Today’s reading: Mark 2, 3, 4, Proverbs 29
25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler’s favor; but every man’s judgment comes from the Lord.
I am sure each of us can relate to this passage. The fear of man is one of the most prevalent temptations the enemy presents to us on a regular basis. The real issue here is not fear. It is trust. The question is not who do we fear most but who do we trust most?
Several years ago the Holy Spirit revealed to me an area I had been walking in the fear of man. Paul Milligan and I were ministering to an individual who was very tormented by the enemy. During this time of ministry Paul spoke the following words to this person, “To fear God is to fear nothing else.”
When he spoke those words, they went right into my spirit. Even though they were directed toward someone else, the Holy Spirit used them to speak powerfully to me. In a moment of time, I saw how I had been unconsciously preparing messages from the Word to attempt to impress people.
The Lord showed me my motive, even though unintentional, was to “wow” people with my anointed presentation of the Word so they would either join or stay committed to the church I served as pastor. There were approximately 100 people in our church at the time. Without knowing it I was seeking the favor of 100 rulers in my life instead of one ruler – Jesus.
I was in so much bondage trying to please and impress others. The truth is I wasn’t trusting God. It took a revelation by the Holy Spirit through Paul Milligan’s counsel to someone else to set me free. In a moment of time, I saw how deceived and bound up I had been. I asked the Lord to help me change my approach to ministry.
I began to look to Him and depend on Him completely for what He wanted me to share with people from the Word – not to impress them, but to feed them. It was at that time He showed me we cannot bless those we are trying to impress. Making this simple, but radical, heart adjustment caused a dramatic change in the effectiveness of my ministry. People’s comments and outward responses to my teaching no longer had the same affect on me.
I made the decision to seek God’s favor and not men’s favor. I chose not to be moved by the jeers or the cheers of people; neither the condemnations or the commendations. God and God alone is the One who promotes me, not man. Therefore I am free from the fear of man and live for the approval of One.
This happened twenty-one years ago and I am still walking in the freedom and light of the revelation I received at that time. I pray for a similar revelation for you in any area of your life where, consciously or unconsciously, the fear of man has ensnared you. Go free in Jesus’ name!