because with thinking like that, you can NEVER do enough. It never ends. (Because all our righteousness really IS filthy rags.) 

Hebrews 11: 6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him”. 
Think about that for a minute.

Faith means TRUSTING.
It means trusting that God loves me.
That before I ever did one act of anything righteous, that He loved me. And that’s when He gave His Son to die for me, to reconcile someone like me to Himself. As the Father who adopted me into His family, He wants me to trust that love: the love that says “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.”
He loved Abraham that way, and He loves me in the same way. In Romans 4:3-5, we see it was Abraham’s belief that was credited to him as righteousness. No righteous works that Abraham did earned him that status of being righteous. 

So, how can I be pleasing to God?
By believing that He has ALREADY declared me righteous. By trusting that I am a person that is already pleasing to Him, just by nature of the fact that I have said that I believe in Him. By having faith that He really IS my loving Father, who will never, ever leave me, or forsake me.

The Cure, Chapter 1-Two Roads

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So, now, I’ve taken a different path.
I’m weary of the striving that comes from “trying” to please God.
God just wants me to believe.
It’s my trust in Him, my faith, that pleases Him, anyway.

Pleasing God has happened. But it’s a by-product of trusting God.

This new road has brought me freedom.
It’s bringing freedom to my friends, as well.
And all those good works? 
They’re getting done.
But they’re getting done in freedom.
Because He gave us a new nature, and a new command: to love one another, in the same way He loved us. 
And our new nature DELIGHTS in keeping that command.


Jim Dowis

Monday 8th of April 2024

Thanks Susan for your thoughts on The Cure. My wife and I are reading the book with our empty nester couples small group. Our group (including me) struggle with being comfortable and impressive in the Room of Good Intentions. But my hope is “we can have a place safe enough that we can tell the worst about ourselves and be loved more for it” and stay in the room of Grace. I know it’s been 10 years since you wrote these thoughts. But thanks, they are very helpful as we learn, and how are you doing 10 years later?

Susan Williams

Monday 13th of May 2024

That book still resonates with me as the book that changed my understanding of the character of God. He no longer lives inside my head as the God with the terribly disappointed look on His face. Rather, I base my view of Him as "the God is ALREADY pleased with me, because I'm a new creation in Him. My re-birth, when I came to Him, and He enabled me to BELIEVE in Jesus His Son as my Savior, and the promised Messiah, was more real than the flesh on my arm. I truly WAS born again, and He really DID give me the gift of His Holy Spirit, and now, because of Jesus's sacrifice on my behalf (and on the behalf of the whole world), I am participating in the "life to the full" that He died for me to enjoy: walking in relationship to Him. And when my earthly body decays, and I die, that spirit that He re-birthed, will live on with Him forever. So...that's how I'm doing. And thanks for asking! May this book be a blessing to you and your wife's group! Love each other well, as you grow in the knowledge and the love of the God who is FOR you.

Aileen Taylor

Thursday 12th of December 2013

The road you had the please of traveling this fall looks a lot like the Scenic Highway in West Virginia's Pocahontas County......


Wednesday 11th of December 2013

After seeing this on your blog and then reading a fb post from one of our mutual friends (and then you reminding me that you wrote about this book), I have finally ordered the book. It should be here Friday and I hope to have time to read it between Christmas and the New Year. Thanks for the prod - I am taking it as a signal from God that I need to read this book. God has been working with me on this concept for a chunk of this year and I still have a ways to go. Or shall I say that God still has a lot of work to do in me?

Susan Williams

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

You could also take it as a signal from God that I've been talking a lot about this book, lately. :D But yes, I'd be delighted to know how the Lord speaks to you through this book.

Carol Cassara

Tuesday 10th of December 2013

That's quite a commitment, all those discussions. Good for you!!!! My recent post India: the children broke my heart + filled me with joy


Monday 9th of December 2013

Alright, you sold me. Going to order the book. My recent post Best Humor Books for Holiday Giving, plus an EPIC #Giveaway