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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 2

Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 2

Beth Moore - Rehab for Approval Addicts - Part 2
TOPICS: Addiction, Self-esteem

We're gonna get some insight into the warnings that Jesus gave us about people pleasing and about being very, very careful when we look around us and a lot of people are really pleased with us because he's saying, "I'm gonna tell you something. A lot of people have been pleased with a whole lot of false prophets along the way". I want you to hear this in The Message and I've got it for you on the screen because there's part of it we're gonna take down as our next point. I think this is such a powerful rendering by Eugene Peterson. It says this: "There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests, look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by their ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular".


It seems at first, like just a given. Oh, we've all got that. "No, I wanna be true. I wanna be true". Until we know what it's like to be very unpopular. Listen, it is a strange, strange feeling to be hated. You talk about surreal. So it's not like there's no price here to be paid. Sometimes, promotions are delayed, if not defaulted. All sorts of things can result, when we decide, "You know what I wanna be? I wanna be true. I wanna be true. I'm not called to be popular with people". And again, don't think in terms of big numbers. It could be as important for us to be popular in our small circle, the people group we most identify with, as it could be for Kim Kardashian to be to the public eye. But our task is to be true. Our task is to be true. True in our love, bold in our love. Our task is not to be popular.

I want you to turn with me. I found the most fascinating passages and I cannot wait to bring this to you. Turn with me to Job 29. Job 29. I'm gonna tell you who are new to the Scriptures, something that I love so much about the Scriptures. So if you go straight in the middle of Scriptures, you're going to get to the Psalms and so then you're gonna turn one earlier book, one earlier book, and you're gonna find Job. Turn to Job 29. Let me tell you something if you're new, something marvelous about the Scriptures. You can read something over and over again, it be as familiar to you as the morning light is, and the Holy Spirit can suddenly just, like, illuminate it for you in such a way that all of a sudden, like, "Where did that come from"?

And what I'm telling you is I have read through the book of Job I have no idea how many times. And I don't know exactly why this stuck out to me so strongly. I guess because you're reading one chapter after another but this time, I was looking for a topic. I was looking for a key word. I was running the word through my Bible software: the word "approve," the word "approves," the word "approving," "approval," and so it was taking me to all sorts of verses. I have looked up every single verse in three different translations that has any rendering of that particular word, any form of the word "approve". And so that's how I came upon this. Seen it over and over again, but all of a sudden it read differently to me with the lens of this particular lesson.

So, here's what I wanna do. I wanna read Job 29:1 through 11 and then I want to read Job 29:21 through the first verse of the next chapter. So let me do verse 1 through 11 first. So this is Job. If you don't have any background on him, there is no one that surpasses Job in the level of suffering from Genesis to Revelation except the Lord Jesus himself who is in a class all his own and no one can even be compared to him, taking on the sins of the world, knowing what it was like for his Father to be able to, like, withdraw in such a way that he felt like he had been forsaken, so that he could take on the sins of all humanity on the cross. So that's Jesus incomparable but where human beings are concerned, there's always Job. And one of the messages of Job is, listen, if you think you have suffered, meet this man right here.

So he has been through, he's lost everything. He's lost all of his children. He only has his wife and she's in a foul mood and wants him to just forsake God and die. I mean, let's just be done with it. "Forsake your faith, are you crazy"? He's lost his health, property, everything you can imagine, because there is this thing going on that he never does know. All that he gets sorted out by the end of it, is that he knows God is God, the incomparable one. All he knows anything about is a little glimpse of who God is at the end. He never does know why he suffered the way he did. And then, he gets a double portion added back to him. But what's going on is that Satan has asked to test him and tempt him, and said, listen, "The only reason he is as faithful to you as he is, is because you have put a hedge around him. You have given him such a wonderful life. Listen, of course he's gonna be faithful to you". So he said, "Test him and see".

Have you considered my servant Job? Listen, it's a scary idea that God might go to the enemy. "Have you thought about testing her"? Do you realize that he said, "My servant Job" because he knew Job was gonna pass that test? What a crazy thing. Do you know how many times Job must have thought he wasn't passing the test? Now, I want you to hear of the first 11 verses of Job 29: "Job continued his discourse, saying: If only I could be as in months gone by, in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone above my head, and I walked through darkness by his light! I would be as I was in the days of my youth when God's friendship rested on my tent, when the Almighty was still with me," see, he doesn't even think he's with him. "When the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, when my feet were bathed in curds". He must have been from Wisconsin, you know, that's the first that dawned on me and I feel like that it's because we're here and the Holy Spirit just had that ready for me.

