It is a dangerous thing to seek the approval of man rather than obedience to Christ. And it is the hallmark of the Laodicean times in which we live.
Consider the words of Oswald Chambers:
Are you willing to be offered for the work of the faithful— to pour out your life blood as a libation on the sacrifice of the faith of others? Or do you say— “I am not going to be offered up just yet, I do not want God to choose my work. I want to choose the scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have the right kind of people watching me and saying, Well done.”
It is one thing to go on the lonely way with dignified heroism, but quite another thing if the line mapped out for you by God means being a door-mat under other people’s feet. Suppose God wants to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased”— are you ready to be offered up like that? Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket— to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served? Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.
For me, the answer is a resounding, Yes! Come join with me, will you?
The following are chilling words from RC Sproul, Jr. I would encourage every Believer in the West to read and ponder the following.
Where Did We Go Wrong?
These are dark days for the church in the west. While we can, indeed must rejoice over the spread of the gospel in China, and in the southern hemisphere, here the church is losing its savor, and the putrid smell of death is all around us. Perverts are parading in the streets. Mommies are murdering their babies 3500 times a day. Eighty percent of evangelical kids reject the faith by the time they reach their 20’s, and those that stay (or come back) usually opt for church-lite. And our nation has just elected the most socialistic, leftist man in our history.
Everyone has their favorite spot, a particular battle we either lost or retreated from on which to place the blame. Was it 1963, when we let them take prayer out of “our” schools? Was it 1973, when the Supreme Court declared war on the unborn? Was it 1983, when All My Children became the first soap to run a gay storyline? Was it 1993 when Bill Clinton took office, promising to socialize medicine with Hillarycare? Was it 2003 when George W. Bush signed his own legislation giving us socialized pills for seniors?
The trouble with these guesses is that they all think the problem is the camel in the tent, when the real problem is the camel’s nose. We gave up on educating our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord the moment we accepted the premise of government schools, a hundred years prior. We began seeing children as a burden and inconvenience when we embraced the pill in the 60’s. We normalized the pursuit of sexual pleasure outside God’s design when we embraced no-fault divorce (brought to you first in California, under Governor Reagan.) We accepted socialized healthcare when we embraced LBJcare for the elderly. All Bill and Hillary, Mitt and Barack have proposed is lowering the enrollment age to birth. And we have had socialized retirement since 1933. How can we object to adding pills?
With every one of these issues we have missed the forest for the trees. We engage in sundry policy debates- this program is too expensive; we can get Bible as literature classes into the schools; if we elect Republicans we can hold back the tide- and miss that we have already given up the war. Unless or until the church of Jesus Christ is ready to affirm that education is not the calling of the state, that children are a blessing from God, that any sexual behavior outside the marriage bed is an abomination before God, that healthcare, pills and retirements are not entitlements, we will continue to slouch toward Gomorrah.
I know the principled approach freaks people out. That’s my point. But you can’t turn a ship around by accepting that we’re going in the right direction generally, we just need to move a degree or two. You can’t have godly education or godly sexual standards while excluding God. And you can’t have liberty in a nation whose children are nurtured in socialized schools. We should not object to this or that in the state’s schools, but should object to state schools. We should not object to the murder of babies because they are babies, but because it is murder. We should not object to homosexual perversion because it is homosexual, but because it is perversion. We should not object to this socialist program or that but should object to socialism. Otherwise we’re not fighting but retreating.
The following was written by a young man in Rwanda the night before he was murdered for his faith. In 1980 he was forced to either renounce his faith in Christ or face death. He chose the latter and was killed on the spot. His final words, found nailed to a wall in his home, sums up his faith and life and defines the courage that marked the early church and is conspicuously missing today. Read these words prayerfully and ask the Lord to move His church from lukewarmness to spiritual fervency.
I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made— I am a disciple of His.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly-talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and I labor with power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, hired away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up and stayed up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus, I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He comes to claim His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me.
My banner will be clear!