The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
Sabbath Greetings Brethren,
In Psalm 111:10 we read “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.“
God tells us in this Bible passage that to fear God is the beginning of Wisdom. How are we to express the proper Fear of the Lord? What does it mean to fear God? Solomon tells us something similar in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding“.
To clarify a bit more in modern English this means:
“The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.“(AMP)
So these passages are trying to tell us something; something that is of utmost importance: that the fear of God [which is reverent awe, obedience, and worship of Him] is at the very beginning of godly wisdom in the things of God. To fear God in THIS WAY puts those who heed on the path to an intimate relationship with Him and then coming to understand everything about Him and of His plan and purpose for mankind.
The second half of both of these verses speaks of the blessing we receive when we “fear” God enough to obey all of His commandments and walk in all of His ways. Here again is the incredible reward [blessing] that God promises if we have the proper “fear of the Lord”:
“…a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”
“…the knowledge of the holy (Holy One) is understanding.”
The apostle Peter and the other apostles with him told their persecutors that God gives His Holy Spirit only to those who obey Him. If we are “doing God’s commandments” that means we are “obeying God”, and in Acts 5, God’s Word confirms the same principle that David gives in Psalm 111:10 for it is the Holy Spirit that enlightens the mind to understand the spiritual things of God.
Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
1st Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
It is through the power of God’s Spirit that God enlightens our minds so that we can understand God’s truths and how to apply them in our lives. When God gives us His wisdom in the spiritual things of God, we will come to have a good understanding which produces soundness of mind; unlike the foolishness and the unstable ways of thinking that are the hallmark of those who do not seek God.
2nd Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that a man or woman can overcome fear. We must replace a spirit of fear with the power of God’s life-giving Spirit which gives us peace and well-being if we are being obedient to the God who gives us the Holy Spirit.
How do we get more of God’s Spirit to overcome our fears? By studying the Scriptures and engraving God’s words into our hearts, by meditating night and day on God and all of His precepts, and by praying and asking for more of the Holy Spirit and then by doing the things that we already know to do; those things which are according to God’s laws.
David understood how God’s Spirit works and prayed that God would open the eyes of his heart that he could behold [understand] the wondrous things out of God’s law.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [torah – direction, instruction, law].
Paul taught much about the commandments and described them as being holy, just and good!
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, for if we fear enough to obey our Lord in all of His directions, instructions and law (which is the whole Word of God), God promises that He will pour out His Spirit on us which will enable us to see the wisdom of God.
He will light up our minds with His very own Spirit which will help us to understand things that the world just cannot understand at this time. For more on the subject of the Wisdom of God, please see our recent article “Teach Us Your Ways O Lord” at our AShiningLight website.
The Greatest Visible Evidence of Truly Having the Fear of God is Obedience to Him
Jesus tells us that: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:15-17)
The fear of God is the keeping of God’s commandments! When we obey God by keeping His commandments He will supply us with His Holy Spirit which will fill us with the fruits of that Spirit including faith, love, peace and soundness of mind, all of which drive out negative fear.
Those who truly do love God will repent of their wrong doing, will sincerely want to change their lives in a way that pleases Him obeying Him from the heart. He will then give us His Spirit which empowers us to live for Him. So we see a full circle of God’s empowerment that begins with the positive type of the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the Lord begins in the very mind first and if that fear prompts us to seek the Lord with all of our hearts and we begin to keep all of His commandments, we will reap the blessings that He offers to us, which is His precious wisdom and understanding of all things pertaining to life and our purpose here on earth; and what the future holds for those who commit to trust and obey God for the rest of their lives and then throughout eternity.
The definition of the fear of God is that we are to have awe and reverence toward God, so much so that we love Him and adore everything about Him and want to do everything He says.
In Deuteronomy 10, Moses tells the children of Israel fearing God is required of them and then defines what having that kind of fear is all about.
To fear God means we love Him and want to serve Him with all of our hearts and with all of our souls and all of our mind. If we fear God, we will keep all of His commandments and statutes, (not just in mindless rote) but from the heart because we know that His ways are good for us and others, and that they are the BEST ways to live.
