“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. “Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. JOHN 5: 39-42. NLT
Picture Jesus right there, in the synagogue, speaking to the Jews who had just criticised him for healing on the Sabbath. They have heard of the testimonies yet still wouldn’t believe he is the Son of God. They were more conscious of what people would say about them. They idolized human praise and glory more than that of God. That was the Jews. As a Christian, we confessed Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Great! But how much faith do we actually place in Him?
’Yet you refuse to come to me!’ Woah! This sentence stopped me in my tracks. For Jesus to say this, it implies there was an invitation. Where is the invitation? Did we forget to R.S.V.P? We would come back to this.
Consider these words:-
Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.”
John 5:44 TPT ’You seek the praise of men and not of God because His love is not in you – Second indictment. Clearly, this highlights a link between unbelief and addiction to human approval.
Before we delve in, contemplate on this. ”Who am I? ” Because if you do not know your roots, there is the tendency to attach to any identity that dangles itself in front of you.
So who are we?
We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God, gained His acceptance and approval at the cross. Now, we have being made over into the image of His Son, we find our identity and approval in Him. How do I know this?
This is my Son – Our Identity.
In whom I am well pleased- Our Approval.
This is what God sees anytime He looks at us. When we know who we are, we strive to be worthy representatives and do the work of the One who has sent us here. Our behaviour reflects the values of the kingdom. If we are to seek exaltation, it should be for God to be glorified through it.
Any behaviour contrary to your identity and purpose, or conflicts with your core beliefs, is mostly done to gain the approval of someone else.
And In seeking the approval of the world, we tend to shrink, diminish and toe the line in order to fit into their standards. We lower our voices so it is not heard, we follow the crowd because we are afraid to stand out. We continually chase after what the world calls cool, trendy and good so we can be accepted and loved by all.
We turn to their ways to seek answers, peace and comfort and attempt to draw happiness from the waters of worldly pleasures and acquisitions. We alter our calling to be validated. We seek to be the centre of attention. to want the praise, to be in control. or to be glorified. We want men to think highly of us above what God thinks. Me, Me, Me! Where is God in all of these desires?
Know you not that a friend of the world is an enemy of God? We get carried away by the simplicity of the gospel and do not believe we have all we need in Christ Jesus to fulfill purpose. So in times of need, we do not go to Jesus. We turn away from the source of light to grope in the darkness of the world.
If Christ is the most significant person in your life, you will realise that His approval and praise of you is above all other opinion.
Now, do you recall the invitation? What was it? Let’s go to Matt 11:28. It says,
Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear. Matt 11:28-30 TPT
Friends, right here is the VVIP invitation to the table of Jesus. And the best part? No over the top, mind-boggling conditions. Simply draw closer to Christ, learn His ways and walk in it. He is gentle, humble and easy to please. This is by far contrasting to what the world can ever offer us.
The World is harsh, proud, self-sufficient, self-exalting, difficult to please. The world can not offer us eternal life, peace, joy or happiness. It cannot even give us comfort in painful moments. Of what use then, dearly beloved is the praise of the world to us? If we truly desire to rest in chaos, there is only one easy way out, Come to Jesus!.
We are in the world but not of the world. We cannot go on to subject ourselves to the slavery that comes from addiction to human praise. It is like stooping to pick crumbs when the Father has invited us to a feast of all of life’s goodness at His table, in abundant supply and more importantly, with no added sorrow.
Oh! How delighted He would be when we honour it in every area of our lives. It breaks His heart to see us struggling to meet up with the world’s standards, slaving for approval and acceptance when all we could have done was join Him at the table of life.
Dearly Beloved, I get it. it is human nature to seek approval. But that is the thing. It should be from the right source. We have the Spirit of God in us. A new nature. The nature of Christ. So therefore we seek after the endorsement of the Spirit. And not be consumed with desire for the praises of men.
Jesus was well hated and condemned throughout His ministry yet He wasn’t fazed. Not for once did He try to teach the gospel like they demanded of Him, or do things their way just for Him to be accepted into the fold. He wasn’t afraid to ruffle feathers or stir the waters. He brought light, freedom and salvation. He brought life. And because darkness cannot comprehend light, it responds by fighting through harsh criticism and false accusations.
But Jesus was rooted in the love of the Father. He believed the Father was with Him. He had faith in the power that backed His calling. Therefore, all that mattered to Him was not whether people liked Him but to accomplish the good works of the Father and bring glory to His name.
So Friends, Let’s turn the searchlight to ourselves. In what aspect of our lives do we constantly chase the need to be validated whilst ignoring the God- factor? Is it on our social media, day to day interactions, with our spouse, Children, friends. Even in the manner we propagate the gospel?. What matters most to you today? Whose approval do you seek?
Look to Jesus! We do not need the world to quell our cravings for a sense of belonging. Because we love God. We belong to Him and In Him, we find ultimate satisfaction.
I end with these verses,
“And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.”
Philippians 2:5 TPT
“whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.”
1 John 2:6 AMP
“For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey].”
1 John 5:3 AMP
You are Loved💛💙💚