“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them.” (Acts 26:17)
Paul’s ministry began when he met Jesus on the Damascus Road. In that humbling encounter, the Lord said to him: “Rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and … things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light” (vv. 16-18).
Before Paul could be successful in his calling and minister effectively, he had to be delivered from the fear of people. That included those who knew him well, and those he had yet to meet who didn’t know him at all. He had to be detoxed from the need for people’s approval. In essence, God was saying to Paul, “You’re just the mailman. Some days people will like what you deliver, other days they won’t. You have to deliver the mail anyway. So I’m setting you free from the fear of their rejection and the need for their acceptance.”
Has God called you to do a particular job? Are you afraid you’ll make mistakes? Count on it — you will! Are you worried you’ll be criticized? It comes with the turf! People will disappoint you in 101 different ways, but if you’re determined to do the will of God, pray, “Lord, deliver me from people pleasing, so I can share with them what You’ve given to me.” Then get on with the job!
Heavenly Father, deliver me from people pleasing, so I can share with them what You’ve given to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.