In the world today, humans are becoming increasingly afraid of one another. With the growth of social media, the chance of being accused of wrongdoing and the potential loss of a job or friendship is greater than ever. So, what can we do? Should we walk around fearing any potential misstep? Perhaps, if we never speak, we will never risk a backlash. As we self-censor to maintain peace, we are living in “fear of man.” We are afraid of what people can do to us. Going down this route is not merely a minor issue but a serious problem. The Bible says that the fear of man is a snare.
25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 KJV
Whose opinion matters more?
If we fear humans, we put their opinions of us and their positions above God’s. It is idolatry because we are placing our well-being and future in the hands of humans and not God. There is still wisdom in measuring our words, but our ultimate decision should be squarely based upon God’s Word and not based upon the opinions of humans. If we decide to stay silent or agree with others who oppose what God has said to avoid persecution or disagreement, we fear man and are not trusting in the LORD.
Micah chapter 7 contains a long list of people we should not put our trust in, and the reasons are consistent unto this day. Unfortunately, while our families should not look this way, many of us have found enemies in our own households. To represent the truth of the Word, there may be times where we disagree with and oppose sin in our familiars (i.e. family members or close friends).
5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Micah 7:5-6 KJV
Faith in God no matter what
Continuing in Micah chapter 7, there is a more difficult position described. Often when we trust in God, it may appear that Satan’s kingdom is overtaking us. This has happened in my own life, and it is easy to fall into the trap of despair in these moments. Taking a stand for righteousness does not always mean we will see a positive result. We may lose friends and lose opportunities, but we must be willing to put our faith in God despite the outward appearances in front of us. In the end, regardless of what the appearances may be, we must be willing to choose to follow Father God, trusting He will see us through ALL circumstances.
7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Micah 7:7-9 KJV
Who are you putting your trust in?
In Psalm chapter 118, verses 8 and 9, it is noticeably clear that we should not put our confidence in man nor princes. The mention of princes is very fitting because this would include modern elected officials and government.
8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:8-9
I am not saying that we cannot trust those in government, but that we should not place them in the position of ‘god’ over our lives. There may be a perception that our rulers are able to dictate our existence. Oppression may come, but they are not God. Father God is the one who ordains rulers.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Romans 13:1 KJV
Honor authority yet stand for righteousness
As exemplified in the book of Daniel; Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego each had to take a stand for righteousness, including against a government that required them to defy the Word of God. This position is not one we should take lightly. Neither should we take a contrarian approach to government. However, we must be willing to take a stand for righteousness if a policy defies scripture.
At some point in our journey, we should determine that we will not be afraid of what man shall do unto us regardless of the threat, even if it is toward our life.
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6 KJV
Even righteousness may be offensive
It is not a secret that Jesus was persecuted and crucified because of who He was and what He represented to this planet. If we follow in His footsteps, we should not expect anything different. To a world uninterested in God’s ways, taking a simple stand, such as repentance for dead works, may be perceived as an offense.
Ultimately, our decision to follow the Word of God and stand for the Word of God results in blessings. These blessings are not carnal. Many people have everything the world can offer, yet they do not have their sanity or peace because they trust in man and not in God. The world can only offer temporary relief from problems, but the end of that journey is permanent separation from the Godhead in hell. Their reward is only in this present life. Choosing the Word of God may not provide the benefits most people desire, but it gives peace and hope for our lives beyond our current circumstances and on into eternity.
5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8 KJV
Are you willing to stand?
I cannot predict where our journey will lead, but every one of us must seriously evaluate our own lives and determine whether we are willing to take a stand for righteousness. There may be consequences, but it is worth knowing that if we confess Jesus before men, He will confess us before the Father. Will we trust Father God or put our trust in man?
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 KJV
Elder at Hope of the Generations Church
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