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 10:13 To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
So, yes, we respect God and revere Him, but we do so with great respect and great reverence, enough to desire with all of our hearts to do what He says and o live as He lives.
We fear to disobey Him because we adore Him and we want to do everything we can to please Him and be in His will.
To “reverence” someone or something can also mean to do homage. The Greek word for reverence is proskuneó (Strong’s #4352) and means: “I go down on my knees to, do obeisance to, worship.”
The Hebrew word for reverence is pelach (Strong’s #6399). (Aramaic) corresponding to palach; to serve or worship — minister, serve. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
To be in awe and to reverence God is to worship Him which means to do homage. The Hebrew word for “worship” is segid (Strong’s # 5457)
And the Greek Word for “worship” is sebó (Strong’s #4576) and means: “I reverence, worship, adore.”
The English definition of “worship” is:
* Reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or
to any object regarded as sacred.
* Formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage.
* Adoring reverence or regard.
* The object of adoring reverence or regard.
* To render religious reverence and homage to.
* To feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing).
We are to worship only one Person and that is God, He alone is to be our God and the object of our worship and reverence as our Lord and Savior. We are to have no other gods which are only idols. We are to fear God and fear no other gods.
Deuteronomy 5:6 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
The word for “to bow down” is shachah (Strong’s #7812) which also means to worship.
God tells us that we are to worship only Him, to fear only Him and not to worship or fear false gods nor idols.
Moses taught in many passages that we must fear God and keep all of His commandments and statutes. In Deuteronomy 6:2 we are told to fear God and keep His commandments and to teach that fear to our children and our grandchildren that they would keep them as well, and by doing so have long lives.
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Later when Jesus was on earth He taught about what it meant to worship God; that God is Spirit and that we must WORSHIP [reverence and adore] Him in spirit and in truth: truth being all God’s laws, statutes, ordinances, directions, and instructions which are contained in the whole Word of God.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Other Kinds of Fear: What Is Fear?
Humanly, what is fear? Here is how human fear is defined in biological terms, and we all have experienced what it means to fear in this way. But we know that there is a spiritual element of inordinate [and excessive] fear as well which only those who have God’s Spirit understand.
From: “How Stuff Works – What is Fear?”
“Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things, also known as the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, a knife at your throat, an auditorium full of people waiting for you to speak or the sudden thud of your front door against the door frame.
The brain is a profoundly complex organ. More than 100 billion nerve cells comprise an intricate network of communications that is the starting point of everything we sense, think and do. Some of these communications lead to conscious thought and action, while others produce autonomic responses. The fear response is almost entirely autonomic: We don’t consciously trigger it or even know what’s going on until it has run its course.
Because cells in the brain are constantly transferring information and triggering responses, there are dozens of areas of the brain at least peripherally involved in fear. But research has discovered that certain parts of the brain play central roles in the process:” (How Stuff Works – “What is Fear”.)
But wait a minute, the Bible says that the demons believe in and fear God and yet they hate God and do not obey Him nor do they worship Him. What kind of fear is that? Why do they not WANT to obey God and do as He says?
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble [with fear].
The demons fear God for they know that He is a God of awesome Power and He is a God of Justice and Recompense, and they also fear their fate that is coming.
But they have set their hearts against God and in their rebellion and bitterness toward Him, their minds have become warped and twisted. They are at war with God, and because they are under the rule of Satan (whom they have chosen to follow and to be their ruler), they do all that they can to obstruct God and His plan, thinking that they are going to derail Him somehow even though they have great fear toward Him.
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
But God is much more brilliant than they are and He knows how to use their shenanigans to do His bidding, (see Job) and in the end all evil doers are going to be destroyed.
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Matthew 8:28 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
The following verse says that all the wicked will be burned up and this includes those who are evil angelic spirit beings. We can read more about the destruction of Satan and his demons in: “The Fast of Atonement and Satan’s Fate” which can be found on the WorldWatch Website: https://worldwatch.is/?p=3148 (Copy and past in browser to search).
