Some of the most loathsome people mentioned in the Bible are the Pharisees. These were the ones who looked good on the outside, but the motives of their hearts were wrong. They were hypocrites, professing one thing to be true but living a lie based on the conditions of their hearts.
The Pharisee is someone who is outwardly righteous but inwardly wrong. There is another danger out there, another dangerous characteristic of someone professing the things of God. This is the one who speaks the truth but does not live what they profess. They appear righteous in the outward appearance of their words, but their outward actions do not line up.
Many times these ones who speak great things have good intentions. They do not set out to be hypocrites. They do not set out to shame the name of the Lord. Many of these truly love God with their hearts. The problem comes when it comes time to put into practice what they profess to believe. It is then that fear sets in. They still believe their words, but they are afraid to stand up for the righteousness they preach. They are afraid of being mocked, or judged, or they don’t want to offend somebody, or they don’t want to be persecuted, or else the task at hand just seems straight-out intimidating. Whatever the motive, the faith that person claims to have is not put into practice. In this, they fail to do what God has called them to do.
There was a time when I stared this fear in the face. God had called me to preach publicly. I had to ask myself a few questions. First I asked myself, “Do I really believe what I say I do?” The answer was immediately Yes. The next question was “Will I shrink back now?” I spoke an awful lot about the truth, so how could I afraid to do what I was called to do at that moment?
Do I believe what I speak? Yes, without a doubt. Will I continue to go forth as the Lord commands? Yes I will, and boldly.
Will I ever face fear? I might. But let me tell you something – in that particular moment I just mentioned, I felt no fear at all. I was completely at peace. And the word went forth.