Saturday, August 9, 2008

Popular or God's Spokesman?

Whenever one is more concerned about what man desires than what God desires, he is motivated by the fear of man rather than the fear of God; he is more interested in reverencing man than he is in reverencing God. Deeply ingrained in a man-centered approach to ministry is self-preservation – no persecution when all men speak well of you – and self-promotion – desiring to be popular in order to receive glory from one another and not the glory that is from the one and only God (see John 5:44).

So the question that we must answer is will we be popular, market driven, motivated by the fear of man or will we be God’s spokesmen, persecuted for the sake of righteousness, truth driven, motivated by the fear of God?

If we truly trust the Lord then we will be God's spokesmen. Being God's spokesmen requires faith as we trust Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Also our love for Him motivates us to desire to please Him more than anyone else so that our interest is not "what will others think" but "what will the Lord think!"

In this matter of serving God and being His spokesmen, speaking the truth in love inspite of the consequences, God has given us all that we need to empower us and equip us for the task. On February 2, 1998, the Lord spoke to me and called me into the gospel ministry setting me immediately on the right path by settling for me the issue between being popular or being His spokesman. Dr. Warren Wiersbe was preaching on Four Wonderful Discoveries for Leaders and through it the Lord spoke to me and asked me if I would be popular of His spokesman, to which I replied in my heart and wrote in my notes, "Your spokesman Lord!" The difference between those two possible responses is the difference between the fear of man and the fear of God and the difference between false preachers and teachers and true preachers and teachers.

Listen to this short clip


Tim said...

This reminds me of when I was initially struggling with my call to preach. I was still in high school and was afraid to even stand up in front of a class to give a book report. My pastor at the time shared with me Jeremiah chapter 1 where God called Jeremiah as a youth. I guess it made me realize that God does not accept fear of man as an excuse.

If you think about it, though, why should He? An understanding of God's divine attributes of omnipotence and omniscience should remove all fear of man. God knows everything before it happens, so I can trust Him with my future. He also has almighty power to overcome any circumstance. Even if I die in His service, that same power that raised Jesus from the dead will also raise me one day.

The Spokesman said...

Amen Tim! At the time that the Lord spoke to me and called me into the gospel ministry I didn't really realize the total necessity of having the fear of God as the primary motive if one is to be truly successful in the eyes of God. While the Lord settled the issue for me ahead of calling me, it would be later when actually in the ministry, having to preach truth in spite of consequences, that the Lord reminded me of this message.

Tim said...

As much as I would like to say that I have completely overcome fear of man, I'll have to admit that I still struggle with it from time to time. When I was attending SEBTS had the chance to fill in for a pastor in Winston-Salem. I didn't realize until I got there that this was a large church - large to me anyway. There were probably over 500 people there. I got really nervous. I still preached my message, though. I think that goes a long way toward helping us overcome fear of man - being obedient in spite of our fear.

The Spokesman said...

Tim: As much as I would like to say that I have completely overcome fear of man, I'll have to admit that I still struggle with it from time to time.

We are all prone to it from time to time - even the apostle Peter fell prey to it at Antioch (see Galatians 2:11-12. But thank God for His loving correction and discipline to get His true servants back in line!