Galatians 1:10-12 AMP Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). For I want you to know, brethren, that the Gospel which was proclaimed and made known by me is not man’s gospel [a human invention, according to or patterned after any human standard]. Nor indeed I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but [it came to me] through a [direct] revelation [given] by Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
Are you a people-pleaser or a God-pleaser? Many times throughout my life I have been guilty of trying to please the people around me to the point of totally ignoring my own needs or what I felt God wanted. This has been an area of weakness in my life and as I’ve sought the Lord’s directions He has reiterated to me that only what He wants from me is important. This morning as I was praying the Lord spoke this to my heart:
“Quiet yourself before Me, Child, and I will speak to your heart. Focus your eyes on Me and not the things going on around you. Still yourself in My presence and lean on Me. Be not pressured to conform to the world or the demands or expectations of other people. For I am your God! You are answerable to only Me. Do not hesitate to do My will at My direction. Be not afraid of men! Do not look at their faces or listen to their words. Listen only to Me and follow My directions. Speak boldly whatever I tell you with confidence that You are safe in Me. Be the leader that I have called you to be. Do not cave in to please man. Be firm and stable in your walk with Me. Be confident in who you are in Christ. I will direct you and lead you in the way you should go. Look not to the right or to the left, but look straight into My eyes. I will direct you with My eye upon you.”
Paul said in Galatians 1:1 “PAUL, AN apostle–[special messenger appointed and commissioned and sent out] not from [any body of] men nor by or through any man, but by and through Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and God the Father, Who raised Him from among the dead–
Paul marched to the beat of a different drum, so to speak! He recognized that His calling and commission came from God alone. It was not through any group of men, but God Himself called him and sent him out to be His special messenger. God picks those that He wants to use, but sometimes we feel pressured to do what people think we should do regardless of what we feel God wants from us.
1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 AMP But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men but to please God, Who tests our hearts [expecting them to be approved]. For as you well know, we never resorted either to words of flattery or to any cloak to conceal greedy motives or pretexts for gain, [as] God is our witness. Nor did we seek to extract praise and honor and glory from men, either from you or from anyone else, though we might have asserted our authority [stood on our dignity and claimed honor] as apostles (special missionaries) of Christ (the Messiah).
Paul said that he has done his best to please God, not man, because God is the One who tests the hearts. In doing that he had to overcome the temptation to flatter men and say things that would lead to his own promotion in the lives of the people to which he was ministering. He also faced the temptation to receive praise and glory for himself instead of pointing them to the Lord. Those types of temptations always come with the ministry. People flatter you and if you do not nip it in the bud at the very beginning you will begin to feel special and above all the rest, as if your ministry is “yours” and not the Lord’s!
Jeremiah 9:23, 24 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 refers back to the Jeremiah verses:
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
God chooses people to proclaim His gospel by His own standards, not the world’s standards. He does that so that He can receive the glory from them as they fulfill His calling in their lives. He wants the glory to go to Him, not to man. It is only as we follow His leading that we will be able to please Him only. Man cannot have any hold over us if we want to be God-pleasers. Sometimes what God asks us to do makes no sense whatsoever to the minds of men, but we must be God-followers to be God-pleasers!
Have you ever been guilty of trying to please men over God? It is an easy trap to fall into! At this point in my life I am getting better at being bold enough to stand up and say, “no, I feel that God wants me to go in this direction, or say this”. It is with that in mind that I am seeking the Lord’s directions regarding this blog, whether it should continue to be a daily teaching blog or if I need to put some variety into it with a shorter blog on some days with a thought challenging statement instead of a full-blown teaching. If I am not careful my desire to feed the sheep will over-ride what I feel I am hearing from the Lord. There comes a time in people’s lives when God expects them to come to Him for revelation and not be dependent upon others to feed them.
There is a website that has a camcorder set up in an eagle’s nest in Decorah, Iowa. It is a great way to watch the eagles from the time they lay their eggs until the babies are thrust out of the nest as they mature. The mother and father eagles take turns in staying with their babies 24/7 until they are old enough to get ready to leave the nest. They bring in fish to feed them and when they are little they pick the bits of fish off the bones and put it in the mouths of the little eagles. But as they grow older they bring the fish in and lay them in the nest and the babies are responsible to pick the meat off the bone themselves and feed themselves. The parents prepare their babies as they mature or they will not be able to provide for themselves when they leave the nest. So it is, with teachers of the Word. It is our responsibility to direct people to the Lord so they can get the manna from Him themselves. We feed the sheep but not to the point where they become dependent upon the teacher, but as a road sign that shows them the way to the Master. It is my desire that I be a teacher of the Word that leads people into the presence of God so they may gain understanding and revelation directly from Him.
Father, I continue to seek Your directions for this blog. I ask You to speak to my heart clearly the direction You would have me to take. I give the glory to You, Lord, for all that You are doing in the hearts and lives of people through what You say through me. Lord, I desire that You be exalted and that people’s eyes are turned to You and not to a person such as me. Father, I pray for my friends that they would seek You for their daily manna, a fresh word from You each day. I know the temptation is there for them to read devotionals and gain understanding of You through another person, but the ultimate revelation comes directly to them from You, Lord, not through anyone else. You want them to hear Your voice, not the voice of the Priest. That’s why You tore the veil into in the Temple when Jesus died on the cross, so people could come directly to You and not have to go through a Priest. Father, may I always turn people’s eyes to You, Lord, so they can learn to come directly to You and not be dependent upon what I say that You have spoken to me. I desire that they have a living and vital relationship with You, Lord, for themselves. Thank You for drawing them by Your Spirit to Yourself. May You be glorified in all that I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.