This is my Son in whom I am well pleased. It was with the affirmation and approval from God the Father to His Son Jesus before he started His earthly ministry. We often hear this scripture as an encouragement that God approves of us and is pleased with us before and without doing anything to merit that approval. But is that true? Does God approve of us and love us just as we are because he is?

It sounds good, but not exactly. God is love and loves us unconditionally without a response from us, either good or evil. God does not love us based on performance. We do that. But does God approve of us before we rightly respond to Him? Should we view God's approval of Jesus before his earthly ministry as approving of us without a proper response?

God does not approve of us for the good works we can deliver. We can't deliver good work without him anyway. Without God's love, we can only mimic good, but we will come out sounding like a clanging symbol in eternity. Without Christ, we can-do no-good thing. There is no one good but God. But because God gave his Son Jesus, we are saved for good works. So then, does God approve of us before we do anything?

We need inspired scripture to tell us what pleased God about Jesus before Jesus ever entered ministry. Jesus pleased the Father before entering a life of good works. But how? Was it because God was just that good?

Hebrews 11:6 reads that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Our works don't necessarily please God, as we find out with Israel in the wilderness, who did work but did not add faith. Jesus pleased God before the work of the ministry through faith that God is good and that God is a rewarder to those who believe that he is.

Romans 8:8 reads that we cannot please God living in the flesh. We can't please God living a carnal life. God is only pleased when we walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Jesus came in the flesh, but never a day did he walk in the flesh. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit fully and without measure from conception. Jesus pleased God before any works by walking in the Spirit of fellowship, not the flesh.

If you want to please God with your works, look no further than how Jesus pleased the Father before adding works. Jesus believed in God and walked in the Spirit before receiving his commission. We should follow Jesus's example.

Let's look at other people that God was pleased with but didn't offer more than faith and the Spirit of truth. Because I believe many of us carry a burden to please God that cannot be borne by the flesh. We must believe that he is before God can assign us a mission. And that he approves of us not from our works but from our place of faith in him alone.

Abraham was the father of many nations and the father of our faith. What did Abraham do to obtain the approval of God? Did he do a mighty work? Or overthrow wicked nations? Did he bring a hundred souls to the cross? No, Abraham did one thing. He believed God for a son, an heir! And that one thing turned into a mighty work that affects us in our generation. God approved of Abraham because he believed in God over the circumstances.

How about Enoch? What is his claim to fame? Why did God approve of him? What mighty work did he do? Enoch walked with God and was no more, for he was raptured. God approved of Enoch because he lived daily to walk with God wherever He led. Enoch walked with God right out of this world. Are you trying to get God's approval by any means other than walking with him or fellowshipping with him in Christ Jesus our Lord?

God approved of Jesus before he entered his ministry, but it wasn't because of God's grace alone. It was because Jesus had faith in God's grace to carry out all his will through him. We are saved by grace through faith, not works, so we do not have a place to boast. But to obtain God's approval, we must believe that he is.

Before great works, there must be fellowship. Jesus had thirty years of fellowship with the Father before His ministry. Abraham was called a friend of God because of his fellowship; his only 'work' was believing God for a son. Enoch's 'work' was walking with God. So, what are we striving for? What are we trying to prove with our work? God approves of us when we fellowship with him.

I have always hated the idea of asking God to use me. I was all used up when God found me! I don't need a God who uses me. I need a God who walks with me through this life of deception. I need a God who can tell me the difference between good and evil. I need a God who approves of me without the weight of having to prove myself. In this world, we must prove ourselves to one another because of the deception of sin. But God knows the heart. We don't need to prove to him through work. We find ourselves approved of Him by walking with him daily as Jesus, Abraham, Enoch, and many others did.

I saw an Instagram post about a man whom I have never heard of: Paris Reidhead. He is with the Lord now. He said, "Most Christians do not have fellowship with God; they have fellowship with each other about God."

Oh man, that is how I feel about many Christians in our churches, maybe because I was saved unusually. Or that my trust in people and Christians was so low that I didn't seek the church to tell me about God. I got saved on a Monday and started attending church on a Wednesday. I began walking with God on that Friday in downtown OKC to tell people that God and Jesus are real. I spent ten to twelve hours a day reading the bible and caught up in prayer. I fasted without effort because I didn't have the time to eat when I was feasting on the written word of God and every word that proceeded out of his mouth.

