Be Done with Faith That Is Insincere

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.

6 Replies to “Be Done with Faith That Is Insincere”

  1. In my opinion you have used a verb that’s inappropriate. A follower of the Lord is desirous to hallow His name. Unsaved man attempts to impress his neighbour, but those who love God ought to love them. Likewise those who desire to live honourably before God are commanded to love Him.

    In Proverbs 3:5 the Lord teaches us not to be impressed with our own wisdom. Instead to fear (hallow) the LORD and turn away from evil.

    Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a person wise (impressive) in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

    Psalm 19:14

    The psalmist desires to hallow the Lord’s name. He desires to please Him, not to impress Him.

  2. Apparently, the word “impress” carries a connotation for you that it does not for me. I consider it to be generally synonymous with expressions such as get “noticed” by (as in Matthew 6:1) and be “esteemed” by (as in Luke 16:15) or even “after my own heart” (as in Acts 13:22).

    I even take verses such as 2 Chronicles 16:9 to be speaking of how God is seeking out people who wish to make a favorable impression on Him.

    It humbles me to think that so great a God has stooped to put Himself in a position such that we could have any effect on Him at all.

  3. Mike, What is the the great need of an unsaved person?
    The Lord already knows the condition of their heart! Does it impress Him? Does what comes out of their mouth impress Him? If yes, why are they still unsaved?
    What then is the great need of unsaved people? They need desire to trust and obey God.

  4. The greatest need of the unsaved person is to be saved. The greatest need of the saved person is to remain saved. How may a person become and remain saved? By living his faith for the approval of God rather than the approval of men (John 12:43).

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