"When my feet were bathed in curds and the rock poured out streams of oil for me"! This was a little bit of a saying of blessing when oil would pour from a rock because, you know, at the best, we see the miracle of water from the rock. No, no, what about oil? Olive oil coming from a rock? That doesn't even make any sense. What kind of oil would ever come from a rock? But that's the miracle. Verse 7: "When I went out to the city gate and took my seat in the town square, the young men saw me and withdrew, while older men stood to their feet".

I wanna pause there just a second because I want you to get the picture with me. So when Job would walk in to a setting, the young men knew they were too ignorant to speak. In other words, like, we're gonna step out of this, because an elder has just walked in among us. And I don't mean a church elder; I just mean a city elder. Like, this is the wise man who has walked in among, so the young men would scoot back from him and withdraw, and the older men, they would stand to their feet. Does this sound like approval to anybody? "City officials stopped talking and covered their mouths with their hands. The noblemen's voices were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouth". In other words, everybody be quiet because this man, Job, has walked into our midst and all of us wanna hear exactly what he has to say. This is never... I've so read this in keeping with the rest of the book and, you know, Job is not a place where you just wanna tarry. Job is one of those kinds of things that you're so scared that if you're reading it, something's going to happen to you.

You know what I'm saying? Like, "I know why God has me in this right now". Where you just become scared of everything. Verse 11: "When they heard me, they blessed me, and when they saw me, they spoke well of me". In other words, he is describing a time. He's looking back over his shoulder. "Remember, remember when people approved of me? Remember how they acted"? I wonder, I don't know. I don't know how much this applies. I know that people pleasing, I feel like just applies in some level, across the board. Maybe a rare exception in this room. But if you are in Christ and you have settled that matter, you have not done it accidentally. You set out to do it. You have been broken free of it somewhere along the way because it's not natural. What comes natural to a human being is to seek human approval. Because we're always gonna think God's gonna be more merciful than people. He'll understand; they won't. Is that right?

Now I wanna read Job 29. I want you to go all the way to 21 with me. So what he's gonna do here in the next verses that are in between, that I won't take time to read with you right now, he's gonna give all the reasons why he was good for his community: "I tried to father people that were fatherless. I tried to be really good to people that didn't have what they needed. I'd give them a robe and a turban. I tried to be eyes to the blind. I tried to be feet to the lame". So he's describing all of this and, I mean, we have great respect for him. I just am asking you, have you ever gone here in your mind, anywhere in the neighborhood of this? Now pick up at 21 of the same chapter, 29:21: "Men listened to me with expectation, waiting silently for my advice. After a word from me they did not speak again; my speech settled on them like dew".

Do you know what we call that now? Mic drop. I mean, like, that was it. There is nothing left to be said. This is what he is describing. Anybody notice this before in here? Look at the mindset here. Approval. "I had public approval". It says in verse 23: "They waited for me as for the rain and opened their mouths as for spring showers". When you were a little kid did you ever stand when it was first started to drop rain like this, and just open your mouth and just like... I mean, it's something to think, "People just wait for me to speak like that". I mean, Job was a righteous man. We know it. But I'm not sure that we're to assume he was a perfect man because in this moment, we're kind of seeing somebody that was, like... and obviously, all of it was true, but that's something to regard. Their mouths were hanging open just like this. Just for a drop, just for a drop.

24: "If I smiled at them, they couldn't believe it; they were thrilled at the light of my countenance. I directed their course and presided as chief. I lived as a king among his troops, like one who comforts those who mourn". Look at the first verse of chapter 30 because this is so profound. I mean, "But now they mock me, men younger than I am, whose fathers I would have refused to put with my sheep dogs," wow. Now the younger ones are not withdrawing because the elder has come in. Now, they're mocking him because look what a sight he is in the midst of his suffering. "All the sores that he's scraped with pieces of pottery, all the bad things that have happened, he had to have been horribly sinful in his secret life," they would think, "because look what's happened to him".

You wanna know the strangest thing in play here? Is that perhaps Job had never in his life been more approved by God than he was right then. But in his thinking, the approval of man and happy circumstances meant that you were at the top of your approval with God. I don't know that this message and concept can get all the way to the marrow of our bones until we get a little taste of what it would be like, for there to be a time when the people we wanted approval from most, approved of us the least and God was nodding over us, going, "Well done". Isn't it a strange thing? He was at the top of his approval rating with God. God was watching him work it through after all the enemy had done to him. But he was just positive all of it had gone belly up. "The Lord used to be with me".

