Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

Spiritual Discernment – Fear of Man

“The fear of man bringeth a snare…”
Proverbs 29:25

Discernment by its very nature demands objectivity. The effect of the workings of the cross in one’s walk will determine the measure of our discernment. Objectivity is the fruit of our dying to self. Wherever agendas, self-promotion and personal advantage are present, clear vision becomes impaired. Discernment is a very costly commodity within the heart of a believer. To see aright a heart must be right in the “fear of the Lord”. To fear God is to be free from the fear of man.

When there is fear and undue concern regarding the opinion of another the ability to see clearly is compromised. Fear of a single individual or submission to group-think causes people to remain in a clique, sect or cult. These are critical days. It is of vital importance that men and women become free to live and walk in the fear of the Lord. The true ministry of God will always lead His Own to fear God and walk accordingly.

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ
Galatians 1:8-10

A desire to garner the acceptance of others, speaking the right things to maintain a relationship, or a semblance of conformity to the dictates of a group, are the shackles of religion. The power of truth brings freedom; a freedom to live, speak and walk in the liberty of His Spirit to please and honour Him alone. It is from this freedom that men and women are liberated to assess and evaluate the subtler issues of life. This is the only means by which the true unity of the Spirit can be known; each member discerning all things by their own witness through the Living Christ in whom they abide.

Religion ever exerts a pressure to conform to the directives of men; truth is the means by which we are transformed.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”
Romans 12:2

It is in the transforming work of God whereby His Own are freed from the blinding influences of sects and ingrown heresies. Discernment is a gift and developed by the power of the cross. Many in this hour will freely use the Name of Jesus to hold sway over the lives of others; some may even perform outward signs and wonders in His Name (Matthew 7:21-23). They may appear spiritual but, in the end, they serve themselves and their own ambitions. They create divisions in order to have the pre-eminence. They distinguish themselves and their followers from others through the subtly of influence and fear. God’s promise to those who allow the washing and the fire of the Word of God is the divine ability to discern between those who serve God and those who serve themselves.

“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not”
Malachi 3:18 (read the context)

Those who serve God ever seek to minister unto others the pursuit of the “unity of the Spirit” through the development of each individual’s own walk in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Brian Troxel

“Peace, Peace”

“Peace, Peace”

False prophets 2

“For they have healed the hurt
of the daughter of my people slightly, saying,
Peace, peace; when there is no peace”
Jeremiah 8:11

In every generation false ministers speak peace and comfort when God’s desire is righteousness. There can be no true peace apart from God’s righteousness. These false comforters speak peace “when there is no peace”. They have never confronted the sin within themselves and therefore cannot and will not speak to the sins of His people. Righteousness is simply a religious term with no meaning in those who proclaim such a message. These are false and impotent expressions within His house. Words like mercy, forgiveness and grace have little value without an expression of righteousness. If sin is not understood as the evil and horror it is, then the sacrifice and shedding of Christ’s blood holds little weight in the hearts of His people.

We live in a day of tremendous obscurity as the result of a false and man-centered preaching of the gospel. While these ministrations lure His people into slumber of spirit and a false sense of peace and safety, death and destruction lie at the door.

Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you;
and they have not revealed your iniquity,
to turn back your captivity
Lamentations 2:14

It is in preaching the righteousness of God in Christ that His people discover the wretchedness of their ways and can avail themselves of the beauty of His grace, mercy and truth. It is in the ministration of His Holiness that we discover His power to save us and raise us up to be a flaming expression of Him. He came to save us from our sins not to leave us in them. He came to give us a peace which cannot be taken from us because it is founded in Him. It is a peace that the world cannot give. Those who speak peace when there is no peace are liars and traitors to the word of God. They seek to soothe and console when God desires conviction and repentance.

What is the end of such preaching? What does a church look like that endures such false and beguiling words? Read the next verse from the Book of Lamentations.

“All who pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem,
saying, Is this the city which they called the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?”
Lamentations 2:15

Men mock and scorn the very thing that should reveal the power, the love and the glory of our God. When the church as a whole listens to the falseness of this gospel His face and heart are hidden from the world around us.

The Church at Laodicea

“Because you say, I am rich, and I am made rich,
and I have need of nothing,
and do not know that you are wretched and miserable
and poor and blind and naked”
Revelation 3:17

This is God’s church! Why did she not know her true condition? Why did she not know of her wretchedness and poverty? Her condition was the result of a false gospel which spoke peace and comfort instead of preaching the truth. Deception is anything which hides God and prevents His people from truth. Truth is the revelation of Jesus the Christ; in His piercing light we see Him and we see ourselves. It is in this ministration that men and women find powerful comforts of mercy and grace whereby we are set free from our sins and our poverty becomes the storehouse of His riches; the blind eyes see, our nakedness is clothed in the garments of His salvation and His joy becomes our strength.

Woe to those who seek to comfort His people with anything less than the living truth of God. Woe to those who would speak comfort to people who are at home in this world. Woe to those who seek out and listen to those who would lie to them.

This is a day for crying out to God for truth that we may turn from our ways and back to His ways; that the hurt and the cause of our lukewarm hearts would be discovered and healed so we may rise up in the purity and fire of a love that cannot be quenched.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape”
1 Thessalonians 5:3

This is a word to God’s people not the politicians of the world.

Ω

“If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,”
where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word
“Let love be without dissimulation*
and blunt the edge of truth,
speaking not right things but smooth things,
then I know nothing of Calvary love…”
Amy Carmichael

*Note: The meaning indicated here is to speak the same to all people; we do not blunt the edge of truth because of friendships, associations and people with whom we seek advantage. Calvary’s Love destroys the seeking of the approval of men for it brings us to the same heart as the One who offered Himself at Calvary. He died for Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free men. His blood is without dissimulation and so must be our ministration of Him!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info