I am super excited to share this post written by a young lady and dear friend Varaidzo Pauline Danana. Such thought-provoking truth! I really hope and pray y'all will be revived spiritually :)
Firstly I would like to draw your attention to two points:
1. God is Love - I believe that with every fiber of my being. He says in 1 John 3:16 ‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us’, this verse reminds me of John 3:16. God hated sin to death and He loved the sinner to death. He did this because He longs to be with us.
2. The word ‘Godience’ (as you might have guessed or maybe not) is derived from a combination of two words GOD and AUDIENCE. It means that we ought to live our lives for God. I got this from a sermon “Because of those who sat” by David Asscherick. I will share some lessons I got from the sermon which will help us understand the term 'Godience.'
• We are accountable to God alone, but we do not often live this way. We frequently make decisions that are based on a deeper motivation, and that motivation, at times, is that we care more about what others think of us than what God thinks.
• Can you say ‘I am a slave of Jesus’ with a straight face? Paul could comfortably say that in Galatians 1:10 (NIV) ‘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’. (The NKJV uses the word ‘Bondservant’). It is either we are slaves of Jesus or we are slaves of what others think of us.
• We are deeply concerned about what others think of us, but we do not want anyone to know it.
Personal Experience: I am currently doing a Marketing course and I now understand why people do not like Salespersons. I strongly question some of the marketing methods that we are taught because they are contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Most Sales persons will say anything to close a sale, and they can put you under unnecessary pressure so you purchase a product quickly before you start thinking otherwise (Free advice!). As I study the marketing environment I have realized that people are no longer themselves anymore. They now dress like famous worldly celebrities. They also walk and talk like them, (I will not discuss hairdos, ladies and GENTS!), not because it is the most awesome thing you can do for yourself, but because of peer pressure, caring about what others think of them.
Forced to Change: Before the age of seventeen I was never self conscious. I would just dress anyhow, walk normally and do things without looking around to see what was ‘cool’ at that time. It was after I was sent to a ‘mixed’ High School when I noticed that the ladies put make-up (although it was not allowed!), fold their socks in a certain way, dress, walk and talk in a certain way. I couldn’t believe it! I told myself I would never do that and I was going to do things my way like I always did. Lo and behold, within a year, I was no different from them, simply because I wanted to belong.
Biblical Examples: Peer pressure is not something new to this day, Mark 6:17-29 gives us an account when King Herod was pressured by his wife and daughter to kill John the Baptist against his conscience. This goes out to illustrate that, living for others does not only imply our wanting to be like famous celebrities, it also means going against our conscience in the hope to please our parents, spouses or children.
Moral of the story: God is looking for people who will STAND and live for Him amidst peer pressure or forced submission. People who will say in His presence and even among hundreds of thousands of people “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). Whether that pressure comes from mom or dad, uncle or aunt, pastor or elder, we must always remember the counsel given in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men."
In conclusion, let us consider the first point I mentioned earlier - God is love; do we love Him? What are we willing to do for Him and His love for us? What are you willing to do for others for HIS sake? John 14:15 says ‘If you love me keep my commandments’. Are we willing to obey Him even if it means standing alone? We will need to love and get to know Him first because obedience without love is impossible and worthless. We will either be slaves of our friends and families or slaves of Jesus. The HUGE difference is that when you are Jesus’ slave, you are FREE. God bless!
Thank you Vee for such encouraging truth. May our good and most gracious Father continue to bless and guide us as we journey Heavenward!