Yesterday I was approached with a "thank you" for accepting an invitation to attend a Bible study class that was learning about our Lord and Savior. He was thanking me for attending and I said, "Thank God" not me, for I can not do, go, or speak without Him giving me the steps, speech or work to complete His purpose.
At once this dear friend said to me, "You need to learn how to accept a complement. He went on to tell me I would become a stumbling block to others saying something to someone that knew God gave us everything. I thought to myself if they know God deserves all of our thanks for all we have then why are they not saying, "Thank God?" He told me he knew it was God leading me and it was God we needed to thank but I did not have to say, "Thank God, not me" when he already knew. I just looked at him and said, "Praise Jesus". and tried to move on. He then told me he was a preacher, as if him being a preacher gave them the authority to know what he was talking about, as if a title or a work declared Christ's presence and truth was living through him. He told me when he preaches he preached that people do not need to make someone feel less worthy because they thank people instead of thanking God. That made me think that our purpose was to glorify people by lifting them up instead of lifting Christ up in them. He draws all people to Himself we have no drawing power, only he does through us, so why not thank Him all the time for all things?
Thanking our Heavenly Father is a humbling child's automatic response, that is His purpose of Him being glorified and Him being lifted up instead of ourselves as if we had anything naturally to do with His plan of salvation He made and willed for all of us through His Son on the cross. We pour out of us a thankful heart because that is who His Son has created in us by His growing and loving presence. His presence has given us all we need on earth as it is in Heaven.
All we do is give ourselves to Him and He does the rest in us, through us and all around us for His purpose. I do not want to make giving up of ones self a easy task, God may bring you to your giving up yourself to Him everyday for years before you are totally his by giving Him your will, or it can be one time, depending on your willingness of letting go of what is not Him in you. Naturally we do not have any of God in us, only do we receive Him through His Son Jesus Christ. He is the only truth, way and life of who we truly are. This word salvation indicates we need to be saved from a soul God does not want us to live out this present time in or for eternity. He gave us His Son for the purpose of receiving His Spirit to live through us for His glory and His presence fulling our unwanted souls. God makes no junk through Jesus Christ our Lord was His plan from the beginning.
My dear friend said, "You need to learn how to accept compliments and praise from people so I will not be a stumbling block to them." These words from him was puzzling to me, and I went home for quite reflection and prayer to meditate on what God was telling me through this conversation he had arranged. God began by taking me back to the days when I did live for others and their acceptance before I knew His grace.
I use to live by what others thought of me with their praise and complements giving me worth.I had confidence but only from others and myself which did not sustain me very long. For one, I did not have many accomplishments, two, they did not sustain me and give me the peace within I was searching for. I worked hard to receive them so I would know I was making and going in the right direction not truly having a personal relationship guided only by His love, grace and mercy. My soul rested in others and their compliments in me doing the right things and how they effected me more than my soul rested in God alone in what He thought of me by His gift of our true and real relationship. Only through Him can I receive my true rewards, acceptance and peace which is his unending supply of grace, peace and all the gifts of Himself.
If His gratitude is coming through others, and it often does through others, they too will be giving Him all the thanks in what He has given me, not me in what I do, say or think. So today what do we need to learn? Do we need to learn denying ourselves, giving Him ourselves daily because only then will he be giving us Himself living in and through us for His benefit of showing who He is in our lives. Or do we need to learn how to accept complements from others? If we have totally surrendered our lives to Him then all of our thanks will be going to Him and glorifying Him in all we say do and think. This is God's will for our lives.
What if everyone in the world gave God only the thanks of all they had within themselves, and all around them? We would be in Heaven. If we are not of this world we are on earth as it is in Heaven then all who are His will always be thanking only Him. These are some words our Lord said to the people seeking praise from men in His day. You will find them in John 5. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. "I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
1) By his human nature Jesus could do nothing. It is only through the Spirit of God Jesus could do anything. Meaning speak, judge or do. He judges only as he hears. This means he only judges to what God tells Him through each relationship and circumstances Jesus faced. This is how we know his judgment is just because he only is out to please God not himself. We, if we have faith in Him will be doing as He did.
2) Jesus did not accept praise from men. How many of us today can truly live by this truth of Him giving us all the praise we need from the gift of Himself? How do we know we do not accept praise from men? Because we have come in the name of Jesus Christ and give Him all glory and praise. So if we thank someone we will be saying we thank God for them, we thank God for His work in them, we thank God for his words spoken through them, they are words spoken by God through His Holy Spirit not through our human nature or theirs. They are not our views, our works, nor our words they are HIS.
3) Jesus Christ knows all men. Through the Spirit of God we know all the spirits and can test all the spirits in men for the use of God's purpose in the benefit of them knowing His truth.
4)He came in His Father name but many did not accept Him as when we come in our Father's name many will not accept us, his truth, way or life. Many of us today do not accept His truth, we would rather create our own Jesus, or our own God by going our own way which is in another name other than his. Most of us today would rather please man and not risk their relationships instead of only pleasing God and risking the one that truly matters, our Savior and Lord's.
God also speaks through Paul with the Galatians about how they were following God at one point in their lives then all of the sudden they were following men.
Galatians 1v10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
So today, do we need to learn more how to accept praise from men or how to accept praise from God? When we praise people we may feel good, we may receive acceptance, accomplishments and rewards hear on earth, but when we praise God and thank Him what we receive from Him supernaturally goes way beyond ourselves beyond this world straight to God in Heaven within our deepest selves; our souls, spirits and bodies fill up with his life giving presence. Do not be deceived, stop praising men and praise God for all things. All things are His, and all things we have are given to us by Him including our renewed minds, new desires and needs to glorify Him!