The Eleventh Condition for Peace
“If you value the approval the God…” (Philippians 4:8)
Have you made the observation that Jesus asked a lot of questions? The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus asking 83 questions. He asked a profound question in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John: “How can you believe since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from God?”
God told Abraham: “Walk before Me” (Genesis 17:1). How many of us do that? Do we really move through a twenty-four hour day holding in focus how God feels about who we are, what we are and all the things we’re doing - or are not doing?
There are times in this life when we simply cannot have the approval of God and the approval of man at the same time. When those times come, if our peace depends on the approval of people, the foundation of our peace is very fragile. More than one hundred and fifty times, these three words are found in the New Testament: “In His sight.” That concept must be very important to us all the way through this life. Because, when we all face the certainty of judgment, the way we have lived our lives “in His sight” will be the only thing that matters.
I once heard a law professor challenge his students to be sure to make their presentation to the judge and not to the crowded gallery. It will not be what the spectators think, but what the judge thinks that determines the fate of their client.
Can you see why Paul’s eleventh condition for peace is for us to learn to value the approval of God?