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Seeds of the Kingdom

Fear of Man

by Diane Watson

10 December 2019

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Fear of man will prove a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Proverbs 29:25, NIV

A snare is a lure or a trap. Fishermen sometimes use snares to catch fish. Hunters use various kinds of snares to trap game. And Satan uses snares to trap human beings. Jeremiah 5:26 says, ‘Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people’. One of those snares is the fear of man.

While Satan cannot steal the salvation of those born again into God’s kingdom, he can and does use snares to steal our victory, our witness, our joy, and our opportunities to store up treasure in heaven by magnifying the fear of man. In John 10:10 it says, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’.

The fear that gets us into the most trouble is not fearing God, but fearing man.

When we feel fear, we reach for control. Can we trust our lives, our futures and the lives of those we love to God? Can we trust God with what we cannot control? When we come under the fear of man, we allow it to control us. When we are being controlled by something, we want to control other things.

We fear what others think of us, the way we look, and what we are doing. We are trapped.
So, we comply to the world’s view of what we should look like, and it is our own distorted image, shaped by the fear of man. We think, “What are people thinking of me?” The trouble is we don’t know what anyone else thinks, and what we think they think, is probably nothing like what they are thinking.

I love this quote, ‘In the presence of the Lord there is no fear’. Whose presence are we in? Is it the presence of the Lord, or the presence of man? To overcome fear we need to immerse ourselves in the love of God. Courage comes from love, not from fear. God tells us many times in the Bible, “Do not be afraid. My grace is sufficient for you”. I have read that the words ‘do not be afraid’ are mentioned 365 times in the Bible. That means a promise for every day. Do not fear. God is with you.

How often are we doing, doing, doing? Because we fear what others think of us, we think we had better look busy. When we come under this type of fear, we become its slave. Yes, it is good to serve the Lord, but are we serving Him or serving the fear of man?

So, I might need to ask myself, “Is the fear of man snaring, entrapping and stopping me walking into the destiny that God has for me?” Am I walking in peace, truth and love, or in that straight-jacket of confinement which is the fear of man? Am I trying to look good, but feeling really uncomfortable in the process, not at peace with God and not at peace with myself? It would be good to take time now to ask the Lord in what ways I am snared by the fear of man.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for putting the fear of man before fearing You. Help me to continually seek Your presence so that I do not seek the presence of man. I need You to help me overcome this fear, to trust You more and not come under the fear of others, allowing it to control me. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Diane Watson is Deputy Centre Director of Ellel Pierrepont. Her husband Paul is Centre Director of Pierrepont and Regional Director of Australia Pacific and India. They have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren. Diane had the vision for the first Australian Ellel Centre at Gilbulla, near Sydney, and was its Centre Director for the first 5 years.

 

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