God's Approval

In this world of eat or be eaten, the performance-driven society we live in - God interrupts with a gift, His only Son, Christ Jesus for the redemption and reconciliation of humanity to Father God. 

For those ready to accept God's love gift of salvation through Christ Jesus for the rest of eternity by living their life patterned after Jesus, the acceptance of this is straight forward.

For those who are performance-driven and have a hard time accepting gifts, this might be difficult. However, Jesus has paid the price, accepting all of humanity into His kingdom. Now humanity has to decide on the acceptance of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

From birth, humans seek approval. From some authority figure in our life, whomever that might be, children to the elderly desire to know they are accepted and that they are doing life correctly.

The main pool of sources that humanity has to pick from to receive approval are - the world, the enemy of our souls, our self, others and God. From these sources humanity derives many other things besides approval, such as - our energy level, our decision making, our thought process, our actions and our speech or word selection.

However, before we arrive at the other things being influenced in our lives, we look to others or our additional chosen sources to see how they did a particular part of life. Some of us copy and paste remedies to our situations, others modify and apply appropriately. But we are all continually looking for how to do life better. Many are also looking to be accepted or approved of, in spite of short-comings and failures, along the way.

The next few individuals I want to share with you are who I feel are profound examples of God's applause or Approval.

Probably one of the biggest examples of God applauding/approving someone is when Solomon asked God for wisdom to govern God's people. Solomon did not request long life, wealth, or the death of his enemies and the Scripture records God's response this way - 

"The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this" (1 Kings 3:10)

In fact, God was so pleased that He granted Solomon his request and what he did not ask for. Solomon seeking the correct thing from God and asking the right question rendered not only God's "yes" answer but extra, so that in Solomon's lifetime he had no equal among kings (1 Kings 3:7-14). What you request of God is an opportunity for heavenly applause/approval that could get blessed beyond measure. Take the time to align your requests with His purposes.

Hezekiah is an old testament figure I would like to sit down with when I get to Heaven. This king did what was right, was modeled after David, removed the High Places or idols, trusted in God, held fast, followed God, and kept the commands of the LORD. His reward - the presence of The LORD, success in whatever he did, and the defeat of his enemies. He would be like no other king before or after (2 Kings 18:3-8). A great king to model.

There was an example of faith that received praise or approval from Jesus that was superior to everyone else. A Centurion soldier had a sick servant and 
recognized Christ's authority to speak healing anywhere and anytime and requested Jesus not bother with the travel, asking Jesus to heal his servant. The Bible records, 

"When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." (Matthew 8:10) 

Wow! A Centurion got it! Not a teacher of the law, not a disciple, but a Centurion. Authority recognized Authority. What authority do you recognize as governing your life? What authority do you count on for your approval?

Perhaps one of the most grand applause/approval statements that I found was Jesus speaking about His cousin, John the Baptist. 

"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11) 

I got to this verse and all the other people I studied seemed to diminish as Christ named Himself greatest, then John the Baptist second.

Of course the ultimate applause or praise from God was made not just once, but twice, verbally about His own Son, Jesus. The first time the approval is heard is Christ's Baptism - 

"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) 

The second time it is recorded is at The Mount of Transfiguration and God adds a little something of importance at the end - 

"While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:5) 

It is now, more than ever that the Church and world desperately needs to "Listen to Him!"

These people I present and their lives I magnify are to encourage you and me in the same way as they were applauded. I pray that believers everywhere will practice all the great strengths and positive characteristics that God praised, applauded and/or approved concerning these members of the Kingdom. 

Our Christian life, our Christ-like journey should not and does not stop with our salvation. Like many, the approval I have sought has cycled through several of the sources mentioned. Now, I deeply yearn to hear God say, 

"'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" (Matthew 25:23) 

I have a craving for God's Approval.