Who's Looking?

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

One day, in a devotional I was reading, I read a story of a man's successful piano concert. When his near flawless concert ended, He received a standing ovation of applause and praise. The pianist stood to to his feet, unmoved by the audience's applause and praise. He looked around the audience and finally in the balcony, he saw the approving not of one man and only then did a smile break upon his face. Though the whole world applauded, the approval of His master teacher along could bring satisfaction to the great pianist's heart.

What a great lesson to everyone of us who love and serve the Lord Jesus! To know Him, to know His acceptance, and to know his approval are the most freeing experiences in the Christian's life.

Over and over again Jesus reface the true source of His conflict with the religious system of His day: "How can you believe, when you receive glory from another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" (John 5:44) John went on to explain the reason for the reluctance of the religious leaders to publicly acknowledge Jesus: "Never the less many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God." (John 12:42-43)

This is really sad. Yet, lets not be too quick to judge the Pharisees, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts. It's really easy for us to fall into the same snare. To be ambitious for a place of honor among men is a subtle and dangerous snare to God's people. It's easy to make the praise and applause of men a main force in our lives. And it most often happens in those who appear the most spiritual.

It's hard for most o f us to comprehend and apply the principles and truths of Philippians 2:7-8. Jesus, our example, made Himself of no reputation, but humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death. What does our Lord Jesus Christ have to work in our lives yet, as His people. to enable us to say: "I do not receive glory from men." (John 5:41)

In studying the lives of great men and women of God, we can see the cross of Jesus Christ in this area of their lives. When asked the secret of his walk with the Lord, George Mueller said: "There was a day when I died, utterly died to George Mueller; died to his opinions, preferences, tastes and will; died to the world, its opinion or censure, died to the approval or blame of even my brethren and friends. Since ten I have studied to show myself approved unto God."

Three times in Matthew 6, Jesus declared that our actions of giving, praying and fasting are to be done not for the approval of men but only for the approval of God. He stated clearly that our lives are to be lived to be seen "by {our Father} who is in secret; and {our} Father who sees in secret I will repay…." (Matthew 6:6)

More and more I see a growing comparison between a deep intimate communion with the Lord in the secure place and wanting to receive approval for the Lord ALONE.

When we enjoy the Lord's presence and experience the tender care and protection of the Lord Jesus, to please Him becomes our main goal. It was during David's greets times of stress that he experienced the comfort and intimacy of the secret hiding place of the Lord. (Psalm 31:20)