Fear of God…or Fear of Man
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are given as Christ followers and excellent opportunity to responding to crisis, fear and worry in faith, hope and love…just as our Lord did and as His Word encourages and even commands us to do!
We need not fear what man (or virus) can do to us as we are certain of our lives in Christ for eternity! That’s awesome, you say, when I’m gone from this life and move into the next. What about here and now? Choosing to walk in fear of God helps us make the wise and loving decisions in line with His Word of Truth in the midst of the chaos. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
You can click here for the Love and Lordship (L&L) LIVE version of this article as we lay the Biblical foundations for freedom and peace that comes as we walk by faith in the fear of The Lord. I will be following up with brief LIVE clips and short articles on things we can do to strengthen our faith and walk in The Lord, grow closer in our marriages and families and ultimately see how The Lord uses this time of crisis to build up His Church and Kingdom!
Check out the L&L Facebook page and website (www.loveandlordship.com) for more over the days and weeks ahead on how we can take God at His Word and choose faith, hope and love over panic, fear and worry, regardless of what we see around us. As we’ve all heard, Love is spelled T-I-M-E! God is giving us a great gift in the midst of crisis – TIME! How will you respond with Him, your spouse, family?
I know that many worry over their finances and needs being met. I’ve been living with this for years in ministry, as we are not sure if we will have enough from month to month in ministry and to provide for my family? God has always been faithful and come through! It may not always be as I wanted or asked for but it’s always been perfect and has taught me and grown my faith and hope in Him and my love for Him. That is what allows me to share with those He puts in my path and mine in theirs. Today that’s you and those you share this with.
Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures that remind us what The Author, the One in Authority says…the choice is whether we will react to the circumstances we see and hear in the world and according to our flesh and feelings or will we hang on and respond in line with His Truth?
Fear or Faith – fear causes us to wrongly react to our experience apart from His Truth. Faith is acting on His Truth even when we can’t see…“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Fear comes in trying to please self and others. Faith makes it possible to please God and is well worth it. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (which we need a lot of right now) – Proverbs 9:10. Let me simply say this…The more you fear The Lord the less you fear any and everything else. The more you fear all else the less you fear Him…and wisdom goes right out the window! Fearing Him aligns us with His Truth for every situation and increases our faith as He is Faithful. Deuteronomy 31:8, “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Fear paralyzes you and keeps you in its hold. Faith empowers and sets you free but you must act on The Truth you can’t see rather than what your feelings and experience around you is telling you!
Worry or Hope – worry is trying to control things that you can’t and hope is trusting in The One Who is in control and in what He says.
Matthew 6… 25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… 27And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?… 31Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’… 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you… 34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Philippians 4… 4“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”…11“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me… 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 1… 3“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
What do you worry about or try to control that only weighs you down with stress and anxiety? Begin to think differently by letting go of any anxious thoughts and dwell on His Truth and apply it to your life and circumstances…He’s got you!
Panic or Peace in Love – panic comes from fear and worry (see above). Peace comes from God’s perfect love and focusing on His Word and love rather than focusing on what we can do little or nothing about. See Philippians 4 above.
Psalm 115:11 “You who fear him, trust in the LORD— he is their help and shield.”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Psalm 91 – check out this entire Psalm and know that The Lord is the Security of all who trust in Him!
Psalm 23 – again this entire Psalm is the most popular and well known for a reason and here’s the core of the message which so applicable in our circumstances today… “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (v.4)
2 Tim 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
2 Cor 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
God is always at work…and so is the enemy.
In every crisis or trial we can trust that The Lord is with us and will use it to grow, teach, correct as well as encourage and bless all who will heed what He is doing according to His Word (Romans 8:28). We must also be alert that the enemy is always at work and his plan is to kill, steal and destroy (1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10b). So what does God’s Word tell us to do? “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 – note that this comes right before the command to us and warning against the enemy in v. 8 above?)
I believe today’s Church is being called to humility and repentance. Instead of just speaking in order to fill up our buildings we need to have the courage to speak the whole truth in Love, even if folks choose to walk away. We need to stand in His Truth against any and all efforts against, and perversions of, His Truth, such as all forms of sexual immorality in our culture today! Will we focus on the eternal as we live in the temporal, acting in Faith…in Truth, love and wisdom?
In the Roman Empire and early church during the second and third centuries there were two horrific and fatal plagues. One pagan Emperor wondered why Christians would care for even non-Christian sick people? Church historian Pontianus even recounted how Christians, following the Golden Rule (Matthew 12:7) ensured that “good was done to all men, not merely to the household of faith.”
This is a great example from our forefathers in Christ’s Church as to how we can respond in faith, hope, courage and love.
We must do this so we can show the world that we trust in Him no matter what we face. By faith let’s choose hope and love over fear. Let’s act in wisdom to do the smart thing and humbly serve others as given the opportunity to shine His light so they can know Him!
Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – When we fear man and culture we respond in anxiety, panic and fear. When we fear God we respond in faith, hope, peace and love.
Love and Lordship…Action Item – During your time in The Word and prayer, as well as in any anxious moments, ask The Lord to show you how to respond according to His Truth in peace and love. Ask Him to show you how to stop dwelling on those things you can’t control. Journal your thoughts and His responses to see His faithfulness and your growth.