Bible Reading: Proverbs 29:1-27
“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” [Proverbs 29:25]
This morning we received a message that said, “I have overcome the fear of man and said what needed to be said.” This is quite remarkable because I had just sat down to write about the fear of man.
When you are afraid of people and their opinions you are not trusting God. King Saul began to lose everything in his life when he became afraid of what people thought of him. When challenged by Samuel as to why he had not obeyed God, Saul replied, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of men and gave in to them” [1 Samuel 15:24].
Fear paralyses people. The people of Israel listened to the negative reports of ten spies who returned from Canaan and were filled with fear. Because of this none of the people who had come out of Egypt except Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land. Their fear paralyzed them – When you fear men, even if they are giants, you will never achieve much for God!
Jim Elliott, one of the five missionaries martyred in Ecuador wrote in his journal that the degree he most wanted in life was an AUG. It stands for “Approved unto God!” Paul summed it up when he wrote to the Christians in Galatia, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” [Galatians 1:10]. It is impossible to be afraid of men and to serve God! When you fear [reverence, honour] God, you do not need to be afraid of men.
If you will trust Him God will take care of you, but if you allow the fear of man in your life, then He cannot take care of you because you do not trust Him. Isaiah said, “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker….” [Isaiah 51:12-13]. We honour men who deserve honour, we submit to others, and speak the truth in love, but we fear no one!
The Bible says, “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” [1 John 4:4]. How is this relevant to the fear of men?
Psalm 118:6 is repeated in Hebrews 13:6. What are the three keys in Hebrews 13:5 that give us the confidence we need so that we do not fear men?
- If you have lived in someone else’s shadow and never really been free to
be the person God wants you to be, will you now seek God’s forgiveness
and ask Him to set you free?