Short & Sweet: 5 Ways to Fear God, Not Man
Princes also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes.
I have struggled with the fear of man for a long time. For many years it got the better of me and cost me plenty: lost sleep, decreased fruitfulness, and lack of peace. Fear of man has caused me to blindly stumble by sight instead of walking by faith with my Savior.
The fear of man.
The fear of man is a horrible way to live—peace depends on the acceptance and affirmation of others. And those who don’t affirm and accept us, own us. Like puppets on a string, we jump and dance, striving to gain approval. Our mind, heart, soul and energy are focused on keeping them happy, and they will never be happy. The only One who can be trusted to own us is Jesus.
If we follow God, men will not be happy with us, and in some cases, Christians will not approve either. The key to freedom, however, is embedded in the verse above. Instead of meditating on what men say, we purposely and intentionally shift our focus to what God says. Focusing on God’s Word frees us from the fear of man, and when we fear God, He blesses us.
The choice is ours.
From the verse above, we see we have a choice; we can either meditate on the lies and slander of men OR the truth and grace of God’s Word. Man’s word or God’s Word? Man’s word kills, steals and destroys, but God’s Word creates, builds and empowers. Even when He rebukes us, He’s busy developing greater character, faith and fruit in our heart.
In Hebrew the word meditate transliterates as siyach, which means “to put forth, mediate, muse, commune, speak, complain, ponder, sing.” It also means, “to talk to oneself.” In addition, siyach means “to produce, to bring forth, to germinate, to put forth shoots and buds.” Do you see the progression? Whatever we choose to focus on will produce fruit.
The Words of Man
- We hear what others say about us.
- We think about what they say about us.
- We tell others what they said about us.
- We TELL ourselves what others have said about us.
- We focus and act on lies.
We cooperate with the enemy as he works to destroy us.
The Word of God
- We read what God says about us.
- We think about what God says about us.
- We tell others what God says about us.
- We tell ourselves what God says about us.
- We focus on God and act on truth.
We cooperate with God as He works to transform us into the image of Christ, and further His Kingdom on earth.
If you are like me, you sometimes have trouble eliminating the lies echoing through your mind. How do we silence the broken record of the lies?
5 Ways to cultivate the fear of God.
- Get a new broken record. Memorize scripture and say it over and over in your mind.
- MEDITATE on what God says about you. Whenever Satan attacks you with a lie (he often does this through other people), speak scripture in your mind and out loud.
- Reboot your mind. When a depressing thought enters your mind or your self-talk turns south, immediately shut it down and go back to step 2. Replace lies with truth.
- Hold your ground. Do step 3 as often as needed.
- Praise God. Turn the temptation to despair into opportunities to praise God. Say something like, “God, thank you that You are using what so-and-so said for my good. I thank you that You are stronger than this situation.” Satan will be silenced.
Repeat steps 1-5 as often as needed. There are days when I carry my Bible verse cards with me every where I go. The enemy can be that relentless. But God has given us the victory, if we will only hold our ground and walk by faith.
Life is sweet. Fear God.