Not of Man Prov. 29:25 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
If we are ever going to get anything worthwhile done for the Lord we must get “man” out of the way. The Lord’s work is not of man so here are some things that should be “of God” and not of man:
We should be moved by the love of God not the love of man – Matt 22:37-39. Men have a tendency to put the second commandment ahead of the first in the Lord’s work. But the love of God is first [Jn 21:15-17]. We love God first and then we love the brethren [1 Jn 4:19-21]. If a man wants to love his wife more, he should love God more first. That’s the way love works. The more he loves God, the more he is going to love his wife. When the love of man is the motivation behind what you do for God your ministry will naturally become more carnal. However, when the love of God is the motivation behind what you do for God your ministry will become more spiritual and the results of what you do will benefit the folks you serve better and will survive at the judgment seat of Christ.
We should walk in the fear of God not the fear of man – Prov 9:10; Prov 29:25. As an example, statesmen who govern in the fear of God make excellent decisions for the country because they know they are accountable to God. Politicians who govern in the fear of man make terrible decisions for the country because their main concern is reelection. Pastors who pastor in the fear of God lead their flocks well because the fear of God gives them wisdom. Pastors who pastor in the fear of man don’t lead their flocks; the men they fear lead them. When you minister for the Lord you cannot be afraid of the people to whom you are ministering. The best remedy for the fear of man is the fear of God. Paul was not afraid of those apostles who seemed to be “pillars” in his day [Gal 2:9-14]. He feared God and did right by God not by men.
We should rely upon the knowledge of God not the knowledge of man – Prov 2:5. John Jasper was able to build a mighty work for God in Richmond, Virginia, because he relied upon the knowledge of God for his sermons. His seminary trained counterparts relied upon man’s knowledge for their sermon material. And Jasper told them that men don’t care to hear a pastor preach what men have to say about God’s word; they want to know what God said. If you are going to be effective in the work of the Lord you must get to know God. And to do that you must forget about men.
We should speak the wisdom of God not the wisdom of man – 1 Cor 2:4-8. For a man to speak the wisdom of God he must have the knowledge of God and then he must yield to the Spirit and power of God to speak through him. Men who speak the wisdom of man build enticing sermons and speak with enticing words and entice men to respond to their messages through means of cleverly devised techniques and methods of intimidation. You get the idea that God is doing something great but he’s not doing anything at all. It’s all the work of men. And the effect passes with the men who speak it. If what we speak is the wisdom of God the work in the hearers is eternal and continues long after the man is gone.
We should desire the praise of God not the praise of man – Jn 12:43. Men who desire the praise of men play to the applause of their audiences. They’ll say and do whatever they think their audiences want to see and hear. They are after the “wow” effect and they are concerned with their own popularity. But men who desire the praise of God know that they’ll have to wait until the judgment seat of Christ before they are going to hear a “well done” from the Lord. When you desire the praise of God then you do everything exclusively for the pleasure of God [Rev 4:11]. You serve him, you go where he wants you to go, you do what he wants you to do, you do it when he wants you to do it and it doesn’t make a bit of difference to you whether anyone else likes it or not because you’re not doing it for them but for the Lord.
Conclusion: Now if you are going to be effective for God the key elements of your work must be of God and not of man. We’re talking about the love of God, the fear of God, the knowledge of God, the wisdom of God and the praise of God. Don’t ever let these become “of men!”