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
When persons (whether they be human or the angels that are in rebellion) refuse to glorify God and give Him thanks, they become vain and full of pride in their thinking and eventually they become full of hatred and bitterness which defiles them.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
This happened with Satan, and then he led a third the angels to rebel against God with him; and they, too, became full of hatred and bitterness. And Satan and his demons do all they can to influence mankind with this same kind of spirit.
So even though the demonic host tremble before God and His power, they do not have the proper kind of fear that motivates them to obey Him. The people of the world should fear God in this way, for judgment is coming for all who do wickedly, and yet Satan has deceived most of mankind that they do not have to fear God in any way. He propagates the same lies to all mankind that he told Eve in the Garden:
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Paul tells us in Romans 3 that mankind’s chief sin is that they “have no fear of God at all” and that is the basis of all these other sins that he lists.
Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known: 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Servants of God Who Feared God Rather Then Men
The Bible gives many examples of men and women who feared God in a proper way with a positive fear of awe, adoration, obedience, and reverence; and not in the way that is negative.
When Joseph was sold into Egypt and become the servant of Potiphar, Joseph refused to go along with Potiphar’s wife who tempted him to sin with her. Even though he probably knew that it would get him into trouble, he feared to sin against God rather than fear what could happen to him for refusing to obey her.
Genesis 39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 39:10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
Years later when dealing with his brothers, Joseph told them that he was being good to them for he feared God; the fact that this “ruler” said this to his brothers was meant to give them reassurance.
Genesis 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
When Pharaoh made a decree that the midwives were to kill all the male Hebrew babies that they helped to deliver, the Hebrew midwives feared God and they obeyed Him rather than obey the king of Egypt.
Exodus 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
When we fear God, we then fear to do anything that is against God or anything that displeases Him. The fear of God serves as a tremendous motivator to do God’s will even in the face of persecution and opposition.
When Jesus sent forth His disciples to spread the Gospel message, He warned them of what would happen to them for doing so, but then told them to “fear not” these things or these people but to fear God more : “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. Then Jesus comforted them by adding that they were more precious to God than the sparrows that God cared for; that God is aware of all the things that they would have to go through.
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
When we suffer because of other peoples’ sins against us, do not think that God does not see or care; and at some point He will deal with them.
1st Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Jeremiah 16:17 For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.
2nd Samuel 22:25 Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. 22:26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. 22:27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. 22:28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
The Fear of the Lord Sets Us Free
So how does having the fear of God replace the fear of men and fear of the things of this world that threaten to cause us harm? The key to relinquishing the fear of man is to understand the temporal nature of this world and that whatever man can do to us is only temporary. But God is the one we are to fear for it is He who has the power over life and death and all of eternity.
Revelation 1: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
1st Samuel 2:6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
When we fear men and think of them as the ultimate threat to our safety, we give them unwarranted power, for in truth, man’s threats are temporary, for man is nothing but grass in comparison to God.
Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
This is where “FAITH” comes in, for if we really have faith that what God says in His Word is true, we will believe that He is more powerful than the visible and audible threats that we can see and hear that can seem so ominous to us.
Faith in God will replace the fear of men. And if we keep God in focus, our perspective of what really matters in this life changes. We come to see that pleasing God is what matters most, and that it is He who, in truth. holds our well-being and even our eternal life in His hands.
Sinning against God to appease a man because we fear that man will bring only short-lived desired results if any results at all, and if not repented of could have eternal ramifications; just as the third of the angels who chose to please Satan rather the Eternal One who created them.
When God calls us He will shatter for us the delusions that Satan has cast over the whole world that this life is all there is and that to get ahead in the world we must obey the temporal powers that be.
As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of God’s whole Word, God will deliver us from our delusions. As He reveals His truth and helps us to understand His plan and purpose we will see more and more how superfluous the things of this world are and how fleeting they are. As we come to know God’s truth, it will set us free from the lies and deceptions that have been foisted upon us from the time we were born.
Jesus says His mission is to set the captives free and one way He does this is to free us from Satan’s deceptions and lies.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Again we think of what David said in his Psalm about the fear of the Lord and wisdom:
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
And Paul talked about the kind of wisdom we are to seek from God in lieu of the wisdom that comes from men:
1st Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
Psalm 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
God through Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah that would come and that He would be the epitome of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Jesus Christ is the supreme example we are to follow and strive to emulate.
