Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The fear of God vs. The fear of man

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28)

When we think of fear I’m pretty sure we don’t think about fearing our friends right off the bat. We probably think more on the side of fearing what the government is going to do or what if your family is attacked one day. Probably the last thing we think of is fearing God. So few people actually fear God, they think “why should I fear someone who is nice like him, I mean a God of love and all.” Well first off although God is a God of love he also is a God of jealousy, (Ex 34:13) and a God of judgment (Is 30:18) and he is a God of power (Ex 15:6; Ps 62:11).  The LORD tells us to “fear no” (Is 41:10) so why should we fear God?Fear: The unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or is a threat.
Let me put it this way, we were meant to fear,(Prov 3:6) the question is, (like all other abilities that God has given us) in what way will we use this ability? Later on I will talk about the good things that are brought about when we fear God.What is the fear of God? A lot of people can understand the fear of man but they really don’t understand what it means to fear God.Fear of God:                Fear of what God will know or do to you.When we fear God, we fear him justly; he has the power, the right and the might to do with us as he pleases. Whereas when we fear man, we fear without cause, man can never do to us what God says “no” to.                We fear men to much, because we fear God to little.What is the difference between the fear of God and man?When we fear men we are hindered from doing anything for the kingdom. When we fear God we are pushed on to the bettering of the Kingdom. Why? Because when we fear men we are worried (be anxious for nothing) about what they (men) will think or do. We can never be curtain of what they will actually think and so we never make our move. If you are a Christian you will never be able to please men (so you might as well give up now), while you now have the power (instilled by the blood of Christ) to please God.                So what is one of the main differences between the fear of God and the fear of man? Well do you notice the difference in wording in the definitions?  The fear of God, “…what he will know” The fear of men, “…what he will think.” God sees the deepest part of your soul, he will know what you were thinking, doing, planning, ect. And he has the power to judge you, While man can only think about what you’re doing or thinking, and they have no say in either your eternal damnation or happiness.“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28)                This verse brings me back to another part of the definition, “…do to you,” While both man and God can do to you there is a saying that narrows it down, “What God wants to happen to you, will happen to you; but what God doesn’t want to happen to you, won’t.”                So which would you rather fear?The fear of man is really ungrounded; now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I have never feared men before! In fact I’m still struggling with it, hence this article. But really if you think about it, God has the power to through you into hell justly, all men can do is what God wants them to do. God is omnipotent and all-knowing, and yet we chose to fear men? I think God called us humans “sheep” for a reason, (if you didn’t know sheep are the dumbest animals on earth).
I personally believe that most men are hindered from extending the kingdom because they are afraid of something more than God. Just think about it! If a man knew that a specific mission field was his calling and yet he was afraid to go because he would have to lose his job, who is he more afraid of? God or man? God, if he went in the knowledge that it was His will. Man because if he didn’t have enough money most people would probably look down on him.
But when are you considered a real Christian? When you forsake all and follow him! That could mean your job, your family, your friends or even your church. So really if you are a true Christian, what man thinks should not matter, what God knows, should.Using my own life as an example, I often catch myself, as I get changed, thinking about what someone will think about this dress. Instead of wondering if I’m honoring my father and God by that choice of clothes. Or not doing something in church because I wonder what the girl behind me will think. But I constantly forget who’s opinion really matters. Who’s love will really pull through. Who’s grace is really sufficient. And who’s blood paid for me. Instead of making decisions based off of what your friends, boys, or even sometimes family will think, your decisions should be based on what God will know.
There was a fraise I used earlier “We fear man too much, because we fear God too little.”  One fear replaces the other. If we learn to fear God more we will learn to fear man less. So how do we fear God more?                 Before I go into that I want to point out a few differences between the different fearsThe fear of GOD is,                      i.            Fountain of life (Prov 14:27)
                     ii.            Clean, enduring forever (Ps 19:9)
                    iii.            The beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10; Prov 9:10)
                   iv.            Hatred of evil (Prov 8:13)
                    v.            The beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7)
                   vi.            Prolongeth days (Prov 10:27)
                  vii.            Strong confidence (Prov 14:26)
                 viii.            Instruction of wisdom (Prov 15:33)
                   ix.            Riches, and honor, and life (Prov 22:4)
 The fear of man is                      i.            Lays a snare (Prov 29:25)
 “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.” (1 John 4:18)                A lot of these verses can tell us what we want to know on how to grow in the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 9:10 says that it is “the beginning of wisdom.” So what is the beginning of wisdom? (See Proverbs 8:22-29) As I see it wisdom can only come from God, which means that his word is wisdom. So here’s one idea; the more you read his word, the more you will grow in the fear of the LORD. Now please don’t take these things as solid fact. Rather just the simple attempts of a striving Christian girl to reach more godliness.So here are a few ideas on how to gain in the fear of the LORD:-          Read the word (Ps 111:10; Prov 9:10; Prov 1:7)
-          Learn to love righteousness and hate evil (Prov 8:13)
-          Learn how to love (1 John 4:18)
-          Do what you know is right (Prov 1:7)
-          Do righteousness and run from evil (Prov 8:13)
 The fear of the LORD is the “God-given way to fight the fear of men.”
Another thing you need to remember in that you need to fear God and love him at the same time! (1 John 4:18) “Fear without joy is torment, and joy without holy fear would be an assumption.” So in other words we need to fear and love God at the same time while eliminating the fear of man.IT”S OK!You don’t have to get overwhelmed. We (as Christians) have the power (instilled in us through Christ) to accomplish this. He has instilled in us the power to fear and the power to direct that fear!Praise God!“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”I guess the last thing I want to say is that (especially for us young people) never despise wisdom and instruction from older people. I know it’s sometimes really hard to believe that our parents can actually know more than us when they don’t even know how to access Facebook! But let me say (humbly) that they’ve lived life longer and probably with more hard knocks then they want you to have. One of the hardest things that young people (including me) need to and must learn is, to just listen. (James 1:19) As my mom would say, “You have two ears and one mouth.”