Listen, sometimes, the Lord has never been more closely with us than when we think he is nowhere to be found. I don't know if this means he... I don't know why this picture comes to my mind all the time but there's this gorgeous picture in Exodus chapter 33 where Moses has the guts to just cry out, "Lord, show me your glory. Show me your glory". And God basically answers him back and I'm just going to put it in my own words and says, "You know what? You can't live through seeing me. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hide you in a cleft of the rock and I'm gonna cover you there with my hand, and then I'm gonna let all my glory, all my goodness, pass by you. But I'm not gonna let you see me. My back you will see, but you will not see the front of me".

I think that's so interesting to see God's back. I mean, was it a euphemism? Was it a figure of speech or did he really honestly see something? We don't know that for sure. But here's what I'm gonna tell you. The strange part of it is he said, after it, you'll know I was there. That's a little bit of the meaning of "You'll see my back, but my front you will not see. But you couldn't live through my face". Here's what I want to say to you. Can you imagine how dark it is in there when God is covering you with his hand in a cleft of the rock? Had Moses ever been closer to him? And I say this to you because somebody needs to hear this, this weekend. You may feel like you are in the darkest place of your life and that God has never been further from you. And you may not realize that you are in the cleft of the rock and God is covering you there with his hand. That it's not the shadow of death over you. It is the palm of God. It is the palm of God. He'd never ever been more attentive to Job than he was right then in his suffering, in his suffering. See, we have been so busy pleasing people and being people pleasers, how do we stop?


I need somebody to go there with me. People blessers instead of people pleasers. I can tell you this and it began with God's call on Abram all the way back in Genesis chapter 12 and we know that we're in this spiritual legacy and lineage because of Romans and Galatians. That is our spiritual lineage. And he said, "I will bless you to be a blessing. And I will see to it that through this line which would become Christ, this offspring, through this line all nations will be blessed". Bless. You don't have to live to please him, but we can bless him. We can bless him. Switch that in your thinking. Switch that. And listen, sometimes what would bless them is not what they would consider a blessing in the short run. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Like, you know what? I'm gonna need to be a blessing to you by not doing what you just asked me to do, because you're so co-dependent, you don't know what hit you. And you have looked to me to get you out of 400 big fat messes and you never take responsibility for yourself. And I'm gonna tell you how I'm gonna bless you this time. Anybody know what I'm talking about tonight? See, because we're in rehab for real. Look at one another and say, "No, for real". Yeah, yeah. I want you to see number three:


That is a hallelujah. And you think, "There's no way this is gonna change for me". And I want you to know nobody is a hopeless case where seeking human approval is concerned. Now, I want you to remember in what I'm about to read to you that Paul is the same one who wrote Galatians 1:10. "Am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I still trying to please man? For if I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ". It's that dude right there, that dude right here. Look at Acts chapter 8. I want you to look just above it and you're going to see that the title over the most recent segment, the one closest to the opening of chapter 8, is talking about Stephen being the first Christian martyr. Stephen was stoned to death. I don't know if somehow we've got it in our minds that we've softened all of that up, but I mean, a stoning. That's quite the way to go. That is one of the most disturbing thoughts I can come up with in a way to die.

And it says in 8:1: "Saul," this is who becomes Paul, who wrote Galatians 1:10, "And Saul approved," there's our key word, "approved of his execution". This is Stephen, all in the world he's done wrong is preach that Jesus is the Messiah. That's all they'd be able to charge him with. And there's Saul, approving, watching over the garments of people throwing stones 'til the man dies. Acts 22, I want you to hear him tell it. He's telling his own testimony here in 22. 22:19-20. 22:19-20, this is his defense. In a big mob in Jerusalem he tells this testimony and he says this in 19 and 20: "But I said, 'Lord, they know that in synagogue 'after synagogue I had those who believed in you imprisoned and beaten. And when the blood of your witness Stephen was being shed, I stood there giving approval and guarding the clothes of those who killed him.'" "I stood there. I approved of that".

Listen, you could not have a more terrible record of approval than the apostle Paul did in his past. And that's why I want you to know and why I need to know, none of us is a lost cause when it comes to breaking free of the addiction to people pleasing because what he approved of was so grossly out of line that it is almost inconceivable. An approval rating doesn't get worse than the one he formerly had. I looked up the meaning of the word "rehabilitate" to make sure I could use it. And one of the meanings of it, in the second one, this is Merriam Webster's:


Here's what I know. Any addiction unbroken will burgeon. Oh, it will. Oh, it will. So, this is where it happens. Either we want God to break this thing or it will just continue to grab hold of us. Now I want you to consider this with me because, man, we could do some real business with God. Do you know what it would mean to us to be free of this?
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