Is my walk characterized by the fear of man, or by the fear of God?
22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! 26 "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
INSIGHT: By my early 30’s, I had traveled to nearly 4,000 car dealers, selling software and sales training. Often times they would invite me to go to lunch with them to places that Christians do not go. How do you tell a man who picked you up at the airport, and just signed a $30k contract with you, that you can’t go to lunch with him at the “ungodly man’s club”, no matter how good their lunch buffet is. Fear of man and fear of loss can cause great pressure to cave in. I am happy to say that I never compromised because I was slightly more afraid of God than those men, even when I didn’t know Him like I do now. God gave me a way out, when I was weak and afraid. Instead of making them feel dirty, I would poke fun at myself and say, “Oh, I’m one of those Jesus freaks…I don’t do that fun stuff anymore!” The responses I got were unexpected.
By God’s grace, He often allowed me to be respected for my stance more than being ridiculed. I even had a dealer say, “I’m embarrassed to say that I used to go to church like you and I got away from it…I’m convicted.” It took more courage than I had, to say that each time, but fear of the Lord is a powerful motivator.
The message here is simple. We are to fear God, not man, yet fearing man is the reality for most of us, until we finally decide to trust God. I lived much of my life in bondage to the fear of man, which effectively stops the work of God in our life.
“A man of God in the will of God is immortal until His work is done.” – David Jeremiah