However, I have struggled to understand the church and Christians. Not many hear from the Lord daily. I don't mean visions, dreams, directions, or the sort you find on social media. I mean the conviction and comfort of the Holy Spirit. I mean the daily revelation of scripture as we walk with him in the cool evening. Sometimes, nothing is said, just imparted righteousness, peace, and joy.

Most Christians are more like Eve, who have secondhand revelation and are easily deceived because they haven't made the revelation their truth. Many Christians are like the cities surrounding the woman at the well before they heard for themselves. We believed because we believed you, but now that we have heard for ourselves, we believe for ourselves. How many Christians live on borrowed faith because they are in a deficit of walking with God for themselves?

I have been slow to believe in God at times because of all the nonsense that is found in churches. Who am I to walk with God? I don't have a degree in theology. I have never been to Bible School. I subscribe to a few preachers and teachers over the years. Most of what I have gotten from church in the last twenty-five years is serving. I prefer to serve Christians in church than subscribe to their secondhand doctrines and revelations. Most of what I know has come from hours, days, months, and years set aside in fellowship with the Lord.

Paris Redihead, "Most Christians do not have fellowship with God; they have fellowship with each other about God."

I prefer life groups over church services. It isn't easy to find someone with whom to fellowship after a service when the cares of this world are pulling people away. Yes, I am a healthy recluse, so it can be hard to talk to me. I, too, have cares of this world that will tug at me when I let them. But fellowship with one another when each has a daily fellowship with the Lord is beyond this world. We’re not quoting some church doctrine or superior preacher or teacher but sharing those things God shared with us during fellowship.

My ministry from the beginning has been seeking God for yourself. God has had to correct me on how I view the church. I have promised never to forsake his bride but to prepare and protect her. I understand that the church is not a safe place but a place where the armor of God must be worn. I have a message entitled, ‘ If you are delusional about the church, it is because you have an illusion of the church.’ The church that is built upon the rock of Jesus will prevail. So, I am in for life. But what fellowship is missing from most Christians under the better new covenant?

Under the old covenant, God was available to kings, prophets, and priests with few exceptions. But under the new covenant, God is available to all who come to him in the name of Jesus, day or night, rich or poor, male or female, Jew or Gentile, famous or unknown.

Jesus gave gifts unto the church as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to provide Jesus with a chaste bride and to teach her to do the work of the ministry, among a few other duties. But these gifts of people and callings can't bring you and me into fellowship with God. Only we can choose to walk with God in the fellowship of His dear Son Jesus.

Adam walked with God until he didn't, and Enoch walked with God until he was taken and found no more. If you began like Adam but stopped, you can choose to finish like Enoch.

Jesus asked his disciples who do people say that I am. And who do you say that I am? Jesus asked Governor Pilot, who said I am the king of Jews. Did someone tell you that, or is that your idea or conclusion? If we walk in God in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, we must make it our revelation. And this only happens by going to God alone.

Let's get together in churches and hear the doctrines of the apostles. Let's get together from house to house and share a psalm or revelation God has given us. Let's not forsake assembling. But let's also not forget fellowshipping with God in that secret place of our lives.

It takes personal time set aside to fellowship with God. You can tell the Martha Christians from the Mary Christians. I have been both at times. The Martha Christians are caught up in works to please God, while the Mary Christians spend personal time at the feet of Jesus. I do not find it a burden to do the work of the ministry. I prefer to serve every Sunday in church and am not overburdened by it. If I don't have the grace of God to do a work, it will go undone. I am not upset with Christians who are not serving. I know why they are not serving. Been there. They are not spending time in fellowship with God. They don't have the grace nor the inclination to serve in church. There are other reasons, but the main one is the one I stated.

If you don't feel God's approval today, there is only one way to find out. Go now and spend time alone with him. You are spiritually dehydrated and need an IV. Get your bible. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart. Then open and read. God will impress on your tired heart where to read. But it is going to take some time to regain your strength. So set aside some time daily to get alone: you, God, and the bible. No podcasts, no Christian books, just the Father and you fellowshipping through worship, prayer, and meditation.

After a while, you will begin to feel His approval toward you. And if you want to keep His approval, believe that he is. Believe that he will keep his word and reward you every time you show up for fellowship. The greatest hindrance to showing up for fellowship and his approval is being a hearer, not a doer. But if you want the testimony of Abraham, Enoch, and Jesus, begin walking with him today, and don't stop until you are taken and found no more.

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