Today we live in a society that clamors for applause, praise, and adoration from our fellow human beings. Just recently, it was reported that one of the starting Quarterbacks of a NFL team was becoming distraught because he had been booed by the fans for some bad plays he made in their recent game. His team won the game and he is still the starting Quarterback as far as his coaching staff is concerned.
This is a perfect example or illustration of the society or world we live in today. When a man can make millions of dollars a year and still not be content and satisfied unless people are clamoring at his feet, this tells you the condition of the human heart today. Popularity, among fellow human beings, is highly sought after today by people of all walks of life. To be praised by other people is something highly regarded in the world today.
Actually, we have (in the visible church) seen these adaptations take root, sprout, and come up like quickly growing weeds. It is really nothing new. The Lord Jesus said to some of the mere religious people of His day; "John 5:42 But I know you, and recognize that ye have not the love of God in you. (KJV)"
What about having the Creator of Heaven and Earth sing your praises? Is it not much more desirable for us to be praised by God? God's praise for one of His dear children does not even compare to the praise given by the world. Many people who are praised by God are unknown to this world and the people of this world. That young 15 year old girl who stood for Christ despite seeing two of her classmates dismembered and she being slashed/cut and left for dead. You better believe God praises her. It is a sad day when people who say that they love Christ, but desire applauds, recognition, and acceptance from a Satanic world.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord all the day long. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This is the mandate that all true believers have from our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be in this world, but never of this world. This world should never applaud a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself told us that the world hated Him and it must hate those who love Him and are His true followers.
Luke 6:26 Woe to (alas for) you when everyone speaks fairly and handsomely of you and praises you, for even so their forefathers did to the false prophets. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The praises from men lead to a snare or a trap for the soul of any professing believer. This is one tool the devil uses to lure men and women (called of God) to distract and get them off the desired path the Lord Jesus Christ has for their individual lives. The devil tempted the Lord Jesus Christ by offering Him the kingdoms of this world without Him going to the cross to die. The Lord Jesus rebuked the devil with the Word. The praise and applause of men is fickle and fleeting. It fluctuates more than the Dow Jones. However, when a man or a woman is seeking or desiring the praise of God, that is constant and steadfast.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Faith is the key to receiving praise from God. Every other aspect of our lives or our Christian walk, we fall short on many occasions. Therefore, we must simply believe God. Speak His word and obey it. This is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
Faithful communion is His primary objective from each of His new born children. He is a jealous God. Jealous only in the since that He wants to dominate our time and affections. This is why He tells us that a lover of the world is at war with Him. It is a very sobering thought to be at war with God. We (His children) should be at war with His enemy and ours and that is the devil.
Unregenerate Man has no concept of how to be pleasing to anyone but himself and other men. However, as God's children we should feast on every word of Scripture so intensely that we become like a sponge. When we are squeezed by stresses, problems, and attacks from the enemy, the Word of God should flow from us.
I know that this is far easier said than actually done on a daily basis. Many times we are tempted to please man to make our way through a certain perceived tight spot. However, even if we think that a matter is trivial, our Heavenly Father does not see any trivial matters. He wants us to stand for Him in the small and seemingly insignificant things as well as the big obvious issues in this life down here on this sin cursed earth.
When this lost world sees the followers of Christ standing steadfastly for truth (disregarding the applauds of men or the threats of men) many I pray will come to know the Wonderful Counselor for themselves. For the praise of man is for a moment, but the favor of God through Christ Jesus our Lord is Eternal and it is a blessing right now down here on the earth.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)