June 21, 2022

It’s God’s Approval that Matters

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10m, ESV)

For Insight

The need for approval has never been higher. That’s the culture we live in. So many in this world—and that applies to both believers and those who do not believe in God, heaven, or Jesus Christ—are hungry after the approval of others. Nearly everything they do is based upon the approval of others. Being approved of is critical to their well-being. They worry how many likes they receive on their social media page or campaign? Do others approve of what they drive, where they live, what they major in, their career path, their lifestyle, clothes, mate, on and on. Some cannot function well without getting the approval of others

Just like Jesus, Paul had his critics. But also, like Jesus, Paul could not abandon or base his ministry on the approval or disapproval of others. Paul—like Jesus—was fully aware of his mission and the path God had chosen for him. The rest of his colleagues may have been called to work faith in the Jews, but Paul was not. He was purposely chosen by God to bring the gentile world into a relationship with Jesus. To make known to the nations, who Jesus was. Countless times he was brought before the Council, questioned about the way he did or did not do something, but he stood fast, unwavering, strong in his convictions, knowing how he was being led by the Spirit and repeatedly emphasized that being faithful to God must take precedence over being popular with people.

That’s where the Lord wants us to be today: able to stand firm and know that being faithful to call or mission must take precedence over human popularity and approval. Are you serving how and where you sense in your heart and spirit God has led? Are you living a life of faith the way God has indicated he wants you to live, or a life based upon what others approve of and understand? God knows these choices can be difficult, especially as we live in a world and with people who do not always understand what or how the Lord’s Spirit has communicated to us, personally or individually. The ministry or place of service the Lord assigns to you is going to be unique and based upon how he created you. Just like Paul and Christ, at times we will have to stand firm, know the journey God has laid out for us, be willing to move forward and operate without the approval of others. Those kinds of journeys may be people lonely, but they are never without the presence, applause, and approval of God.

Praying Galatians 1:10

Jesus, you held firm to your path because you knew it was the path God had chosen for you. Thank you for your example and thank you for one such as Paul who also learned he could not seek nor depend upon man’s approval. May we learn and do likewise. Amen     

Prayer Challenge:

Pray the Lord to makes you unsettled just enough where you are presently if you are not in the place he wants you.

Digging Deeper:

Read I Thessalonians 2:1-10

Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19

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