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Whom Do We Fear: Men or God?
It was God who created man with the capacity to feel emotions. Fear is a good thing when it is used to protect us from things or people that may harm us or our loved ones. But fear can also be a negative thing if we let it rule us and we let it determine who we will follow and obey.
As human beings we all struggle with fear and most of us have had to fight against an inordinate fear of man and it can still be a day to day struggle for the threats (or rewards) of men can seem so concrete and seem very real to us; whereas God is invisible and we need total Faith in Him that He will provide and sustain us even when it looks like there is no possible way. The only way we can overcome it is with help from God and through the power He gives us.
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
When we know that God loves us and that He is on our side, we can have faith that He will guard us and deliver us; and the kind of love that God has casts out fear.
1st John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
The phrase “fear of man” as defined in the Bible covers a broad range of preoccupation over what people think of us. It is not wrong to care about what people think about us and it is not wrong to want to preserve our reputation in their eyes. God wants us to care about the feelings of others and not to want to offend them. There are many verses that confirm this.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
It was said of Jesus that as a young man He grew in the favor of God and the people.
Luke 2:51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
So having a good reputation and being in men’s favor is actually a valuable and desirable thing to have. As followers of Christ we sincerely want to remain in the good graces of all whom we know and meet, and especially of those we love and respect…. if at all possible.
But the fear of man is when we care TOO MUCH about what people think of us or what they may say about or do to us.
It is fear that comes in many forms: we may overly crave people’s approval and regard for us; we may have an inordinate fear of people’s rejection of us or the fact that they may dislike us or even hate us; thirdly we may fear that we will look foolish in the eyes of others if we do what we know God wants us to do; and very often we fear that we will suffer some type of loss, and/or even pain, injury, or death that some men may try to inflict upon us if we do not tow their line, nor live according to their dictates rather than God’s.
Please see Daniel 3 and 6 for examples of bravery on the part of Daniel’s three friends in chapter 3, and Daniel, himself, in chapter 6, when faced with the demands placed upon them by evil men and rulers who tried to get them to compromise with God’s commandment of putting Him first.
Most of us have had to face similar situations to either obey men and their rules; or lose our jobs, or perhaps a relationship, the loss of family members’ love for us, homes, businesses, assets, retirements, etc; and some have been beaten, jailed, or killed, because they refused to bow to the demands of others.
When we have the fear of man and it prevents us from doing what God wills for us, it puts mere mortal men in the place of God in our lives and as such is a form of idolatry.
Deuteronomy 5:7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
In the following proverb Solomon compares the fear of man to that of a snare.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
He is saying that fear of man lays a trap for us somewhat like a “snare” which has within it a some kind of lure or bait that leads the victim to being ensnared or caught in a trap.
The bait can be anything that we think we need or desire or even something can appear to be deliverance from something harmful or painful. (Often men will tell us that they will protect us or save us if we will only do what they say).
When we fear man, there is usually something in it for us even though it may appear that we are sacrificing or being generous to those who are putting pressure on us to compromise with God’s laws. We become enablers if we go along, just to get along, (because we do not want to be rejected) or because we want to belong to their inner circle or their social club.
Trappers use snares such as a covered pit, or they may be devises with sensitive latches that springs a metal contraption when stepped upon; or traps may be made with hidden nets that catch the prey when it enters an area and does not see the net as it walks right into it; whether you call them traps or snares, all these things are designed to capture an animal or a bird and take away its freedom.
Solomon is using this proverb as an allegory of what happens when believers are hindered by the fear of man and that fear keeps them from living as free men in obedience to the life that Christ has called them to.
The deceitfulness of a trap is that it is most often hidden and the believer falls into being snared without seeing the trap and he becomes ensnared in the entanglement of sin and idolatry.
Because of the deceitfulness of the fear-of-man syndrome, often he does not understand what is going on and may not even realize that he has been taken captive until it is too late. A big part of the effectiveness of a snare is that it is hidden or subtle and the victim does not see it coming.
