Don’t FEAR People’s Opinions

2 Kings 1:15 NKJV  And the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.”
So he arose and went down with him to the king.

 It didn’t take long after my wife and began living for God full bore that people began to notice a difference in us.  But when we began to live out and obey the Word of God in our lives we really got hammered with backlash from people we loved and had been friends with for years.  Even some members of our families fired a few painful verbal shots.  What did we do?  Did we write condemning letters telling them all to repent?  No.  All we did was send Christmas cards and e-mails like we had done the year before with a brief update about what we had been up to and simply told everyone we had found a church and I had begun going to Bible School.  You would have thought we cussed everyone up and down after the responses we got.  Some people wrote scathing letters, some called mutual friends and us saying hurtful things, some told us to no longer talk to them, and others just took us off their contact list hoping we’d drop them.

When social media came into play, many were quick to friend us, then once they found out we served as Associate Pastors of a church and regularly updated posts about what God was doing in our lives, they either un-friended us, blocked us, or messaged us a brief note of disapproval prior to doing one of the prior.  As a result from these situations, we would initially become a little timid about telling people of our continued involvement and deepening relationship with God.  Why?  The backlash of words, gossip, etc…it hurts.  In these instances, we were faced with a difficult choice:  to continue to just be us and obey God or filter everything we do so that it will be accepted by others and avoid potential backlash.  We see this example on a much grander scale in 2 Kings 1.

The King of Israel, King Ahaziah, had fallen off a balcony, was severely injured and was unsure if he would live.  He sent some men to try to consult with a pagan god as to the extent of his condition.  The Lord tells Elijah to intercept them on their journey and tell them to go back and tell King Ahaziah, “Is there no God in Israel that you have to go consult with foreign gods?  You’re not going to make it.”  King Ahaziah then twice sends a captain and fifty men to bring Elijah to him, but both times Elijah calls fire from heaven and they are all instantly killed.  A third captain and fifty men is sent, who throws himself at the feet of Elijah and cries out for mercy knowing the fate of the previous captains and their men, yet being bound by a command to go get Elijah.  It is at this point that the Angel of the Lord speaks to Elijah, “Go down with him, do not be afraid of him.”  Afraid?  What was Elijah afraid of?  He feared physical backlash and death from obeying God in speaking his word and moving in power under the anointing and command of God.

Maybe you’ve sensed God asking you to serve Him in some way.  Perhaps, share your faith with a friend, give a book to a family member, take a care package to the homeless and tell them of His love or even go minister and pray for a sick relative/friend that doesn’t Believe.  Don’t let the fear of how what others may say or react keep you from obeying God.  Just like the Angel of the Lord told Elijah not to fear, he’s telling us today, “Don’t fear him (her, them).  It will be ok, just follow Me.”  He’s with you.  He’s called you.  He loves you.  Fear Not!

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