The Power of Applause

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) This verse sets the tone for my thinking today. I turned to the Sunday text in Matthew 14:13 that starts, “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew…” What might Jesus have heard that would lead him to withdraw to solitude, I pondered. His cousin, John the Baptist, had just been beheaded because King Herod, compromised by a need to keep a drunken promise to his seductive step-daughter who danced for him had to choose between what he knew was right and presenting John’s head on a platter to the young lady. He caved.   “Fear of man (or woman)” led to his compromise. How tragic and Jesus grieved. Meanwhile John, a prophet, spoke truth to power and paid with his life. How was he “kept safe”? Both men, Herod and John, were listening to other authorities. Herod listened to his fear of people. John listened to God as his first priority. John paid with his life but entered the kingdom of heaven. Choices we make at the moment have consequences and often only the long term consequences reveal the priorities of our heart.

Today we all face decisions. Is fear driving our heart or faith and trust? Our safety does not rest in approval of man. That’s a snare. Our safety rests in the hand of God who carries us for eternity. May we make God our first priority today and we deal with our situations!   Blessings.

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