There are many ways that the fear of man can be sprung in our lives if we are not watchful and if we are not staying close to Jesus Christ. And the fear of man can be camouflaged in many different ways and methods.
Many of us who are, or have been, associated with WCG and the COG splinters have had it ingrained into our minds that to obey God we must obey those who are over us even when what they are teaching or doing does not make sense to us from what we have learned from Scriptures.
We are always to obey God rather than men no matter what office they hold or whatever they may bribe or threaten us with. This includes such people as our employers, our parents, our governing authorities, our teachers, our husband, and even our religious leaders and ministers.
We are to fear God and obey Him first; that is the teaching of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Being trapped into fearing men against our own better judgment of how we are to live according to what God mandates will ultimately restrain us from living to please our heavenly Father. And the fear of men will motivate us into seeking to please the carnal demands of mere mortal men who are inconsistent and temporal; rather than God who is righteous and eternal.
Men are not gods and we are not to deem anyone as our god other than the true God, our Creator and the creator of heaven and earth.
The Fear that Paralyzes
When it comes to the kind of fear that keeps us from doing God’s will, we think of the Parable of the Talents where the servants were given a certain number of talents and they were to use those talents to increase and to grow.
When God calls us, He gives us His truth and His Holy Spirit and we are to occupy until He comes, using what He has given to us to overcome, to increase in knowledge and wisdom, and grow to become more like He is. But one of the servants was afraid and hid the one talent that he had been given by His master.
Matthew 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
But look at what the excuse the servant had in verse 25; he said that he was afraid, and because he was afraid he hid his talent away; as a result it was not used at all during the time the Master was away.
What was he afraid of? Or what kind of fear is the parable trying to warn us against that would cause us to be like this servant and do nothing with the gifts and calling that have been entrusted to us; and then receive the kind of rebuke and punishment that this fearful servant received when his master returned and wanted an accounting?
Matthew 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And one fear that can paralyze us from doing God’s will is the fear of men. When we fear what others think of us, we will tend to hide the fact that we are a child of God; we may not want our friends and neighbors or our company to know that we keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days, that we are against breaking the commandments of God; or fear may hold us back from doing anything to help preach the Gospel message to the world because we are afraid we will offend those who do not believe in keeping God’s ways and are living their lives in rebellion against Him.
We may be afraid to openly obey God or to use the gifts that God has given to us for fear of what other people will think of us. If we let the fear of man hold us back now, we will miss out on all the fabulous opportunities that God has planned for us in the future.
One of the ways fear of man can entrap us is out of fear of appearing foolish. We may know that we ought to do something that would be beneficial to others or something that would help us grow in our faith or in the gifts that God has provided; but we are afraid to step out in faith in obedience to God for we fear that we will makes fools of ourselves in the eyes of others. Sometimes we do have to risk making fools of ourselves in order to do as God wants us to, but so-be-it.
The apostle Paul tells us, “we are fools for Christ’s sake” (1st Corinthians 4:10). The unconverted around us cannot understand why people would want to take the Word of God seriously and to do what it says in lieu of what society dictates.
They may say people who do not go after fame and fortune are very strange; people who choose to follow Christ and do as He says are crazy or in a cult; people who say that they talk to God and He speaks to them through the Word of God are loony. And how about people who find joy even in the midst of trials and struggles? Faith does indeed look crazy to unbelievers and to those who have no faith in God or in what He says.
Another very common form of the fear of man is when we are always driven to please people (people pleasers) at the expense of taking care of our own lives or doing what is really best, and even best for the one who is demanding our approval, our time, or wanting us to fix their problems.
Because of the fear of man, we hate to let people down and we do not want to disappoint them especially those we hold dear. We want everyone around us to be happy and pleased with us and we cannot bear to rock the boat about things that need to be rocked because we fear we will offend some.
Or we may want to fix their problems at all costs because we want to be seen as their rescuers. We hate to say “no” to people even when it is inconvenient or not really helping the person; and it is because we hate to have them not like us or to think poorly of us.
