…the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (Joh 8:29) How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (Joh 5:44)
In the English-speaking world, millions of books have been sold on the theme of how to have faith in God. Jesus revealed a big secret in saying that we get in our own way of believing God because we prefer honor from one another more than the honor that comes from God. Please! Couldn’t it be something else?
Paul urged young Christians to avoid marriage, if they could, because: …he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. (1Co 7:33) Paul was not applauded for that statement from everyone down through the centuries. Without marriage and children, Christianity would have come to a grinding halt. However, the institution of marriage does indeed bring with it its own list of priorities. The modern version of this is: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy.”
In God’s complete plan, He is honored if the wife is honored: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Eph 5:25) Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. (Col 3:19) There is no conflict between God’s order for husbands to love their wives and Jesus’ saying that honoring one another hinders our faith in God. We must rush to point out that this is not a license for the wife to root God out of the picture and take God’s place of priority to herself. That does happen a lot. We do not have to abandon common horse sense in getting these priorities straight.
Beyond the God-ordained family structure, there is a whole world of relationships that can hinder our faith in God. Business deals, occupational duties, social recognition, and political loyalties are some of the areas that fit what Jesus seems to be targeting. There is not room here to explore these areas but I believe the Scriptures will bear it out. The conclusion is very clear: honoring one another above honoring God will hinder and block our believing God and walking with Him.
The principle of putting God first is a summary way of dealing with it. When Jesus called their hand on the issue of honoring one another before honoring God, we can be assured that it did not set well with those He was addressing. He often got into trouble when He carried the Father’s will to the public at large. Jesus said to his brothers, The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. (Joh 7:7) If we live and proclaim the Christian life and message, some people are going to think we are putting them down, that they are not a beautiful rose garden just like they are without Jesus as Savior and Lord.
On the other hand, in some Bible-preaching churches there is a surge of young people who think they are called to preach. in the sense that we use that term today. That has been going on all my life. Not to worry. It will work its way to a conclusion. Pray for them. If they are called of God, their gifts will be obvious and they will endure the hardships they are going to go through.
Dr. Lee Roberson wrote in one of his books that when he presented himself as one whom God had called to preach, there were some nineteen young men who were saying the same thing. A few years later, he was the only one of the group who followed through and spent his life preaching as a pastor and evangelist.
When I was saved at age nine, I began witnessing the next day to the boys I had cussed with until they put me on the ground and made it clear they had heard enough. I was stirred even more at age seventeen and now at eighty-two I have never one time doubted the call from God to be a witness for Him as the first thing in my life. My job has always been to please Him first. When I aged out as a pastor, God assured me that I was to continue being a witness for Him and to encourage people in His word and to pray.
You don’t have to have a call from God to be a pastor-preacher to understand that honoring God first in your life is your priority. This applies to men, women, young people, boys and girls who know Him. Who are you trying to please? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JUNE 12, 2017 – MONDAY
A.M. Ezra 1-2
P.M. John 19:23-42
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hos 4:6)
Song for Today:
He Giveth More Grace (3:07) (Gaither Congregation)
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