A counselor told me years ago that I was a “Flaming Codependent.” Apparently that meant I really cared what others thought about what I did and said. I needed you to be OK before I could be OK. It was, and still can be, exhausting.
When we desire to walk by faith, and know God’s will and purpose for our lives, we can’t focus on the approval of others. That is why Paul told the Romans, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Here’s a fact: We will seek the approval of others when we begin to waver in our faith as we doubt what we once believed the Holy Spirit called us to do. We can believe something all day long, but until we step in faith toward what we believe…It won’t happen.
Paul had experienced this struggle too, and that’s why he was able to write with confidence that we can KNOW the “good and perfect and pleasing” will of God. He had seen it happen in his own life. As we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our thinking, instead of conforming to the approval and validation from others, He will unveil more and more of God’s will with each step of faith we take.
So what do we do while we are walking by faith and being transformed? Jesus told a great story about that in Luke 18. “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. ‘There was a judge in a certain city,’ he said, ‘who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith.’” (Luke 18:1-8)
Do you see it? We have to keep moving forward in faith, doing what God has called us to do, and cry out to the Lord daily for insight, leadership, assurance, and guidance! If we just won’t quit, He will answer us quickly. In fact, Jesus says He is looking forward to seeing people living and walking out their God-given destiny by faith when He comes back. That should make us want to keep pressing!
Our 18 year old cat, Oliver, is just like that widow woman. That cat has survived almost two decades by being persistent. He looks like he’s going to keel over at any minute, but he keeps on pressing. This truth is most apparent when he’s hungry. He makes the most hideous sound over and over and over and over again until someone finally feeds him. What is his destiny? Simply to live one more day and be the most amazing cat in history. He knows he won’t make it if someone doesn’t give him a can of food, so he continues to persist until His God-given desire becomes sight.
So should we.