We think of chameleons who change their colors according to their surroundings and that is what those who fear what men think of them tend to do.
They adapt what they say to accommodate the person who they happen to be with or talking to. They instinctively know what is pleasing to them and what will cause them to disagree and possibly get upset, so they steer the conversation to the things that they know are agreeable to keep from ruffling feathers.
Pleasing people becomes more important to them than speaking the truth in love and being faithful to who they are as followers of Christ and speaking those things that will help the person to possibly repent and to take care of the underlying source of their problems, rather than to just give them a band-aid.
Paul wrote to the Galatians that the fear of man will lead us astray if we go about seeking the approval of men rather than doing the things that please God.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Paul is not implying that we should never try to please people or that it is always wrong to want people to approve of us and like us. Not at all, but rather he is driving home a point about whom it is that we must put first when it comes to pleasing: either people or God.
What kind of fear is it that drives us? what is it that really motivates us? Is it the fear of man or the fear of God that is really controlling us? If our underlying goal is to please people (which takes us away from pleasing God), we no longer are the servants of Christ but of people.
Also, Paul tells us in other places that the Gospel message will be an offense to those who are not being called; who have no interest in the things of God, and if we are being faithful to proclaim the Gospel and to teach God’s Word, it will offend people for most are not in the process of being converted at this time.
1st Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
2nd Corinthians 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
We should never try to be personally offensive to those who see how we live or to those whom we are speaking God’s truth. We are to always incorporate the fruits of God’s Spirit in all that we do and say including when preaching the Gospel; but no matter how tactful we may be, if we are faithful in declaring the Gospel and its full message, it will invariably offend most people.
But we must not be like shifting sand that changes to accommodate the message to that of an inoffensive Gospel to our listeners or readers; a message or teachings that does not risk offense but, also, does not carry the power and the full truth of the Gospel with it either.
1st Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
The Need To Impress and Exalt Men
There is another kind of fear of man that can manifest itself in ways we may not expect. The fear of man not only shows up in those that may appear to be shy, reserved, timid, and who acquiesce to what other people want out of fear of them; but there is a fear of man that motivates certain ones who may on the surface appear to be very confident, in control, and natural born leaders.
This type of person seems to always be at the center of attention and is the life of the party and can be the most influential amongst his peers. He has an intense desire to impress all whom he comes in contact with his “importance”.
These types tend to define themselves through the eyes of other people and have a deep-seated need to be the leader, to be looked up to, to be the one that others come to for guidance.
These forceful type personalities have a need to be looked upon as the most successful amongst the group and want those that they consider to be beneath them to exalt them as being important and the ones who always have the final say no matter what others think or even what the Bible says.
The fear of man in them drives them to want to control others because deep inside they are really insecure about who they are; so to build up their self-esteem they do all that they can to gain the approval of men, wanting to be thought of as their superior and the one in charge at all times.
With their confident appearing exterior they convince themselves that they should be the leader and then convince others around them that they are their leaders just because they say so.
This craving to be admired, to be looked up to, to be applauded, may not seem to be the fear of man so much, but it is the kind of fear that is centered around men. These men’s lives are motivated by pride and how they appear in the eyes of men, so this fear can manifest itself in a drive to impress people and then control them.
We in the Ekklesia, must be warned and know these men by their fruits and become aware that they will bring us into their traps as well…. if we let them.
If we too, out of our fear of them, look to them to guide us when they in fact are seeking to exalt themselves rather than directing us to the fear of God and in looking to the God of the Bible to teach us sound doctrine, then they will ensnare us and will lead us to our downfall.
We fall into idolatry when we follow and obey these self-seeking men who want to exalt themselves or demand that we put them and their organizations on a pedestal and above following and obeying God.
When God enlightens us to the fact that we have been taught the fear of men more than the fear of God, we will come to clearly see that most of the COG leaders (and minsters trained by them) are leading the brethren astray.
These leaders lead us to worship (do homage) to men rather than to do God’s will and all that He says in His Word. They have taught us that to disobey them is to disobey God; that God sets man in between Himself and the brethren; and that we must believe everything they say just because they say so…because they have the authority. We need to run from these people and run to God instead.
