Stand Up, Speak Out!
Psalm 94:16 AMP
Who will stand up for me against the evildoers? Who will take a stand for me against those who do wickedness?
2 Corinthians 4:13 NLT
But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, and so I spoke.”
I had been out of work for 3 months. I desperately needed a job. I finally had an interview with an auto parts store that needed a salesman for their territory. I borrowed a friend’s car, as I no longer had one, and drove the 50 miles in a blizzard for my interview. The man I interviewed with gave me 10 minutes of his time, then told me he would let me know by Friday. As I drove home, I pleaded with the Lord to please give me this job. It was the only interview I was able to secure after 3 months of calling business after business, day after day. Those were very difficult days. Kathy and I and our two kids were literally down to a few dollars left to live on, and I was a month behind on rent.
Day after day I cried out to the Lord in my times of prayer, “O God, please give me this job. Don’t let my children starve!” Friday came, it was late afternoon when the phone rang. It was the man I had interviewed with, telling me, “We want you to start Monday morning.”
I was elated, God had come through. The only problem was I had no car!!! I needed a miracle!! In 48 hours I needed God to make a car appear out of nowhere, as I needed to provide my own transportation to drive the sales route for this job, or I would lose the job! Hour after hour I prayed that weekend. Sunday night arrived, still no car. I was desperately crying out to God. “Lord, I need a car or my kids will go hungry!” This was the truth!
At 9 pm Sunday night, my phone rang. I answered it and the voice on the phone said, “Mark, I heard you need a car?” I had not told anyone. “I do,” I replied. They said, “Well, I have a car just sitting in my garage as I work right across the street from my house. Would you use my car?” I was stunned. I caught my breath, then said, “Can you bring it over to my house tonight? I have to start my new job in the morning.” They replied, “I will bring it right over!”
Great joy and amazement filled my heart. God had done a miracle! Little did I realize then just what God had in store for me. I began that job with a heart full of faith and gratitude only to find out in a matter of days, after calling on some potential customers, that my company was hated, that the man who had hired me had lied to me about what they were going to pay me, and as the company’s former salesman, the local auto repair shop owners hated his guts!
I had never been so driven to prayer in my life. Day after day, that job challenged my faith and courage, challenged my attitude, and built my prayer life like no other time before. That first 6 months passed and slowly but surely God began to answer my prayers, and sales began to increase.
It was just about Christmas time when something life-defining happened to me. My company was extremely stingy. They did not do promotions or give away gifts to customers as all the other auto parts stores did. I went into work this particular Tuesday morning and found the supply truck from our headquarters had been at the store to drop off new inventory. Also, for the first time, they dropped off boxes of calendars for the new year to give our customers. I was elated until I opened the box to find a seductively dressed woman on the cover of every calendar.
I knew immediately that I could not, in good conscience, hand these out to customers. I had a choice to make. Stand up, speak out, or stay silent. I knew my direct boss, the man who hired me in Marshalltown, would be furious at my refusal to hand them out. So, I decided to go over his head and call the VP of the company at headquarters. Ken, the VP, answered the phone. He said, “Mark it is great to hear from you! What can I do for you?” I said, “Ken, first I want to thank you for getting us some calendars to hand out to our customers. I appreciate your efforts to support us out in the field. But Ken, I cannot in good conscience hand out these calendars. My sales territory is built on my personal upright, moral reputation and these calendars will compromise my beliefs and my reputation.” Ken then said to me, “Mark, I am sorry you got those. I had special calendars made just for you of antique cars. You were not supposed to get those particular calendars.” I replied, “Ken, I appreciate that very much.” He then said, “You just send those back on the truck when it comes next week and I will get the other calendars to you.”
This seemed to go quite well, though it took faith and courage to do. I thought it might be possible that I would lose my job over my refusal to hand them out. I went home that evening encouraged, feeling God had come through.
The next morning, I arrived at work early as I always do. As I walked to the front door to my surprise, I was met by none other than the huge, menacing, 350 lb. bossman that had hired me, the one that everyone in my territory hated. He stopped me outside on the sidewalk, in the cold, and stood about 12 inches from my face. With his eyes bulging out, and his face beat red, he said, “Darling, what the@@##$%$% do you think you are doing, not handing out the calendars?? How dare you call the VP over me! You sure the @@#$%$ will hand them out or I will fire you!” He had the power to do that. I stood my ground, I did not back away an inch!! This is the man who knocked out the former VP at a sales outing after all the guys had been drinking.
I said, “Don, This is exactly why I didn’t call you, and why I called the VP. You can fire me if you want, but I will never, ever hand out those calendars.” I mean you could see smoke rolling out of his ears! He was furious. But I knew in my heart, no matter what happens, I had to stand up and speak out! He stormed off, but never fired me. I realized then, God had set me up!! God chose to find out what I would do. Could He trust me to be His spokesman?
This defining moment became a metaphor for the rest of my life as a preacher, a pastor, a father, and a Christian man! I cannot be silent. I must stand up and speak out against evil, against wickedness, against lies, and courageously proclaim the truth and stand up for righteousness.
Do you realize Jesus was tortured, killed, slandered, and maligned because He wouldn’t shut up? Because He refused to be silent in the face of their threats, their rage, and animosity? If Jesus had just shut up, He would never have been killed!
Do you realize that John the Baptist would never have had his head cut off, caused by a wicked, vile woman if he had just shut up about her immoral relationship with Herod? He would have never been arrested if he had just shut up! John stood up, and spoke out! He had his head cut off for speaking out!
We are living in a time of internet and social media mob terrorism. The woke cancel culture crowd both inside and outside the church is waiting to pounce on you, shame you, terrorize you and cut off your head. They will use Twitter, Facebook, any means at their disposal to shut you up if you speak out against wickedness and lies and proclaim the truth. Do not cower, do not back down! The wicked are doing everything they can to browbeat you into silence and acquiescence!
It is ironic is it not that this same wicked crowd is forcing you to put on a mask, to put a cover over your mouth! It is a metaphor for exactly what they want to steal from you. Your freedom and courage to speak out!! Do not let the woke cancel culture browbeat you into silence!
Fathers, what legacy will you leave your children? What kind of man will you be in their eyes? A coward? A man who loved his job more than his fidelity to speak up against wicked lies, and speak the truth? Will you have the courage to speak out against the wicked lies permeating this culture that are forced down your throats in corporate America? Will you bow down and take a knee to BLM marxists and their lies? Will you parrot the white privilege garbage, self-denunciate and swallow the lie? Will you stand by and be silent as christians buy into the leftist social justice lie and dress it up in a pseudobiblical narrative? Our children will find out what kind of men we are and it will imprint them for the rest of their lives.
In July of 2018, I was given an ultimatum by my Christian employer. Cooperate with their lie, self-denunciate, submit to their Moaist like reeducation program, or lose my job of 32 years! I absolutely refused to cooperate with their lie. The next day I resigned and walked away from 32 years of sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. They did all they could to defame, sabotage, and destroy my reputation. I lost everything, but even now, 2 years later, knowing the full extent of what it cost me and my family, I would do it again! I made my choice! Like John the Baptist, I will stand up, I will speak out, and they can cut off my head!
What exactly are you willing to suffer for your faith? What exactly are you willing to risk for your Biblical convictions and beliefs?
If we say we believe, we must speak out!