Grace and peace be unto you.
How often have you sought God’s approval instead of others? Do you value your approval above God’s? He commands us to live our lives to please him (Galatians 1:10), hence, his approval of our thoughts and behaviors should be given priority.
The story is told that Samuel advised King Saul to wait seven days for him to come and make sacrificial offerings. Saul waited seven days and Samuel did not arrive, therefore, he made the sacrifice. As soon as he was finished, Samuel came. Samuel was displeased and told him that his kingdom would not last because he disobeyed God (1 Samuel 13:1-14).
Saul was living for his own approval rather than God’s. Consequently, he acted on his desires instead of God’s instructions. In contrast, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego refused to bow down to the golden image (Daniel 3). They were living for the approval of one; God.
Living for God’s approval means obeying his commands regardless of our circumstances. Sometimes internal and external pressures compel us to disobey him. Nonetheless, he is asking us to give him our concerns so they do not influence our decisions. Furthermore, he is reminding us to reflect on his sovereignty (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we do, we are more likely to obey him.
When we are faced with a challenging task, our first question should be, “What would Jesus do?” or “What does the Bible say?”
Heavenly Father, thanks for your love and faithfulness. Grant us the desire to live for your approval. In Jesus’ name, amen.