Fear that leads to death
How often do you substitute good for great because you substitute fear of God for fear of man?
Are you trying to figure out how you ended up where you are?
You’ve become this person you are today, but you’re not quite sure how you became this person.
Is it possible that you’ve ended up here because you never took your eyes off of someone else’s approval long enough to see who God created you to be?
You see God in His wisdom created us with an inclination for certain “good works”.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God prepared in advance good works for us to do. But I believe we can miss out on these opportunities because we’re not looking to Him for direction instead, we’re looking to people around us.
When you care more what people think, you end up in a place you never wanted to be.
You need to stop, it’s a trap.
Proverbs 29:25 (NIV) Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
When you do things out of fear of man it leads you down a path that leads straight into a trap. It’s a trap because it all looks good, the path looks clear and then out of nowhere you’re stuck in a situation you never intended to be.
The reason it’s a trap is that doing things out fear of what people will say or think of you is an endless cycle of nothingness. Their approval, if you ever get it, really amounts to nothing.
It’s a dead end road.
“Good job”, “well done”, they might say. But that will never satisfy. You will always want just a little more of it.
Fear that leads to life
The fear of God, however, is a cycle of life.
Proverbs 14:27 ESV
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
Luke 1:50 ESV
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Psalm 111:10 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
Matthew 10:28 ESV
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Proverbs 19:23 ESV
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
What does fear of the lord look like?
Fear of the Lord is caring more what He thinks of you than what others think of you.
It is living in awe of God to the point where people’s opinions of you, how you live, and the decisions you make don’t matter anymore. The only voice of approval you look for is God’s.
Your life becomes a performance for an audience of one – God.
The beautiful thing about this is that approval is guaranteed through Jesus Christ.
When you live in fear of man, you do seeking their approval.
When you live in fear of the lord, you do from a place of approval. You’re not doing in order to gain His approval but instead, you work and give it all you’ve got because you have His approval.
And that’s a much better way to live.