The fear of man is another scheme of the enemy we must be constantly aware of. It may hinder us from being the courageous, tenacious, and bold believers that the Lord has called us to be.
Proverbs 29:25–27 (ESV)
25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. 26 Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice. 27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
Much is being heard today about “bullying” in our public school systems. The act where one child or a group of children seek to bully and control another. However, it’s not just in the public school system nor simply among children…it’s ingrained in our “dog eat dog” culture. Christians are bullied in society by news media, public leaders, in the work place and even in churches.
The fear of man is really rooted in the belief that I must please all men to advance or get ahead in life. We certainly don’t won’t to rock the boat or we may lose favor with man. However, when our trust is fully in the Lord and His ability to do with us and place us where he wants, the fear of man dissipates. We may no longer be bullied or intimidated because man is no longer our source for protection, advancement, or well-being. God and God alone is.
Think with me for a moment what would have happened if Peter and John would have been bullied by the religious leaders [Acts 4:17-20] to no longer spread the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? If the fear of man had overcome them, two great apostles would have been lost! They chose to obey God and continue to speak out boldly for the truth. Anytime truth is suppressed, the fear of man is at work. Anytime truth is acted upon, God is pleased and keeps us “safe” with Him. That is the truth of Prov. 29:25
There are times in refusing to bow to the fear of man that we will have to appeal to a “higher” court. Not the court of public opinion nor even a leader we may ask to right a wrong. We must appeal to God. Only God has the ability to give a just rendering of a situation. Only God may turn the heart of a leader or the opinion of others. Therefore again, man is not our source for guaranteed righteous judgment, God is. This is the truth of Prov. 29:26
Proverbs 29:27 is the truth we must always live as a people who trust in God alone. Just as unrighteous acts causes a holy anger to rise up in the righteous, so the unrighteous are angered with the fury of hell at the actions of the righteous. It is a bitter pill, but it is the world we live in and the world the early saints lived in. They choose to anger the devil and man by continually speaking truth to a world that desperately needed it. Thank God they did. Thank God for men and women today who refuse to be silent in the face of the bullying of society and unrighteous leadership in the world around them.
You and I continually have a choice to fear man, which is a snare of the devil, or to fear God.
You and I continually have a choice as to who we are going to ultimately trust in to give us a righteous judgment, God or man.
You and I continually have a choice who we want to be angry with us, man for speaking the truth, or God because we feared man and did not speak the truth with boldness.
Hebrews 10:38 (ESV)
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
I don’t know about you, but I want God pleased with me. There is an increasing holy fear of the Lord in my spirit. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to be bullied by any man or people who seek to suppress the truth in any form or fashion. I pray you choose likewise. It is the only way to change the world around us. It is the only way to break the chains of intimidation and be free to serve God with unbridled hearts and tongues. May the “tongues of the fire of pentecost” again give us a holy boldness that will not be silent in the face of opposition.