Summary: Breaking free from a "man fearing" spirit. Learning to live for the Lord because you love Him.
If imagination is the biggest nation in the world today, then intimidation is the second largest. Websters dictionary defines intimidation as- influence or force by fear, verbal or non-verbal, direct or implide. Too many people allow others to control and manipulate them into doing and saying things that they would not normaly do. Look at Peter. In a vision the Lord told him not to treat anyone as "unclean"Acts 10. God told him to go to Cornelius’ house and not to worry about what others may say. But in Gal.2 Paul wrote that Peter was at Antioch, eating and fellowshipping with Gentile believers untill people from "church headquarters" came down to see what was going on. When Peter heard they were coming he "seperated himself" from the Gentile believers. Paul said , in todays terms, that he "got in his face" Why? Because Peter had fallen victom to the fear of intimidation. We all have differnt opinions and beliefs about many differant thing. We all live our lives according to the moral compass put in us by God called a conscience. This compass points us in the right direction, unless it is influenced by an outside force.(Exsample- compass points north,a magnet close to it will change the diretion, when moved away it returns to it’s proper direction) The same is true in our lives, no matter how long we’ve been a Christian. There is however a differance in not wanting to offened a "weaker brother" by not ingauging in what we would normally do without a problem to our own spirit( i.e.-drinking coffee may offend them, so in there presents we refrane), and changing who and what we are in our core beliefes to please those who only want to change us to conform to thier own convictions. Phil. 2:12 says"..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.." There is only one way to be saved, but once that salvation is come into your life, it’s now your resposible to "work it out". We all have our own personal convictions. Somethings I’ve done(or not done) have been for good reasons. 1.Respect for others, 2.Just-in-case; the things that in my early walk with the Lord that I was’nt too sure about I quit just in case it was wrong and untill I had a clearer understanding of Gods will for my life. But somethings I did or did’nt do were because of a "man fearing spirit" or if you will intimidation. Intimidation leads to hypocrisy. The living and doing of one thing for certain people, and doing the opposite for others. God hates hypocrisy!! The greatest soures of intimidation comes from the world and it’s ungodly system 1.Advertisment-makeing people feel that thewy will not be accepted if they don’t wear this (A/F,Tommy,ect..),eat that(too good to eat at home), have this shape of a body(must have the super-model figure),drive this car(can’t drive anything more than three years old) live in this part of town(across the tracks isn’t good enough for you)..... 2.Socially-must be in the "in-crowed" or your out. 3.Education- believing that only "A’s" are good enough. 4.Spiritualy- the word tells us "Everyones going to heaven","All religions lead to God." intimidating Christians into not standing up for what is right and for truth. You see, all virtues have been cast off by the world we live in, but one- tolorance. Today if we as Believers speak out in the free market place of ideas consering any issue we are the ones branded as "closed-mined" We are told that spiritual matters should stay in the four wall’s of the church. The world has pushed us in a corner through fear. It’s time to stand up! To stand up for truth,righteousness, and live a life that is free from intimidation. Are you living two lives? One that you show on Sunday, and the other you live Monday through Saturday. Do you feel the need to impress people you don’t like, with money you don’t have? Too many here today are bound with a "man-fearing" spirit, and it’s time to be set free in Jesus name! Alter call.