“The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else”- Oswald Chambers
After a tiring day at work, I come home and occasionally try to spend some play time with my 5 year old daughter. On one recent occasion, I was playing tickles with her. The problem is we are both ticklish.
The other problem is I’ve been tickling her since she was young but recently she’s started wanting to tickle me. But I don’t want to let her and I start laughing before she even starts to do it.
So in her attempt to get me to open my arms so she could tickle me, she said something profound: ‘Mama, why are you afraid of people?’ Now what she meant was ‘ Why are you afraid of being tickled by me?’ But in that moment, I heard God talking to me through her.
This one statement made me evaluate where I am in life. I’m reluctant to admit this but I can tend to fear people. Sometimes more than God.
I will do something to please people at the detriment of what it does to my relationship with God.
I’ll share a few examples of what being afraid of people looks like in my life:
- Being afraid to express my true thoughts and feelings on certain issues like ‘fornication’. A sin in God’s eyes that has become acceptable today because well ‘everyone is doing it’. In a discussion, I can tend not to voice my true beliefs on the issue.
- White little lies- I’m embarrassed to say I’ve told little white lies to fit in. I will lie that I’ve been to a certain place or done something in order not to be the outcast in a group (sigh)
- Over committing myself and agreeing to do tasks for family and friends to win their favour. The problem is I end up being resentful of them but it’s not even their fault, I could have just said no to begin with but fear of people will stop me from doing that.
Friend, can you relate? Do you find yourself fearing people more than God? Not living an authentic life because of what others will think of and say about you?
Being afraid of people and winning their approval seems to come easy because we can physically see, touch and talk to people. But praise be to God, who opens up our spiritual eyes to remind us of the importance of being afraid of Him rather than people.
‘It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man’ John Witherspoon
4 helpful verses to fear God more than people
1. Luke 12:4-5
“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!”
2. Proverbs 29:25
‘The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe’
3. Psalm 118: 8
‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’
4. Psalm 56:4 ’
In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?’
4 God’s Promises to hold on to when you are tempted to fear people:
5. His presence (read how God’s presence has transformed my life)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6. Eternal life
Rev 2:10 10
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
7. Deliverance and help is available in God
Psalm 34: 4
‘I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears’
8.Isaiah 41: 10
‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
My Encouragement to you:
It’s tempting to fear people. But the truth is people change. They disappoint us. You can be in their good books today and they betray you tomorrow. And people have no power over us- not when they are standing next to the Omni potent (all powerful) God. It’s better to fear and trust in God who has all authority and power, who is faithful and who is always with us.
Lord l thank you for your grace and love. I repent of my need for man’s approval. Help me to fear you not man who has no power over me. You are my Creator, my Helper, my Strength. May I focus on pleasing you alone and not man. May I trust in You, your word and your power to overcome.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Do you find yourself being more afraid of people that God? If so, what action can you take today to start fearing God more?