The Great Paralyzer

Fear has a paralyzing effect upon most individuals, especially fear of man and what he may or may not say. Why is that such a big deal to us? Maybe, because we do not have confidence in who we are and whose we are! David provided us with real food for thought. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. (KJV) What a great pair of questions. Whom shall we fear and of whom shall we be afraid? First and foremost we should fear God. Jesus said, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:4-5. Jesus lets us know that the only one who has the power to cast us into hell is God, and only because of our own actions. Having a respectful fear of God, allows us to seek to obey his word and seek to live a life he has called us to live. We are to walk in the fear of the Lord which allows us to ‘order our conversation aright’ and to secure ‘the beginning of wisdom’.
However, many believers are caught in the trap of fearing man more than fearing God. “The fear of man beingeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25. How many times have we been in a place where we knew what was right, but because we were afraid of what our friends or associates would say, we chose not to stand up for what was right. That my friend is allowing the fear of man to override the fear of God. Jesus reminded us that “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33. When we know to do right, to stand up for Christ, and we fail to do so, we have denied him before men. We have chosen to fear man more than fearing God. The Message Bible translates Proverbs 29:25 as “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” The Message Bible translates Matthew 10:33 as “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?”
When we fear man, we become disabled or paralyzed. We do things we don’t want to do or we fail to do things that we should do. We need to remember who controls the keys to heaven. Big hint——IT IS NOT MAN! If we are to follow the Lord we will be criticized and maybe even persecuted. Things will be said about us that will not be pleasant, but things were said about Jesus which were not pleasant. We cannot expect to be treated any different than our Master. We are certainly not better than Him. God through his prophet Isaiah stated, “Hearken to me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7.
How do we overcome the paralyzing fear of man? By focusing on the fear of God. “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:26-27. We succumb to the fear of man because we are not confident in who were are. In the fear of the Lord, we secure not just confidence in who we are in Christ, but that confidence is STRONG confidence. It also allows us to depart from the snare of death which is the fear of man. We need to constantly remember what the Lord told Joshua, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9. The Message Bible translates this as, “Haven’t I command you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” What a great promise. God will be with us every step we take. He will be our refuge from the snare of man. We no longer need to be paralyzed by fear of man.

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