TUESDAY, MARCH 8
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.
Acts 14:8-19a (NLT)
GETTING OVER HURDLES: FIND MY IDENTITY IN GOD, NOT APPLAUSE
Ray Steadman wrote: I was recently in Hawaii where I again visited the wax museum in Honolulu and saw the diorama depicting the landing of Captain James Cook of the British Navy on the shores of Hawaii, at Kealakekua Bay. He was welcomed as the god, Lono, and he and his men were given anything and everything. Believe me, that means everything they wanted. They were attended to day and night. But strangely, though Captain Cook thought this was wonderful and accepted their worship, one day as they were about to launch their boats and return to their ship, a native who was angry with him for some reason grabbed hold of the captain. Without thinking, Captain Cook swung at him and knocked him down. The native retaliated, hitting him on the head with a club, and the Captain groaned. When the natives heard this, one of them cried out, “He groans. He is not a god!” and they fell on him, and killed him. You can see a memorial at the site today. (Ray, Steadman, Counterattack)
After a miraculous healing in Acts 14, the people wanted to make Paul and Barnabas gods. They identified Barnabas with Zeus and Paul with Hermes, the messenger of the gods. As Jack Andrews says, “What should have sparked true worship of God, sharing of the gospel, salvation of the lost, and glorification of the Lord sadly sparked a frenzied effort at worshiping false gods.” When Paul and Barnabas heard this, they tore their clothing. This was an extreme display of disapproval and grieving that people were trying to give them the glory that belonged to God.
When you walk in the will of God, filled with the Spirit of God some people will want to shower you with praise and give you the applause. The average person may not know it is God at work through you. Can you recall a time when you tried to find your identity through people’s approval and not God’s?
Praise God for some of the things He has accomplished through you recently. Ask God to help you find your identity in Him and not the approval of others.