by Rebecca Livermore
It is so easy to get caught up in externals, but that isn’t what we need to focus on. It’s more important to concentrate on what God commands us to do, than it is to worry about outward appearances. Some people might think that it is burdensome to keep God’s commandments, but it is actually quite freeing to get to the place where you focus on pleasing God rather than worrying about the opinions of man.
I remember a time in life when a particular couple had very strong opinions about the ministry the Lord had called my husband and me to. They didn’t approve of our methods, and of other things such as where we lived. The underlying sense of criticism and disapproval was devastating. I walked through a time of hurt and bitterness because of it. But there was great freedom when God brought me around to the place of simply walking in obedience to Him, in spite of the opinions of others.
Obviously, there are times when the opinions of others are spot on with the plan of God for our lives, so we should be open to counsel from godly men and women. But in the midst of that, we need to always remember that it is most important to do what God wants, which may not necessarily be what people expect of us. We all like to look good and have the approval of others, but looking good isn’t nearly as important as walking in simple obedience to the Lord.
Father, we pray that you will help us to walk in simple obedience to You, even if others at times do not approve. Help us to be in tune with Your Spirit, and Your truth. Help us to be men and women of Your Word so that we will clearly know how to walk in obedience to You. Help us also to extend that grace to others, so that we can encourage them to also walk in obedience not to the opinions of man, but to the will of God. Amen
Thought: Journal about any areas of disobedience in your life that you need to turn over to God. Take comfort in the fact that He is there, ready to provide the grace and strength to do His will! (Note: If you don't like to journal, spend time in prayer on this topic.)
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