By Ryan Shaw
There is a coordinated attack arising against the true people of God in the earth. It is an attack focused not primarily on physical persecution (though this is definitely taking place in many parts of the world) but on wearing believers down through public opinion.
It is a subtle onslaught of the evil one instead of an overt one. It is an attempt to cause believers to put more stock in what those around them are saying about issues, instead of what the Word of God says.
It is a very different form of persecution then we traditionally consider, yet equally as destructive. It isolates believers in their views and motivates them to adopt the views of mainstream society or be considered an outcast, fanatic or bigot.
Millions of believers are succumbing to this subtle persecution by justifying the issues of the day. Instead we are meant to remain faithful to the Word of God, taking a stand for righteousness with Jesus’ tenderness and love burning in our hearts.
Though social media, the internet and the news are great tools today, they can be used to wear our resolve down. With bombarding messages coming from all directions it becomes easier to internalize the views of those standing against the Word of God.
It is true today that the mainstream public is standing with unrighteousness and the evident slant in the media reflects this strongly. This has not always been so.
In times past, it might have been more difficult to find ideas in the media blatantly against the Word of God. Now, it is commonplace and the false agenda is building confidence and steam.
As a result, believers are required to take a stand one way or the other and many are choosing to go with the flow of society’s values instead of standing against the tide.
A root cause of this massive problem is the issue of people pleasing over God pleasing. Are we more committed to God alone and what He says about behavior, lifestyles, etc or are we more committed to identifying with society and what public opinion is dictating?
People-pleasing is one of the most common areas of bondage believers fall into. It is rampant in the body of Christ. It reveals itself when believers seek to align themselves with people instead of God. All kinds of rationalizations are used for why this is okay.
We are easily affected by what others’ say. We often forget what is most important is what God says about a situation.
In essence we want honor from others. To attain this we will bend the Word of God to appease them. John 5:44 sheds important light on this problem. “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God.”
Jesus connects the two issues of depth of faith in God and looking to others for “honor” before seeking it from God. People-pleasing dulls our spiritual capacities as we readily look to others for approval instead of God. Conversely, seeking to please God alone cultivates stronger inner trust and faith in Him alone.
God is calling us to arise with courage and strength in this hour. When great issues are assailing the body of Christ, it is an opportunity for believers to shine bright with the spirit of truth.
This doesn’t give us a free ticket to be deliberately offensive. Instead we speak truth with love, care and humility working within, knowing this will ultimately offend many, yet may cause some to rethink some things.
None of this can take place, however, if we are blown every which way by the winds of the age, instead of the Word of God.