Are You Living for the Approval of God or Man?

As we daily read Scripture, may we not simply read historically, but may we allow the Word of God to read us.

“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;…..” John 12:42

Ask yourself: Do believe in Him (do I believe a truth in the Word) BUT for fear (because of FEAR), I do not confess it so that I will not be rejected in some way? 

For them it was the fear that they would be put out of the synagogue, which would have been a very uncomfortable, unfortunate change that would have affected their whole lives. But we face those very same fears, don’t we? Fears of where we may be rejected and not fit in anymore or may stand out or be called radical or even legalistic or hateful. And so we don’t confess the truth that we believe.  

But then the next verse reveals what is truly underneath that fear, whether they (or we) realized it or not. The whole story, the truth was:

“..for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” John 12:42, 43 

Notice how scripture deals with the very intentions of their hearts.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

May we allow Him to do the same with our hearts. Allow His Word to judge your thoughts and the intentions of your heart, even in your current area of fear.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” 
Psalm 139:23

May we search our hearts and repent (turn the other direction) where necessary and then “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). May we believe, confess, and be bold about His truth, no matter what.

 “..we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2b-4

Spend some time before the Lord and truly ask the question:

What am I not obeying or not speaking truth on because of the fear of man? And if I continue down that road, then I confess that I am choosing to love the approval of man rather than the approval of God. May it never be!

 “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible

Hi Friends,

 I believe that this is where the Lord wants to encourage us today, because I sat down to write about something else and never actually got there. Instead, we have this really good, and I trust timely, word. We’ll see if next week we get to where I was planning to go.

But first, let me share some news updates: 

Some of you may be aware that our daughter, Anna, was pregnant with twins and one did not have a heartbeat right after Thanksgiving. She is now 28 weeks along, and the doctor is so pleased with how well this other little one is doing. Things are going better than he expected. Praise God! The next milestone is to get to 32 weeks. And of course, the ultimate prayer is that this little girl is born completely healthy and whole. Thank you once again for your prayers.

And I want to share this with you:

I had the honor of being on Kohlie Browning’s Still With You podcast and being a part of launching her second season. It aired last Friday. Here is the link. “Episode 24: Treasuring God’s Word with Traci Shinnick” from Still With You by Kohlie Browning on Apple Podcasts  You can also listen on Spotify by searching for the podcast Still With You by Kohlie Browning. I will shamelessly keep sharing it because somehow God and Kohlie managed to include all my heart messages in one podcast. And things were shared and said that were needed encouragement even to my own heart when I listened.

So I have a lot of faith that God can use this to not only encourage people to be in His Word, but also to walk in obedience, say yes, just show up, and go do the easy/hard. Please take the time to listen and please share with someone who may need this encouragement!

Thank you in advance!

Talking into a microphone was a scary step of obedience. But it has been a delight to see the fruit of that step this week. I’m so thankful for Kohlie and her steps of obedience, the prayers that she sows into her podcast ministry, and the way she has followed the Lord’s leading as she fulfills her ministry (2 Timothy 4:5). Please go check it out.  

See you here next week! I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you all. I pray that you all have an excellent day and choose boldness. 


Photo by Payton Tuttle on Unsplash

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