For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Very simple, yet powerful verse. Very self-explanatory. But as a pastor used to say, “easy preaching, hard living.” God spends a great deal of time in His Word trying to show us that there is really only one choice to be made in our lives; God or Men.
Every soldier knows that to stay true to the plotted course you have to regularly stop to shoot your azimuth. What that means is that you find a place in the distance that is along your path and using a compass, you verify regularly that you are still headed in the right direction. Galatians 1:10 is my daily azimuth. What am I aiming for, God’s approval or man’s reward?
I endeavor in my life, and in my ministry to always choose God. That choice has taken me down some roads that others would call foolish or bad business. I choose to let God provide the necessary funds for my ministry which is why I don’t charge fees or travel expenses. Here is what God has to say about that:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I have turned down offers to work for large “national groups” that would have paid a decent and reliable salary because they wanted me to deviate from the message of this ministry. Why? Because I choose the provision of God and not men.
I have exposed personalities for their error, not wanting their endorsement or their fellowship, only to be told that my actions were foolish and that I shouldn’t “make enemies” of such people who are “in our group.” Why? Because I choose the influence of God and not men.
Why do I share this today? To glorify God and show that the decision is not foolish or bad business. That God IS faithful to provide and truthful in his promises. And, perhaps, as a reminder to myself to stay the course, fight the fight, and that serving God is always a greater reword than serving men. It is not easy, and we need reminding that staying true and principled is work:
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
It may be hard work, but it is always worth it:
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.