In these times, many people are in constant search of applause, accolades, appreciation or validation from others for their contributions or accomplishments. To some extent, this can be very beneficial, however when applause or accolades are not received, a plethora of negative feelings can occur to include: rejection, bitterness, anger, all of which contribute to competitive and jealous behavior. Having these things in mind, it is my desire to encourage others, especially ministry leaders, to stay focused on working for God's approval and not man. Taking this position will help you remember the purpose for being chosen for the Lord’s work; therefore, you can rejoice always, regardless of adversities or challenging situations. There are times and seasons along the journey that are very difficult, leaving you with feelings of: exhaustion, insecurity, discouragement, disappointment, to name a few; however, when you cry out to the Lord for help, He brings revival, restoration and refreshing to your weary soul.
This writing is an attempt to share that because of the amazing love of Christ, I have been called and chosen to serve in the kingdom to fulfill a specific assignment. This journey, for the most part, involves an intense preparation process that provides an opportunity to become available to serve, with relentless faith and courage, in many facets of ministry. Through it all, God adds sufficient grace that empowers His people to execute their assignment and persevere through multiplied trials. These are times of restlessness, uncertainty, instability, insecurity- an environment in which so many are wandering and desperately searching for love and fulfillment in life. When your identity in God is secure, you can become more flexible in interacting with a multiplicity of personalities and roles. This position frees you from the pressure of working aimlessly trying to fit in with other people, groups, cliques or trends.
All along the Christian journey, when faced with overwhelming challenges, very often, there are some who look for shortcuts on their path, in an attempt to avoid pain and suffering; however, God created you to fulfill a unique purpose, which involves enduring seasons of discomfort. He presents opportunities, through a preparation process for you to identify your purpose and unique assignment. It is marvelous to learn that He has been working behind the scenes, in your life to bring you forward at the right time to work for a kingdom cause. This realization can significantly change your faith perspective, to the extent, you are willing to obey and cooperate with His eternal plan for your life. When your desire is to work diligently for the glory of God, there is an eternal and redeeming value to everything you do, no matter how small or insignificant. This brings joy and hope as you execute the most monotonous of duties, because you are working for heaven’s applause and not people. If you can view this life as an opportunity to bring glory and honor to God, then no matter the assignment, you can persevere with courage in expectation of receiving God’s approval. You are called to exhibit the kingdom of heaven in every sphere of influence; to broker hope, encouragement to those who are in need of restoration and refreshing.
It is my hope that through reading this book, it can be helpful; especially to those who will honestly admit to suffering at times, from spiritual burnout, competition, or feeling all churched out. Let me say right here, "I feel you and I get it" because I have also been at that place. However, when you surrender wholeheartedly, He sets you back on the righteous path for His purpose. Please know that when walking in close relationship with Jesus, life's journey takes on new meaning, freeing you from fear, defeat or bondages of any kind. By allowing Him to take the driver's seat you are in for an exhilarating ride- a ride of a lifetime. This excitement can possibly make you very grateful for the love demonstrated on your behalf, therefore fueling a passionate desire to live an enjoyable and meaningful life. For the Applause of Heaven is written to encourage the Christian community, especially ministry leaders to stay focused on their unique assignment and continue working diligently for the approval of God and not people. The need for love and affirmation are inherent; however, many people have an insatiable appetite for being approved, validated or applauded by others for contributions or accomplishments. This writing project is very personal and unique. It was proposed as a burning question that pressed on my heart for quite a while. Who is really aware of what I do in the Kingdom and who am I doing it for?
There are certainly motives behind everything that is done, but after discovering the reason for being here, settled upon the fact that life’s journey steers one down an unfamiliar path. The valley experiences of life caused me to press and persevere through prayer, asking for help in navigating a very difficult path. Through many seasons of trials, uncertainties, I was able to identify the unique purpose for serving in the kingdom, for such a time as this. The preparation process of discovery took a very long time; however, at the end of the day, the benefits received paled in comparison to the seasons of struggle. I spent countless hours and years trying to please/impress family, friends, colleagues and even enemies. Unfulfilled service and ungrateful people left me feeling very discouraged. I learned through diligently studying and meditating on God’s word that He is not impressed with performance, or pleasing others, rather, a surrendered life to His will. Words cannot express the tremendous relief and overflowing joy in learning that I no longer had to seek approval or applause from people but from God. This book is an expressive voice that hopefully will bring a new awareness to the body of Christ and unlock a desire to work for the approval of God and not people.