How To Get God’s Approval, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye
The totality on man’s life is geared towards seeking one form of approval or the other. Approval of parents, of a loved one, of an employer, of an examiner, of friends, of leaders, of relations, and even of one’s community is what we all do throughout our lifetime. The only person that doesn’t do that is someone with mental problem.
As Christians, we also seek the approval of God, knowing that our lives and living does not just end here. The knowledge of the afterlife which God controls makes us to seek His approval as well.
The truth of the matter is that for every kind of approval one is seeking, there are prescribed actions that can earn one the acceptance.
For example: For a child to receive the approval of his/her parents, the child will need to concentrate on his/her studies, obey given instructions and help out at home.
For an employee to get the approval of his/her employer, the employee must be punctual at work and be productive. Even if the employer does not really like your face, the fact that you are very useful to them will earn you their approval.
There are specific deeds required from different persons as stipulated by God for such persons to be able to receive approval from Him.
For examples: Children (obedience), Parents (instruct in the way of God and correct in love), House-helps (render service as unto God and not eye service), Masters (be kind and considerate), Workers (be diligent and faithful), Deacons/Deaconess (servant leaders and assist with admin), Elders (to advice/admonish and pray), Pastors (to feed and care), Bishop (protect the faith through doctrinal teaching and good character), etc, these are few things they must do in order to receive God’s commendation.
For us as workers or co-labourers with God, we must do all we can to gain more knowledge and improve our skills in order to be more efficient in what we do, so that we will be approved of God, otherwise God will be ashamed of us.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
So therefore, every one of us ought to dig deep into God’s words to find out what are those things required of us to do in order that we might receive a Divine approval. If one deeds in this year is below or at same level as one did last year, God may not approve of it.
Joshua succeeded in leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land, he was able to share the land for them amicably, the people served The Lord under him, when he was about to die, his self-appraisal was Distinction, but his Divine approval was a ordinary Pass.
Joshua 13:1-6 – Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the Lord said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
It is good to gave the approval of men, but the truth is that not all people will be approved of you at every given time, no matter how nice you are or appealing you might be. The approval of God is the therefore ultimate.
Jesus went about doing good throughout the land of Israel, still the Jews still said He was evil.
Jesus said his cousin John the Baptist came and was always fasting, people said he was demonic; when Jesus came and ate with people including sinners, the people said He was a glutton and a lover of wine.
It is extremely hard to please all men. In trying to do so, you may lose your mind.
The interesting thing about the approval of God is that it can influence that of men.
Proverb 16:7 – When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
The message of today is to address us collectively as Christians and not for a particular segment of the church. What must you do as a believer to enjoy God’s approval.
5 things that will always get God’s approval
1. Demonstrate your faith in God -,God does not want people who will only say they faith in Him, but those who will demonstrate by their actions that they do. It is such people that get His approval.
Hebrews 11:1-2 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. If the men of old were able to get Divine approval by their deed, doing the same deeds today will also accord us similar approval.
In Gen. 22: 15-18, God said to Abraham “…because you have done this thing…”, not because you said you will do it. Faith in God require proven actions.
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Heb 11:4-10, listed people who demonstrated their faith in God with actions:
– Abel offered unto God
– Enoch walked with God and please Him
– Noah prepared an ark
– Abraham went out
– Sara judged God faithful – by allowing the advances of Abraham (before she said ‘shall I have fun’ having wax old?)
All the above had action verbs i.e they demonstrated something to prove they had faith. Without appropriate actions, our faith in God will be mere words and therefore no Divine approval.
Solomon had faith in God at the inception of his reign, that was why he went to the high place in Hebron to seek God’s approval.
– We need to be sincere to ourself before God. We need to take the level of our faith from the saying to the doing. Ask yourself “Do I think I really have faith in God? I know your answer and mine will be YES. But ask yourself again, “In what ways have I shown that I have faith in God?”
2. Demonstrate your love for God – It is very easy to claim that one loves someone with their mouth, but the best way to prove that is to show it. Love emanates from the heart, but because no man can see another person’s heart, the best way to convey love message is by showing it.
In Deut 6:5, we have the greatest commandment of God. It is to love The Lord our God with the whole of our heart, whole of our soul and the whole of our might/strength. It didn’t read, “Thou shall love The Lord thy God with the whole of your heart”.
