“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:42,43).
Could this be true of us today? Do we need to ask ourselves how much of our lives, even after being born again, is still spent with this focus?
I had no idea that this was not the way life was to be lived. I had been brought up to love and honor God. I was very involved in church attendance and activities. Yet so very much of my thinking centered around me – how I looked, what I said, etc. I wanted everyone’s approval or at least the approval of those I felt were important.
But, praise God, at some point in the early days of my new life in Christ, I discovered how wrong this was. My Aunt (who was very significant in leading me to Christ) began to show me what I was caught up in and, actually, how unimportant people’s opinions of me were to my life in Christ. The most important person to me had to be Jesus Christ.
Though I knew that way of living was wrong, it has took me much of my life to cut that way of thinking off; it seems to be engrained in us. One of the enemy’s ways of control is to keep our minds busy, full of wrong thinking – even evil thinking. We aren’t properly communicating with Jesus, if this is the case. Our prayer life may be confused, as well.
John gave us an assessment of those among the rulers who believed in Jesus but kept their belief quiet because of the fear of being put out of the synagogue. They had their feet in two different camps. Jesus very clearly stated what the result of this kind of living would be. He said, “…the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48).
Have you ever wondered how many believers kind of hide their belief in Jesus because of the fear of being ostracized or ridiculed by workmates, friends or relatives? I believe Jesus is calling on us to step up, step out and lovingly admonish those the Holy Spirit has made us aware of. We must approach them with compassion and love or they will not hear us.
There are people who are looking for some manifestation of God’s love and power, and here we are – those who could bring that into being. There is a grace flowing like a river right now that we are to step into. Our Father will be so pleased; we will have His approval as we do so.