Value The Approval Of God More Than The Approval Of Men
Bro. Zac Poonen was formerly an Indian Naval Officer who has been serving the Lord in India for the past 40 years as a Bible-teacher and elder having responsibility for a number of churches. He has written a number of books and articles in English which have been translated in other Indian languages as well. His messages given in India and abroad are available on audio and video cassettes and CD's. (See the Books, Audio and Video section)
Like the other elders in CFC, Zac Poonen also supports himself and his family through "tent-making" and does not receive any salary for his services. He does not receive any royalty for any of his books, audio tapes, video tapes or CDs, published by Christian Fellowship Centre.
To know more about him, you could visit his family website at: http://www.poonen.org
We read in Job 1:7 the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?". Then Satan told God that he had been "roaming about on the earth and walking around on it". Satan is a world-traveller. Don't imagine that it is a great thing to be a world-traveller. If God calls you to do that for His glory, that is fine. But remember that in Jesus' entire earthly life, He travelled only within a circle that was less than 100 miles radius from his hometown of Nazareth – because that was the will of God for Him. So don't ever imagine that those who travel around the world are the luckiest of all people. There is a difference between the way God works and the way Satan works. Satan is always restless - roaming to and fro. There is a haste about all his works. God however works slowly and patiently. Satan travels around the world, watching believers especially. He moves about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour (1 Pet.5:8).
When God asked Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job?" Satan replied, "Yes, I know all about him." Satan knows the true spiritual state of every person. His demons also move around everywhere, examining people's lives and reporting back to him. So Satan knows everything about everybody in the world. The Lord told Satan what was outstanding about Job: "There is no-one like him on the earth - a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil?" (Job 1:8). The fear of God – or reverence for God - is something that is mentioned much in this first book of inspired Scripture. Here we see that God compared Job with other people on the earth. God does that today too.
In Revelation 12:10 we read that Satan is the accuser of God's children. When he accuses believers to God, he speaks the truth. For example, he could say to God: "See that man there who calls himself Your son. He loses his temper. He yells at his wife at home. He is unrighteous with money. He says he is serving God, but he is only interested in making money for himself through his ministry", etc., etc., God being a righteous God, will have to admit that what Satan is saying is true. But in the midst of millions of carnal believers who bring dishonour on the Name of Christ, how delighted God is when He finds one man who is upright. God is not looking for such people, whom Satan cannot accuse in any way. Will you be one such person?
Jesus said, "The prince of the world comes and he finds nothing in Me" (Jn.14:30). That was why the Father could say, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." The Father was so delighted because there was one Person on earth at that time whom He could point out to Satan and say, "See how He is walking." 1Jn.2:6 says, "He who says he abides in Christ must walk as Jesus walked." It doesn't matter one bit what our fellow believers think about us. It matters everything what God thinks about us. It matters a lot whether God can point us to Satan and say in the midst of multitudes of compromising, carnal Christians, "Satan, I know that many who call themselves My children are compromisers and carnal. But have you seen this man who lives on that street in that town? He is different. He is upright and sinc`1`ere. Have you seen that woman who lives on that street in that town? She is different. She is godly" And Satan's mouth is shut – because he knows that what God is saying is true. Are you one of those who can shut Satan's mouth, because God can point you out to Satan? Whether you are wealthy or poor makes no difference. And lest you think you have to be poor in order to be spiritual, remember that the very first godly person in Scripture mentioned in the very first book of the Bible was also a very rich man.
In fact, that was what provoked the jealousy of other people around Job. They couldn't bear to see somebody who was both rich and spiritual. They would have been happy if he had been poor and spiritual. Some people have the idea that one has to be poor in order to be spiritual. The amount of money we have is totally immaterial. It is our attitude to the money we have that matters. Paul and Peter were very poor. So was Jesus. But Job and Abraham were very rich. God decides such matters. It is like the colour of our skin or our intelligence level. God determines those things too – and they don't matter. Spirituality has to do with our
character and not with the size of our bank account. It is not surprising that Satan made Job his target, for Satan hates upright people. He hated Job in those days - and he hates such people even today. That is why he does everything in his power to prevent us from being godly. Satan troubled Job through his wife and through carnal preachers. But none of this made any difference to Job's devotion to his God.
What a man Job was! What a challenge he is to us! We can be like him too.
Let us seek for the approval of God and not that of men. Personally, it will not disturb me one bit, even if all 6 billion people in the world accuse me falsely of being a heretic, a false prophet, a deceiver, a gluttonous man, a drunkard, a winebibber, an adulterer, a thief or any other evil name they can think of - if only God can point me out to Satan and say, "Have you seen Zac Poonen, an upright man who fears Me and turns away from all evil." That commendation from God would mean more to me than anything else on earth. I hope you feel that way too. Even Satan's recognition of us is more important than man's recognition of us. Satan recognized that Paul belonged to a different class from the sons of Sceva (Acts 19:15).
In the final analysis, when we stand before the Lord, the opinions of all the billions of people in the world will count for nothing. Only God's opinion will matter in that day. Even the praises of your fellow-believers are fit only to be thrown in the garbage bin. It's only what God thinks about you that matters. People may praise you to the skies, while God thinks nothing of you. On the other hand, people may tear you to pieces and God may consider you to be the greatest man in your generation. Few have the spiritual discernment to recognise a man's worth in his lifetime. So don't get discouraged if you find people don't understand the way you are going. If God sees that you are humble, He will give you grace and you will overcome sin and the world.