“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Matthew 25:23

Recently, I saw an interview with Grammy-winning country singer, Maren Morris.

She spoke about her journey from watching the Country Music Awards in a bar to being named New Artist of the Year at the same ceremony the following year.

Near the end of the interview, she gushed with excitement about a recent phone conversation she had with Elton John:

Morris checked her phone one day to discover two missed calls from this South London number. She thought it was “weird,” but then, her manager informed her that Elton John is a fan of hers and was trying to get in touch with her.

I was like, What do I do? …Do I call him? Morris remembers.

“And he called me a third time, and, thank God, I answered.

Morris says that John “was so nice,” and that he told her how impressed he was with her music.

He said, ‘I’m a huge fan of what you’re doing. And I have your record on vinyl; someone sent it to me…I just love what you’re doing, and I hope that we get to meet in the future soon.’”

In awe of John’s praise for her, Morris concluded, I’m hearing that voice I have heard my entire life, that I’ve been a fan of, and so influenced by, saying that to me over a phone call.

“You Like Me, You Really Like Me!”

Each of us has an innate need for approval.

When you work very hard at something, as Morris has with her music, you want that effort to be acknowledged.

Whether from a contemporary in your field, your significant other, family or friends, you are looking for praise and affirmation – someone to say:

I like what you are doing!

I’m impressed with you!

I’m a fan! 

Well done!

Yes, we care what people think of us and we want to be respected, but the deeper issue is this:

Do you care what God thinks about you?

Is it your priority that He is impressed with you and approves of what you are doing, or do you value more the opinions and the adoration of others?

It is quite possible for you to be a success in the eyes of the world but a failure in the eyes of God.

Does that concern you?

The Only Voice That Matters

In his sermon entitled “Six Words That Will Determine Your Eternity”  Carter Conlon, who is the Pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, speaks with passion about his desire to work only for the approval of God:

One day I stand at the throne of God…I stand there alone.

It doesn’t really matter if a million voices say “Oh God, did you hear this man on the internet?  Did you hear the anointing?  Did you hear the touch of heaven?  Did you hear his testimony?

It doesn’t matter if a billion people think I’m wonderful – it doesn’t matter if a million enemies think I’m not -because when I stand there only one voice matters now- only one voice. That is the one who determines what my eternity will be…

…I live for the day that Christ can look me in the eye and say “Well done. Well done. Well done, good and faithful servant.”

When you stand before God to give an account, it will not matter how many fans or followers you had.

It will not matter how many people praised you or the number of awards they gave you.

When Maren Morris received that call from Elton John, his opinion meant something to her, and his approval was a reward for the work she had done.

However, when she gets the call to stand before God, what Elton John thinks of her will count for nothing.

God’s voice will be the only voice that matters.

People can flatter you, they can say all types of nice things about you, but God cannot lie.

Only God knows the heart, and what He says about you is the final verdict on your character – His approval will be the only one which has any eternal value.

So understand, when you work for that which is of the world, the rewards of that work are temporary – they are here today and gone tomorrow.

But, when you work for that which is of the Kingdom of God, the rewards are eternal – they never fade away and are never forgotten.

You may ask, “How do I know which works will please God?”

Jesus stated plainly,“The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

The proof of that belief in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is that you do what He says – you obey His commands.

That is the only way, the only work which God will approve of, for Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

As Carter Conlon would later say in his sermon: “Rewards for faith and obedience are eternal and they are exceedingly more than we can think or imagine…work for that which is eternal and leave off that which is not.”

Knowing all of this – knowing that a call from God will one day come for each of us, please ask yourself:

Whose voice do I desire to hear say to me,“Well Done!”

God or man?

Elton John or Jesus?

Lord God, may we live by faith to please you above all others.

“If you have the smile of God what does it matter if you have the frown of men.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill

Repent Believe Persevere

*Quotes were taken from the Maren Morris interview with Sunday Today‘s Willie Geist and Liv Stecker’s story from The Boot.