Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


2 Comments

Overcoming the Fear of Man

There is only one antidote to the fear of man, and that is the fear of God.fear of man

The fear of God needs to overtake the fear of man. It needs to be a stronger force in our lives than the fear of man or else the FOM will keep rearing up its ugly head and dictating our lives.

 

Natural Vs Spiritual

We all want to be liked. We all desire the approbation of others. To be recognised, affirmed and accepted. That’s natural. I am the same as everyone else.

But that is the natural man, the old man. That man is part of the temporal, earthly order.

When we were born again our spirit-man was born from above. Now we are a part of the heavenly order of things. It’s important to remember that the temporal order is on its way out and very soon the eternal will be ushered in.

God has placed this world under judgment and there is no escaping that fact. Remember the writing on the wall? “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25). This world has been weighed in the balances and found to be wanting (or “too light”). Therefore God has numbered the days of the kingdoms of this world and shortly they will be brought to an end.

So when our natural man focusses on the earthly, material kingdoms around us we can forget that we are a part of something far greater, far more wonderful than this temporal order. Jesus removed the blinkers from our eyes when we were saved but we must know how to see into the eternal. We should be able to see what the natural man cannot. To see that the natural and temporal are passing away and that it is the eternal that counts and that lasts.

fear of godRemember Daniel: After he translated the above words, King Belshazzar ordered him to be promoted in his kingdom and highly honoured him in the sight of Babylon. But what did Daniel want with the King’s approbation? – He’d just told him that the days of his kingdom were numbered!   The promotion was meaningless!

Daniel had eyes to see. The great banquet, the flowing wine and the shine of the cups of gold did not distract Daniel from seeing the spiritual.

The way of the kingdom is a different way, a higher way.  Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of the fear of man in the natural, and to bring us into His way – the way of the Spirit.

 

Obtaining the Fear of God

It is only in fearing God that the fear of man is supernaturally overcome. But how to obtain the fear of God?

Consider Stephen the Martyr.  Previously the high priest had strictly forbidden the apostles to teach in Jesus’ Name, they had even been imprisoned for the message they preached. It was a scary time to be preaching the gospel.

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:29-32

Not long after this event Stephen is accused of blasphemy and put on trial. How frightening! Other Christians had recently beenfear killed for the faith and this was fresh in their minds.

Stephen could have kowtowed to the accusers, but he didn’t. He didn’t fear them, he could see beyond them and their threats. He could see the God of eternity. And he feared God much more than these men.

So in the fear of God Stephen, rather than cowering in a corner, rose to the occasion and preached the truth.

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?…” Acts 7:51, 52

Did Stephen fear man? No way. Did he compromise his message hoping they might let him off? Nope.

Yes, they killed him, but he didn’t fear them.

You see he had a vision of heaven. He “gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55

The difference is that God’s people are able to see.  They can see beyond the temporal, physical realm. Rather than seeing man and his threats they could see the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

And that is the difference.

  • The fear of man comes from spiritual myopia – short-sighted vision that cannot see beyond this physical, material world.
  • The fear of God comes from a supernatural revelation of the glory of God.

Once you have seen it you are never the same.

 

The Revelation

Isaiah saw it.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled

source: idisciple.org

source: idisciple.org

the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3

This is what this generation needs more than ever – a revelation of the glory of God.

Once you’ve had a vision of the holiness, the reverence, the majesty of God, you have a vision of eternity. Suddenly your eyes are opened to the temporal nature of everything that encompasses us. Suddenly you see that only the eternal matters.

Suddenly your eyes are also opened to your true self. Once Isaiah saw God he also saw himself.

“Woe is me, for I am undone!”

The power of self is undone in the presence of Almighty God. And suddenly how man and this world estimates you takes a second place to the revelation that there is a holy God who sees you. Only His estimation of you matters now. And now the fear of man takes second place to the fear of Almighty God.

 “Lord stamp eternity on my eyeballs” Leonard Ravenhill

Oh Lord God Almighty, give us, this last generation, a vision of Your glory. Let us see You in all Your awesome majesty. Give us a heavenly vision again Lord. I am asking for such clear spiritual vision that we can see past the distraction of this world and into eternity. Father, that we may fear You alone, and not man. Let us do Your will only. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Previous post….God’s Prescription for Persecution

Advertisements


10 Comments

God’s Prescription for Persecution

1160_doctors_prescriptionWhen Jesus sent out His disciples two by two He knew he was sending them out as sheep amongst wolves. He knew that they would be met with persecution and rejection along the way.   He knew the hearts of the people had by and large grown callous in their religiosity.

Yet He still sent them out.

Jesus gave them one prescription to be able to withstand the ongoing rejection and persecution He knew they were to encounter :

“…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

He taught them the fear of God.

This is God’s prescription for persecution.  This is the only way ongoing rejection and persecution can be met with strength and courage and be withstood.

Jesus still sends out His disciples today.  He has given all of us the Great Commission.  He knows that we will be rejected and persecuted for the message we bring to the world, yet He still sends us.  And the prescription that was good for the early disciples is still good for us today too.

You see as God’s mouthpiece in a fallen world, above all else we must fear God.

You cannot simultaneously fear both God and man.2014_03_16-PM-The-Fear-of-God-vs-The-Fear-of-Man-580x200

We all fear either one or the other.

The one you fear will be the one who dictates your life. The one you fear will determine where you stand.

Why did Jesus command us to fear God?  Because He knows that:

“The fear of man brings a snare.” Proverbs 29:25

  • The fear of man contaminates pure truth.
  • The fear of man leads to bondage.
  • The fear of man brings fear of rejection.
  • The fear of man shuts your mouth when you should speak.
  • The fear of man changes the truth of God’s Word into something more palatable.
  • The fear of man brings compromise.

And thus the fear of man cannot please God.

God’s prophets are those who will stand in the midst of rejection. These are ones whom will not stop speaking truth even in the face of resistance, hostility and open aggression. They will not bow to the pressure of man. God’s mouthpieces are those who understand the consequences of speaking on His behalf, and may even be afraid to, yet they will still speak it.

God’s ambassadors are those He sends forth in the fear of Him.fear

You cannot simultaneously please both God and man.

Choose which one you are going to fear, because that is the one you are going to serve.  The one whom you try to please is the master to whom you bow.

If you want to get far in this world, to be accepted, promoted, have lots of Facebook friends, to be asked to speak at conferences, if that’s what ultimately motivates you, then you fear man.

But if you are willing to let it go: the popularity, friends, followers of your blog, even family, if you are willing to follow Christ whatever the cost, to please Him, to obey Him, to be faithful to Him. If what motivates you is to one day hear these words:

“Well done my good and faithful servant…”

then you fear God.  And no matter what persecution comes your way, even unto death, you will have the courage and the strength to withstand.

 

Blessings, Belinda

 

Next post….       

  • How to overcome the fear of man
  • How to get the fear of God