Bible Reading: Joshua 24:14-28
“Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:42-43)
A subtle sin that commonly lies within us is the sin of indecision or compromise because of our fear of man. Many times, we fail to stand up boldly for God’s Truth. Instead of holding firm, we waver into indecision, shrugging off the issue with a light “I don’t know” or “not my problem”. Other times, we let it by with a little laugh that we know we shouldn’t have had.
The root of the problem is our fear of man and idolatry of approval. We are scared that if we make a firm decision based on God’s Word, others might dislike us. Other times we fear to be misunderstood, underestimated or poorly thought of if we make the right decision.
All this stems from our sinful desire to satisfy ourselves with the approval of others. We believe in the lie that if our reputation is held high, all people think good of us, and the crowd approves our decisions and actions, then we will be comfortable and satisfied.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” The remedy to our indecision is to trust in the LORD, Jehovah, the God of covenant who is faithful and able to fulfil our deepest desires. God designed us to be satisfied in Him and nothing else. If we received all the approval in the world, we would not be satisfied. Only if God is pleased with us will we be able to rejoice in His love and mercy which He shows to us abundantly.
Even though it is hard, God calls us to repent and to trust in Him. Stand firm in God’s Truth. Do not compromise it for the world. Do not remain ignorant and indecisive regarding the Truth.
Joshua presented the Israelites with a call —“choose this day whom you will serve”. Especially as young Christians in a post-modern age, we must hold and proclaim the Truth of the Word of God boldly. We must cement our beliefs in the Scriptures. Do not be like Pilate, who for a good name with Caesar, crucified Jesus, the King of the universe.
Take a moment to think about why you are so scared if others think badly of you. Most of the time, our reasonings are illegitimate and selfish. Even if they are logical, Matthew 10:28 says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Our sovereign God is ultimately in control. No man can do any harm to us. Why then do we fear them? Trust in God and only fear Him. Make it your only prayer to be pleasing to God and no one else. God is faithful and will work in us when we ask so because He wills that our hearts be turned to Him alone.
Where must you step up to uphold God’s Truth? Is it in your conversations with friends and family? Is it in the actions and attitude you display before others? Is it a willingness to serve God and God alone?
As the famous hymn says, “I have decided to follow Jesus. Though none go with me, I still will follow.”
Lord, thank You for Your Word today. Please forgive me that I am indecisive and ignorant many times because I am scared of what others may think of me. Please forgive me because I seek approval from people. God, fix my eyes on You alone. May my eyes only see if You are pleased with my life. Give me the strength to stand up for Your truth and to live it out as Your witness. Help me to trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.