Paul’s ministry began when he met Jesus on the Damascus Road. In that humbling encounter, the Lord said to him: ‘Get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as My servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen Me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light.’ (Acts 26:16–18 NLT)
Before Paul could be successful in his calling and minister effectively, he had to be delivered from the fear of people. That included those who knew him well, and those he had yet to meet who didn’t know him at all. He had to be detoxed from the need for approval. In essence, God was saying to Paul, ‘You’re just the postman. Some days people will like what you deliver, other days they won’t. You have to deliver the post anyway. So I’m setting you free from the fear of their rejection and the need for their acceptance.’
Has God called you to do a particular job? Are you afraid you’ll make mistakes? Count on it—you will! Are you worried you’ll be criticised? It comes with the turf! People will disappoint you in 101 different ways, but if you’re determined to do the will of God, pray, ‘Lord, deliver me from people pleasing, so I can share with them what You’ve given to me.’
Then get on with the job!