© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
More than anything - I want God's witness on my life
"God will own and honour those that own and honour Him."
"God will take care that those who humble and abase themselves, and seek not their own glory, shall not lose by it."
"He (Jesus) did not covet nor court the applause of men...He needed not the applause of men."
"Idolizing men and their sentiments, and affecting to be idolized by them and their applauses, are pieces of idolatry as directly contrary to Christianity as any other."
- all the above quotes are from Matthew Henry
Unless checked by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God, Ambition can become the strongest motivation in our lives as Christians.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:6, we find the Apostle Paul's confession to the church at Thessalonica - "Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others..." What he was saying here was that he did not extract glory from men...the love of applause did not influence him... nor did he preach for worldly gain, honor, or esteem. In fact, in Galatians 5:26, he exhorted the believers in Galatia with these words - "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." They were not to be consumed with vain thoughts about their own selves. They were not to be ambitious of being thought wiser, richer, or more valuable than others. They were to simply seek for the glory of God.
In John 5:44, the Lord Jesus spoke of those who - "...receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only." In other words, they seek honor from men rather than the honor that comes from God alone. In all they do, they aim at worldly honor. In John 12:43, the Apostle John referred to them as people who - "...love the praises of men more than the praises of God." They are the ones who want the approval of another human being more than to see God glorified. They fear men more than God and esteem them more than Him. Their main motivation can be summed up in Matthew 6:1 which says that they do things - "...to be seen of them..."
In direct opposite to this mentality, Jesus stated in John 5:34 - "But I receive not testimony from man..." Again, in John 5:41, it is recorded that He said - "I receive not honour from men." What was He saying here?
He was basically saying that the witness that He was the Messiah or sent by God did not come from men. He did not depend on human testimony - in other words. Nor did He pride Himself on the commendation or flattery of men. He stood in need of neither. His glory consisted in His loving fellowship with His Father. Hence, ambition was never His motive. At no time was He desirous of human applause. He never acted through self-interest or vanity.
In John 5:31, He said - "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true." Then, in John 8:13-14, we read - "The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of Thyself; Thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go." Was He contradicting Himself in these verses of Scripture? Absolutely not! When He said that His witness would not be true if He bore witness of Himself, He was simply agreeing with the Law or the common rule of judgment among men that required two or three witnesses( Deuteronomy 17:6). One man's testimony of himself was not to be believed or admitted as authentic testimony. Hence, Jesus' statement that He came from God...was equal to God...or was the Messiah would be backed up with other evidence - such as the mighty power of God and the Scriptures. Though His own testimony of Himself was infallibly true, He set it aside.
In John 5:32, He went on to say - "There is another that beareth witness of Me; and I know that the witness which He witnesseth of me is true." Jesus had other testimony to depend on. That witness or evidence came from His Father. In John 5:36, He spelled it out as to Who and what was His evidence - "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me." Here He was saying that He had more decisive evidence - a superior testimony - because it came from God and not man. The very "works" that He did - healing the sick, casting out devils, and raising the dead - bore the seal of the Father's approval on His life and ministry. These works or miracles proved that He was indeed sent by God for the Father would not give power to any whose life and doctrine He didn't approve of.
In John 8:54, the Lord Jesus said it all when He stated - "Jesus answered, If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of Whom ye say, that He is your God." Instead of Jesus seeking for the glory or applause of men...being desirous of vain glory...seeking after the honor that does not come from God alone...and loving the praises of men rather than the approval of His Father, He did the total opposite. He sought after one thing and one thing alone - the witness of His Father that proved that He was sent by Him.
So many today do not have that "witness" - the tokens of God's Presence on their lives - to prove that He did indeed sent them to do the work that they are doing. So many are running, yet God is not sending them. They have no evidence - no miracles or the witness of the power of God operating through them - in their ministry. They simply had the money or the approval of man to start something, but they do not have the evidence of the power of God flowing through them unto others to show that God is indeed behind them.
Resultantly, what is happening today in our society is that many ministers are seeking for the "testimony," "witness," glory, praises, or approval of men. They lack the miraculous back-up of God so they have to convince the people to keep supporting them by using ambition and human applause as their evidence.
The truth of the matter is - God backs up every minister Whom He sends and employs...who bears witness of Him...and who declines to bear witness of himself.
If you have to brag on yourself in order to get a following, then you don't have the "goods" - so to speak. But, if you are a minister operating in the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, you don't need to lower yourself and seek for man's applause or approval. As with Jesus, men will see for themselves that you are indeed sent by God when they see the miracles following your ministry.
What will it be - will you settle for man's approval because you lack God's? Will you strive to hear man's applause because you lack Heaven's?
If you are indeed called by God to do the work that He called you to do, then you don't need to try and convince others of it? Your "works" will show if God is backing you up or not.
What will it be - man's witness on your life and ministry or God's?
When you have God's, you don't have to play silly games trying to convince the multitudes that you are called by Him. The miracles will speak for themselves.
May God Bless His Word.