I don’t seek to set myself in opposition to others, my goal is to be a peacemaker – but I’m not going to compromise truth to please people – I’m not going to compromise on what the Word of God says, even when this puts me in opposition to others.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Galatians 1:10 NLT
And this doesn’t mean that I pick one type of sinning that is visible and easy to point out in someone else’s life and use it as a soap box to point fingers at them – seeking the approval of other people who also like pointing their fingers at the visible sin of others. It doesn’t mean that I pick up stones and ready myself to throw them at others, hoping to shed their blood because it is clearly evident in my own heart that the Lord has not accepted my own offering as worthy, as blameless, as a righteous sacrifice. No, I’m not too be the one slaughtering my brothers and sisters.
But I’m also not meant to be the one standing by and watching them as they are lead to the slaughter. Even when those who are not yet ready to receive or accept the truth, those who might react towards the truth with opposition – it is our purpose to sow the seed of the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. And there is resistance from the enemy who does not want to see people raised to life, chains broken, captives freed.
How many of us are satisfied with practicing religion as long as we don’t have to do our day anything that might make ourselves or others “uncomfortable”? How many of us are willing to talk about God in those circles where it is comfortable and easy and “appropriate” – but not quite so comfortable when it might result in a response of opposition or disapproval?
Whose approval are we more interested in? Are we satisfied to hear their cries at judgement asking, “Why didn’t you tell me, why didn’t you help me?” Or is it even worse than that – are we the ones who are separated and led off into destruction who did not offer a drink of water to those who were thirsty and in need of the living waters that could save them? Are we the ones who saw the danger coming and who did not sound the alarm to warn our brothers and sisters? Are we not our brother’s keeper?
Are we Christ’s servant? What are we doing to serve? What is our sacrifice?
Do not think that I am encouraging you to a life of works in order to earn favor with God, friend. We will not earn favor through our works. But I am asking how we might have confidence that we are His servant if we are doing so very little to actually serve Him? Isn’t a lifesaver on a boat just a decoration until it is put into use? Can it truly claim to have made a difference if it goes down with the ship never having left it’s beautiful mounting place on the wall? Is it better that it remain beautifully mounted and clean on the wall for passengers to take pictures alongside of it, or for it to be cast into the dirty, raging waters to save a life? Which is its purpose in life – to look the part or to serve the need?
So I ask, do you cling to the idea of Christ, to the idea of forgiveness, to the idea of grace – or do you cling to Christ Himself, following in His footsteps, living as a faithful disciple? Do you just look the part in those religious circles but don’t live it out in the very circles where you could make a difference? Are you just playing Jesus, but you have no real interest in being like Him? Are you good at talking about love, but not so good at walking in love?
Yes, that’s me at times. At times I’m weary and I’m broken. Sometimes I need rest. Sometimes I need a little more love. And I find new strength in Christ. But we are not meant to remain in rest when life gets us down. We are meant to be lifted up and sent on mission into this world.
So today, what do you need in order to get out there? What needs to be corrected for you to know His approval and to not concern yourself with the approval of others? Are you surrendered to His design, His will, His plan and purpose for your life?