Summary: Fear is a big part of life. To understand fear and overcome it, we must look to God’s Word in the Scriptures.
“Overcoming the Fear of Man”
Your Greatest Fear Series – Message Four
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Pastor Daniel Darling
In talking to you and reading your comments about your greatest fear, I would say that the number one fear people face, if you could boil them all down, is a fear of man.
This fear manifests itself in many different ways and can be a fear that is crippling, debilitating, and can cause many physical problems like panic attacks, flu-like symptoms and many other things.
This is probably my number one fear. I am, by nature, a people-pleaser. I’m a guy who likes people to like me. This can be a good trait at times, especially as a young and unproven pastor in a church. But it can also be a crippling thing for a leader, for a husband, for a father. This is because, we often crave the approval and support of others more than we crave God’s favor.
Perhaps you’re not a people-pleaser, but you fear engagement with people in large groups. Personally I’ve never had that fear. I like people. I like meeting new people. But I’m not diminishing your fear. It’s real and it’s something that God can help you work through.
I want to go through several types of fear of man and dig into the Scriptures to see exactly how we can overcome these fears and be all that God wants us to be. I believe God’s Word has the answers for life, for all of life.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
Love, As the Antidote for Fear:
We learned a few weeks ago that there is a fear/faith formula. When Jesus was in the boat with his disciples in the storm (Matthew 8:26), Jesus asked them “Why are you afraid?” and then said they had “little faith.”
The more faith you have, the less fear you have. The more fear you have, the less faith you have. They have an inverse relationship.
But if there is one word, one attribute, one God-given fruit of the Holy Spirit that dispels fear it is the word: Love. We read in 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 (KJV)
Now, what is “Perfect love?” The word here in the Greek means, “complete or whole.” You might say, “Well, nobody’s perfect. How can I do that?”
Good point. Perfection is the goal for the believer. We’ll never achieve that, this side of Heaven, but we can gradually see ourselves grow. And one of the areas we ought to be growing in is love.
Now this is not an ordinary love. This is not a love that you’re going to learn from the culture. In fact, if you look at the context, you’ll see that John, who is called the Apostle of Love, says that it is based on God’s love for us. He says that “We love Him only because He first loved us.”
What’s interesting is that John was not always the Apostle of Love. John, if you remember, was one of the sons of thunder. But being in the presence of Christ and following Christ transformed him into a man who knew how to love.
How Does Love Affect My Fear
So how does God’s perfect love affect my fear of man? I want you to turn to Hebrews which is a very interesting book. We’re not sure who the author is, but many believe it is Paul. I’m not quite sure who wrote Hebrews, but I do know this. It’s one of the deepest and most profound books in the Bible.
The author of Hebrews spends Ten Chapters talking to the Jewish people about the Old Law and the New Covenant. They were a people who were still scared to embrace Jesus Christ and the author lays out a beautiful case for Jesus Christ being the Perfect Sacrifice, the Word made flesh, the revelation of God to man. The first Ten Chapters contain some hearty doctrine.
Then, the author essentially spends Three Chapters saying, “Knowing these profound truths about God, this is how we should act.”
Chapter 11 lets them know that others persevered in faith and so can they. Chapter 12 encourages them to continue on the race of life. Now Chapter 13, in closing, the author says, knowing what we know, this is how we should live. Let’s turn to Hebrews 13.
Now, there is a verse in this chapter that we all love to claim. It has to do with the fear of man. It’s a verse that all of us should memorize and claim: