Summary: Do you fear God or people the most? Are you a pleaser of God or people?
Who Do You Fear MOST?
(Fear of the Lord part 2)
Fear of the Lord or Fear of Man
Pleaser of God or Pleaser of Man
1 Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and crushing each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees – beware of their hypocrisy. 2 The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. 3 Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! 4 "Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill the body; they cannot do any more to you. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill people and then throw them into hell. 6 "What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. 8 "And I assure you of this: If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before God’s angels. 10 Yet those who speak against the Son of Man may be forgiven, but anyone who speaks blasphemies against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. 11 "And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there."
Who do you live to please? We all live to please someone. There are only three possibilities: God, Others, and yourself. The last two are in reality two versions of pleasing the devil ultimately. Many people are pleasers, and they try to make everyone around them happy. The other half buy into the old saying, “You can’t please everyone, all the time, so you might as well please yourself.” So they live their lives trying to make themselves happy, and don’t about others happiness unless it affects theirs. In reality it is all about pleasing yourself after all. Pleasers only please others to get something from them in return -love, acceptance, friendship, etc. Both of these are dead end streets. The pleaser will be taken advantage of and hurt, and the self pleaser will be alone in the end. There is a higher level upon which you can base your life, and that is upon pleasing God. It is called in the word of God -living in the Fear of the Lord. You ask what does fear have to do with pleasing? We please people because we fear they won’t like us. We please ourselves because we are afraid people will hurt us or not meet our needs. When we fear God we will serve others, and God will meet our needs largely through others.
In a Nutshell: You will please who you fear.
Some say not in the New Testament. Since Jesus came we don’t fear God anymore. The pastor in the beginning of John Beveres book The Fear of the Lord said New Testament believers don’t need to fear God anymore. Here in the NT it is Jesus who tells us in red letters that the fear of the Lord is still in vogue. Notice particularly who he addressed this teaching to - HIS DISCIPLES. The Believers. The Church. The born again.
I AVOID HYPOCRISY v2-3
A. Look back at chapter 11 to hear him spell out what he is talking about. 37-ff
1. Concerned only with external holiness 39-40 Who sees that? People
-outward holiness more important than inward holiness
2. Concerned with Applause of Men v43
3. Concerned with telling others how to live v46 Judgmental
Pretending to be what they weren’t so people would praise them. Thus desiring the approval of man more than the approval of God. Fear the disapproval of man more than the disapproval of God.
Prov. 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
“The fear of man is being more impressed with man’s reaction to our actions than with God’s reaction. That’s bondage. When we have the fear of God upon us, we are impressed only with God’s reaction. We are freed from the concern of what people think. That’s freedom! That’s release! That’s great relief!”