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 3:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Like David prayed for God to open the eyes [understanding] of his heart; we have an urgent need to pray that God would open the eyes of our hearts to see and to give us discernment to understand what has happened in the Ekklesia and to ask ourselves: what kind of leaders do we follow? those who walk in the fear of God or those who are men-centered and want us to fear and obey them more than God? for we have become people who have gone after strange gods; men who make themselves gods that cannot save us; men who are unwilling to repent of rank idolatry and going after the precepts of men. This is idolatry in the eyes of God and idolatry is an abomination to Him!
Isaiah 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. 51:8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [torah – direction, instruction, law].
How then do we as the people of God overcome the fear of man in our lives? Just as the Bible tells us: with the fear of God!
What God has to say about fearing Him in lieu of men, is what helps us to push away our fear of men; and God will give us the strength and the faith and the power through His Spirit to overcome and to go on to do the will of God in our lives.
If we see that we have fear of man in our lives, that reveals a lot about how we view God and our lack of faith. We must cry out to God to free us just as we would any other entanglement or snare that we should find ourselves in.
If mere men are causing us fear in our hearts then that indicates that man has become bigger than God in our eyes, and it means that we have diminished God’s power in our minds to save and to take care of us even when we face tremendous trials in our lives.
God’s Word teaches us that in order to obliterate fear of man, we must fill ourselves up with Faith and walk in the fear of the Lord.
1st John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
2nd Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
Like the fear of man (and all fears) the fear of the Lord manifests itself in several ways. For the unbeliever who says in his heart “that there is no God” and has no fear of Him or no fear of transgressing against Him, they will come face to face someday with the fact that there is an All Powerful Holy Living God.
In that day when they see Him for what He really is, they will be terrified at His presence and they will have to face His judgment of how they lived in this life; but they will also be given the opportunity then to come to fear Him in the proper way and order their lives aright.
But for the believer, now, in this life, the fear of the Lord actually brings peace for if we are reconciled with Christ and the Father and we are walking with them, we have the peace that is beyond human description and this kind of peace will guard us from being snared by the fear of man.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Once one is called, that person with God’s help, exchanges the fear of man (which in reality is an embedded lifestyle of fearfulness) with the kind of fear that is reverence, awe, worship, and trust of the Great God who loves us and wants us to qualify to be a member of His own Family.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
The second half of this verse is a promise from God. It took me a long time to really believe this but once we come to the full grip of what God is saying it sets us free. For whoever trusts in the Lord; those who fear Him, and are in awe of Him, and reverence and obey Him; it is they who will be protected and kept safe and he or she will be kept safe from the snare that the fear of man brings.
So we are to understand that the fear of the Lord is a very good kind of fear for it purges out the destructive kind of fear which is inordinate fear and the fear of man. The fear of the Lord puts our lives in the proper perspective: that God is larger and more powerful than anything in this world including any man.
David’s Psalm 19 speaks of the treasure that is ours if we will only trust God and hold dear all of His laws and statutes. David goes on to describe the wondrous things that the keeping of God’s commandments will do for us and that they and all of God’s statutes are more valuable than all the finest gold and the sweetest honey in the world.
In verse 11 we are told that the Law of the Lord shows us the way to live [by them thy servants are warned] and in keeping them there will be great reward [eternal life with God in His Kingdom].
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
David is very much qualified to teach about the fear of God versus the fear of man for he was hounded and persecuted most of his adult life. He had a lot of people before and during his reign, who hated him and wanted him dead; but David had come to see that these men could do nothing to him if God was on his side because the Lord was his Protector, his Stronghold that kept and guarded his life from liars and persecutors.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
So when we face the kind of fear of man that makes it feel like we have been punched in the stomach, or the kind that paralyzes us, silences us, makes us afraid to step out in faith to do the work God wants us to do; we need to remember that God is much greater than our fears and greater than anything man can do to us.
It is God who holds our lives in the palms of His hands and no other. What can man do to me? Of whom shall I be afraid? The fear of the Lord leads us to trust in our Great God, the One who loves us and sees us as the apple of His eye if we are one of His faithful children.
