(Matthew 10:28) Jesus exhorts us not to fear man who only has the power to kill the body but not our soul, but rather make god the only object of our fear for he alone has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell.
In this passage, the key word is “fear.” The fear of man is to stand in alarm, anxiety, awe, dread, and suspicion, cowering before mortal men. When entrapped by this fear, we will live on the run, hiding from harm or reproach, and constantly avoiding rejection and confrontation. You become so busy safeguarding yourself and serving man that you become ineffective in your service for God. Afraid of what mere man can do to you, you will not give God what he deserves.
In this passage, Jesus said “fear not them, but rather fear him.” Notice in Matthew 10.28 that there is a conjunction “but,” meaning Jesus drew a line down the middle to contrast the two “fears.” In essence, Jesus was saying “don’t fear man but make God the only object of your fear.”
But it doesn’t always work out that way, does it?
I’ve failed in this area so many times. When we fear men more than God, we are saying to God that “hey, you are not big enough to keep me! You are not strong and mighty enough to defend me or protect me or deliver me, your love isn’t powerful enough to constrain me! God, I’ll fight this battle on my own.”
But can I tell you friend that the battle is not yours, but God’s!
The fear of man is a foe when it robs us of strength or motivates us to make wrong choices. If you fear man, then you are forsaking God. Let me go even further and say, when you fear man, you are brought under the power and the control or the authority of witchcraft.
What is witchcraft? Witchcraft operates on three levels, the first degree of witchcraft is manipulation, and then when that fails, it moves to intimidation with the ultimate goal being to dominate or control its subject.
In 1 Samuel 15:23 it says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” In this passage it says that rebellion against God is as the sin of witchcraft and that our stubbornness against God is as idolatry, meaning taking our wants and desires instead of Gods. It is not only your wants and desires that we hold above God’s but also the wants and desires of those who have influence over us. We are often held in the bondage of what others think about us. We would rather offend God in order not to offend man!
Friends, you will serve and obey whoever you fear! If you fear man, you will fear him! You cannot fear God if you serve man, because according to Jesus’ word in Mark 6.24, “You cannot serve two Gods/masters!” But that is exactly what you’ve done if you fear a man. You are then declaring that man is god, denying the sovereignty of God and the supremacy of his Christ! The enemy will strip you the freedom to obey the will of God by bounding you in the fear of man.
In Acts 5.1-6, the fear of man led Ananias and Sapphira into having irreverence for God. They desired the praise of man rather than the approval of God. They were more concerned about their reputation with man more than a relationship with God. They loved popularity more than pleasing the Lord. Because of this, they brought the judgment of God down on them.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:25 says that the fear of man brings a snare (trap, hook, noose) on our life. The fear of man is a trap of the enemy that robs you of everything that’s precious and dear to you! The enemy robs us when he traps us with sin. Sin is the door opener that leads to our destruction. In Romans 5:12 it says, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Sin not only affects our relationship with God but also the lives of those all around us.
Friends, Jesus said, “Fear not men, but rather fear Him!” Man doesn’t have a heaven or hell to send you to. He might be able to kill the body, but he lacks the power destroy the soul. But I know a man that rose from the grave with all-power in his hand; He is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And when He parts the sky, the dead in Christ will raise from the graves and we that are alive will be caught up to meet our Lord in the air. So why should I fear man, when the Lord is on my side? Romans 8:31says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” and in the next verse it says, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Freely give us all what things? That means victory over all our fears and victory over all our enemies! Friends please don’t allow the fear of man have control over you, but seek God, seek Him with all of your life, seek Him over any selfish desire of yourself and any desire of man. Don’t let the fear of man dominate or control you. FEAR GOD!