In the Gospel of John Chapter 5 verse 30 to the end, Jesus is running down a list of witnesses that testify that he is the Christ. Deuteronomy 19:15 says that no one can be convicted on the testimony of one witness, there needed to be 2 or 3 witnesses to establish the truth of something. In this passage Jesus says that he bears witness to himself but that is not enough. He goes on to list John the Baptist, Jesus’ own supernatural works, God himself, and even the writings of Moses. But right in the middle he says something really arresting. There one group that doesn’t get to testify…the voice of man. John 5:41 says “I do not receive glory from people.” in verse 44 Jesus goes on to explain, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”
As a worship leader and performer the issue of seeking the glory that comes from man is something that I have dealt with for a long time. It is dangerously exhilarating to seek after the praise of men and feel like you are attaining it. It is debilitating to seek after it and receive criticism instead. But look at Jesus, when it comes to the “glory from people” he doesn’t accept it. Court is not in session. The verdict about who he is and what he is worth has already been passed and it comes straight from the mouth of God. “This is my beloved son.” period.
What kind of people could we become if we internalized this way of thinking and memorized John 5:41 “I do not receive glory from people.” What kind of freedom would we have in life and ministry if we knew to our core that God has spoken over us and his verdict in Christ is, “you are my beloved child and in you I am well pleased.” That is a glory that will fill us up and that will free us to receive criticism and praise without batting an eye. Because people’s criticism and praise are just something they are saying and it not a validation of who you are.
The more I become uninterested in obtaining glory from my mere human counterparts and become focused on receiving it from my heavenly father the more I love being me and the more freedom I feel to lead worship without an agenda to gain praise for anyone but Christ.