In every realm and relationship I want people to think well of me. I’m tempted to please people, especially when they give me affirmation. I can often tell if I’ve met a person’s expectations by the look on his face or the tone of her voice. But, by God’s grace, I’ll stake my claim that I’m a former addict of man’s opinion, for I believe God is greater than any pull I might feel to please others.

If we’re honest, we all struggle in some way with trusting more in what others say and do than in the invisible and inaudible affirmations of God. Even relationships we have broken off or that faded long ago have the power to tempt us to believe in the words of man rather than our unchangeable God (Psalm 102:27; Hebrews 13:8). For we can’t physically touch the face of God.

Jeremiah vividly illustrates for us, though, the end result of making people our stronghold of safety: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land” (Jeremiah 17:5-6).

As believers, we can’t claim fruitfulness in all seasons unless we’ve first made a covenant to serve the Lord only—not only in our actions but also in our motivations (Jeremiah 17:7-10). When confronted with the temptation to find our security in others (Isaiah 2:22), we find freedom when we make God our High Place, the One toward whom we turn our gaze. To Him alone be all glory, honor, and praise (1 Timothy 1:17).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 18:1-24