Heaven’s Applause

Michael Beck

“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)

Earth has a hard time wrapping its head around what pleases heaven. Earth cheers those who discover who they are, and do what they were supposedly “born to do,” despite the obstacles they face and without caring what anyone else thinks. What they create is seen as a testament to their own grit and genius, and they are celebrated for being true to themselves. They are held up as role models who chose “freedom” instead of conformity to the status quo, and whose success validates the creed that we all need to “follow our heart.” But are those who operate in such a spirit seen as heroes in heaven’s eyes? Far from it. The template they follow is the exact opposite of the one God has set for humanity. Their spirit is antichrist.

Only those who have followed the example of Jesus will gain heaven’s approval.

The Word that was God was made flesh and lived among us to show us how to gain heaven’s applause. He said: “I receive not honour from men.” (John 5:41) He didn’t “buck the system” in the quest to be who He was. His freedom was not aimed toward the doing of His will. He lived in complete and continual submission to the Father. “… For I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:29) Did He have a bulldog determination to fulfill His destiny? Yes. But it was not in pursuit of His will. “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30) Christ was a man on a mission. He had a work to accomplish, a destiny to fulfill. But this work was not generated from His own own heart and mind; it was the Father’s commissioning to Him. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

In the day when the Righteous Judge will examine every man’s work, only those who have followed the example of Jesus will gain heaven’s approval. All those who followed the mantra “I did it my way” and heard earth’s applause, will hear a different sound from heaven’s throne: “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

All that is in this world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, will soon be gone. But those who have done the will of God will forever be in a new earth where God is all in all. Love Him now. Learn to love His praise more than the praise of man.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.