Like I said in my last post, I’ve been trying to get a handle on this fear of man thing. As you may have guessed, it’s a bit of a hot topic for me right now. It seems to be popping up everywhere. It’s symptoms seem to be rampant in so many people’s lives that it makes me wonder if the whole planet isn’t running around a little on edge and maybe just a little too focused on what the other guy is thinking and doing.
It really shouldn’t surprise me. I’ve realized for a while that for every thing that God has made and planned for our good, the enemy has figured out a way to trick us with a counterfeit. He’s been doing that since he first stepped onto the scene by that big tree. He’s been trying to convince us that something we don’t need, something that is bad for us, something that will derail our relationship with God is actually good for us.
It had never occurred to me that the need to be approved of might actually have originated from God. It never occurred to me that fear of man might just be another one of the enemy’s counterfeits. Before the Fall, man lived in a perfect relationship with God who told Him who He was. He lived in a time where he walked with Him daily, face to face. He lived in a place where all his worth came straight from his Maker.
Donald Miller says it like this in Searching For God Knows What:
God wired us so that He told us who we were, and outside that relationship, the relationship that said we were loved and valuable and beautiful, we didn’t have any worth at all.
So in walks Satan and he convinces us that the opinions of those around us are more important than God’s. He convinces us that as long as we look and act like everyone else, we will be valuable. He convinces us that if we try harder to do what the successful people are doing, one day we can be just like them and that will be a good thing. He convinces us that if “they” approve of us, we might actually become something important in this world.
But what if they don’t have pure motives. What if they are just using you to build themselves up? What if they are just using you to help them with their agenda? Or, what if their motives are pure? What if they are fulfilling their calling before God but your calling takes a different fork in the road? Then who do you listen to?
Then is when you better have a good handle on Who you fear. Then is when you better know the voice of the Shepherd. Then is when your relationship with God must be so tight that no counterfeit relationship the enemy offers up will outshine the One you were born for!