Whose Approval Are You Seeking?
“If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." John 5:31 "As I said in my book…" I'd like to see the day when a man who has written a book might speak on a tv broadcast without saying over and over and over again, "as I said in my book..." to bring attention to himself and the book he has written. Or the song he has written. Or the places he has spoken at. He bears witness of himself, but his judgment is prideful. To a man, they all do this. Is there a man who doesn't? There was a man named George Mueller, a truly great man of God. He founded an orphanage and cared for more than 10,000 children in his lifetime. In reading a book on his life, one is immediately impressed with his humility. He lived by a determined principle, that is, that when he had a need he took the need to God and kept all his needs just between God and himself. You'd think, wouldn't you, that his orphanage would fail if he didn't appeal to men to support his work. But no, what God ordains God sustains and in humbling himself before God in all instances, his work thrived marvelously, at times miraculously. God will honor those who put their trust entirely in him. How can a man think to bear witness of himself? Who must he impress? If he gains the accolades of men, what are those accolades worth? Actually, they are worth nothing because men do not have the correct perspective; only God knows the truth about any human being. Therefore, the only praise that is worth anything is the praise of the One who knows all the truth about us. Anything else is vanity, plain and simple. All done in pride will be in vain when they stand before the Lord. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” Matthew 6:5 They have their reward here, forfeiting it there. We are called to walk the walk of faith. "But without faith it is impossible to please him..." Hebrews 11:6 What IS the walk of faith? It is the attitude of total and complete trust in the God who has a plan for each person's life. If God is in control, what more is needed? The praise of mortal men is empty and vain; the believer must strive to walk in the way of faith knowing that only the evaluation of God himself has any worth. Faith will be tested to prove whether it is from the heart or just lip service – or worse, done in pride. Beware lest your works be found to be wood, hay, and straw ...worthless. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear, for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 If you want to be approved by God, the walk of faith is the only way given. It's a difficult walk, very much so, and in all circumstances our faith will be put to the test. "...that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:7 Friends, if you desire the praise of God when you stand before him, then you must set your heart on the ways of God, to do it his way and not yours. Any work that he has planned for you, he will provide the circumstances for you to succeed. Bring all your need and your cares to him alone, personally and privately, and watch how he will open doors you never could have anticipated.