Psalm 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. 17:6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. 17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Isaiah 49:14 But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. 49:17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Our culture and our peers teach us that we must meet their standards of what constitutes political correctness, wholeness and perfection; so we can become so preoccupied with what we are to believe, what we can say, about how we look, the kind of possessions we must have, how successful or intelligent we may appear to others, and on and on.
But Scripture tells us that one day we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and all these things and the people of the world that seemed so important to us in this life will melt away as we all behold the glory and power of God at this appearing.
For those who followed men rather than God there will be much pain and regret and torment (See Matthew 8:12). But for those who took up their cross and endured whatever others had to throw at them for following Christ, there will be much rejoicing.
2nd Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
As the psalmist wrote: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is where we start, for without a proper fear of God we will not revere Him, look to Him as our Lord and Master, and we will do whatever we want seeking all that this world has to offer just like all the billions out there who have no fear of Him.
When Christ returns and raises up His chosen to be resurrected to spirit, it will not matter one iota what people thought of us in this life. If they rejected us for the name of Christ, they will not be around any longer and all their harsh words against us will not mean a thing, and that is how we should regard their evil speaking at this time.
The opinions of others who were opposed to Christ all their lives, will come to nothing. Only God’s approval will matter then and if we are one of God’s own, we will know that we are an accepted child of the Father no matter what anyone thinks. We will come up in the resurrection and we will see Christ as He is in all His glory as the Supreme Spirit Being, and no matter what anyone has to say this is going to happen.
1st John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (See also Revelation 1:13-18)
Walking in the fear of the Lord will give us the wisdom to be able to see and know these things. The rest of the verse says that a good understanding have all they that keep His commandments. How blessed we are to know these things and God will increase our understanding as we strive to obey Him in all things.
If we have repented and have come to Christ and we are putting Him and His whole Word first, we know that we are accepted by Him and His Father even if the people of the world cannot accept us for believing His Word and for keeping His law.
This acceptance of God sets us free from the traps of man-centered worship and we are freed from the burden of needing the approval and acceptance of others. We can then devote our lives to pleasing the One Person who matters the most and to do His will.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us pray that God will help us all to overcome the fear of men and to come to fear Him. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to live our lives for Him in a world that is increasingly becoming intolerant of anything that has to do with the God of the Bible and for those who take a stand for God’s standards of righteousness and morality.
Soon it will be the law of the land that we must not even speak out against those who demand laws that give them legitimacy in their perverse acts against man and God’s ordinances of marriage and family and the sanctity of life in all forms, and other anti-God things that we see coming upon the horizon. We will soon be facing these kinds of prohibitions, things that we never thought would be possible in this nation.
These are just a few of the ways how the fear of man is played out and there may be many others, but the important thing is to acknowledge that we may be letting the fear of man determine for us how to live and what we are to believe; we need to realize that this kind of fear is a trap that will ensnare us and it will inevitably hinder us from obeying God and will turn us away from worshiping the living God unto worthless idols that cannot save.
God says of Himself: “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ” (Isaiah 43:11) and in Hebrews Paul tells us that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God“. (Hebrews 10:31)
Our whole world is careening to destruction because all men do what seems right in their OWN eyes and refuse to do what God says is right. Living in the fear of the Lord makes us realize that it is God who is Great, not ourselves; we are very small along with all other men and women who are also small. If we fear God, He will provide us with wisdom to do all His will and as we do His will, we will know the incredible freedom of not having to walk in the fear of man.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
If we are watching and praying, asking God to teach us, worshiping God in the beauty of holiness, putting Him first and living by His every Word, and if we fear God rather than man; then we will be on the right path, drawing ever closer to Him and internalizing the very character and nature of our Great and Glorious God. No man is capable of doing that for us. Let us walk in the fear of the Lord all our days seeking His will for us over any other man’s will… no matter how impressive that man may appear.
Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone,
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
to depart from the snares of death.
All Scripture quotes are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.
Photo Credits: (Public Domain – Fair Use) Images used here are solely for educational,
commentary, and illustrative purposes only.