Yesterday, I asked Whose Approval Is Important to You? You may remember this parenthetical point:
By the way, if you’re looking for approval in all the wrong places, it could explain why your faith is weak. Jesus Himself told us:
“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”
– John 5:44 [emphasis added]
Let me elaborate: Faith is a matter between you and God – not between you and other people.
The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God…
– Romans 14:22 [emphasis added]
So many Christians today act as if faith is a stance one takes before people rather than a stance one takes before God. It’s become a social identity rather than at attitude one has toward God. This kind of faith is useless.
Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
– Jeremiah 17:5-8
This contrast is stark. Trusting in people is like being a bush in the desert, while trusting in the Lord is like being a fruitful tree by a stream.
An insincere faith looks horizontally; a sincere faith looks vertically.
An insincere faith seeks to impress people; a sincere faith seeks to impress God.