Heart – whole of our intellect, will and emotions.
Soul – whole of your inner being,
Might – whole of your energy, what you have: strength, material, finances.
With the understanding of the above, how many of us can confidently say that they love God with the whole of their heart, soul and might?
In John 21:15-17 when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He challenged Peter’s extent of love for Him. Jesus did not dispute the fact that Peter loved Him, but the dispute was in the measure.
God is a jealous Lover. If you subtract from His love, you may not get His approval.
One remarkable way to show love is by giving. Abel, Abraham and Solomon all gave God their best, they were approved by God. What are you giving to God that can provoke His approval?
3. Demonstrate the fear of God – This is one area the today’s believer and new generation Pastors will rather not mention. We all are aware that whenever we are in love with someone very intimately, it is very easy to take them for granted.
The more we get familiar with God’s love, the easy it for us to over step our boundary if we are not careful. The fear of God will keep us in check so that we don’t lose His approval.
God is love, this is one of His greatest attributes. However He is also a Consuming Fire. A believer that wants to enjoy God’s approval must be able to understand these two aspect of God, otherwise he/she might get burnt. For example:
-.Uzzah died an untimely death because of lack of fear. Love God to be part of the procession…
– Mariam became leprous because of lack of fear. God even said she was not afraid…
– Solomon might have died a sinner because of overfamiliarity with God’s love and his lack of fear for God. For he knew that God loved him and even gave him a name “Jedidiah”
Abraham however, though God called him a friend! Yet he feared God.
Genesis 22:12 – And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him:for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
How much fear do you have for God? God is a loving Father. Note that He can also be a worst Enemy.
4. Demonstrate your obedience to God’s words – obedience to God’s words is a follow up deed of our love and fear of Him.
Jesus told His disciples that if we love Him, then we will keep His commandment (John 14:15).
Also the bible tells us that the fear of God keeps us from sinning (Ex. 20:18-20).
King Saul learnt this lesson the hard way. He first disobeyed the instruction of the prophet of God when Samuel told him to wait for him to come and do a sacrifice in 7 days time, he disobeyed and thought he got away. But when he disobeyed direct instructions of God, he was doomed (I Sam. 15: 22-23).
Note that your offerings, your time spent in church, your dance, etc can’t replace your obedience to God’s words.
Abraham obedience earned him Divine approval.
Abel obedience earned him same approval.
Solomon obedience to David’s advice earned him Divine approval during the early part of his reign.
– How much of God’s word and instructions to you do you obey? Your Divine approval will depend on what you do with those instructions.
5. Demonstrate your love and care for others – The second most important commandment of God is for us to love our neighbours as ourself. Compliance with this will grant us Divine approval.
Jesus spoke a parable regarding this known as the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”. The person that demonstrated love and care to the wounded Israelite was not even a Jew but a Samaritan, who should not have, as the Israelites don’t like to have any dealings with them.
We need to show love and care not just to our family members alone, but humanity as a whole.
About three years ago, Compassion UK was here and some of us volunteered to sponsor poor children from different parts of the world, children we may never meet, but are now receiving care and love from us, this is what gives us God’s approval.
Religion is a way by which man seeks to be approved of God. In James 1:27, James the half brother of Jesus tells us what true and acceptable religion actually is.
James 1:27 – Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Again, we all fast and pray for God to approved of us, yet God tells us in Isaiah 58: 5-9, the sort of fasting that He will approve.
Isaiah 58:5-9 – Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
– How much love do we show to one another, talk less of people from outside?
Do you want God to approve of you? Love and care for the brethren, the widow, the fatherless, the poor, the needy and the sick and see what God will do for you. You require rewards of honour? How about engaging in deed of honour.
1. Father let the meditation of my heart, the words of my mouth and the actions of my flesh be acceptable in your sight in Jesus name.
2. Father, anoint me with power to please you always.
3. Father, let every of my prayers and all my givings come before you for a memorial.
4. Father, my my life appreciate in honour.
5. Father, help me to pay the price for your approval of me.
6. Father, let my position of honour in your kingdom be forever secure.
The sermon “How To Get God’s Approval”, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye was delivered on April 24th, 2016