A Christian's Motto: 'No Fear of Man'
For over a decade, my life revolved around politics. I ate, drank, and slept all things political. Throughout those years, I often saw the worst of men and women, which led me to suspect our government’s involvement in a host of conspiracies. And invariably the suspicions that I developed led to fears: Who would win elections? Who would govern? What would the opposition do if they gained control? What about our nation’s future? What about my family’s future?
I found over those years though that I was not alone. In fact, millions of Americans shared these same questions that led them to fear these same “what if” scenarios as well.
But as I began to extricate my life from all things political and to focus my time and attention away from short-term issues, with a hunger instead for the eternal, I began to realize that when I feared something, it meant I had given up trusting God.
But recently, I ran across the following verse that encapsulates the sentiments I’ve attempted to describe. Note what the prophet Isaiah had to say:
“Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.” —Isaiah 8:12-13
And it hit me. It’s natural to fear that which we don’t control — particularly when those in control are not honorable people. But a follower of Christ should literally have “no fear” when it comes to man and the myriad of institutions that man creates. When we fall under the spell of fearing man-made agencies and ideologies, we are simply affirming our lack of trust in God Almighty. We are failing to realize that the Sovereign God over all is in control of all. There is nothing that catches Him by surprise.
Isaiah instructed us to fear nothing or no one except God. And he also advised us to make God holy in our lives. Holiness and fear are closely related, and they are truths I’m still struggling to consistently affirm in my life. But if we can begin to gain a glimpse of God’s holiness, it will lead us to fear Him. And yes, I’m talking about fear, the kind that makes us “tremble” as Isaiah cautioned. Too many in our pulpits interpret the word “fear” as simply respect. But I believe that is an inaccurate or incomplete interpretation of the word, as a thorough reading of the Bible from cover to cover amply affirms.
More often than not, we fear everything but God. Our actions reflect such. We vote out of fear. We fear the same things that unbelievers fear. We dread the stuff that others dread. We see conspiracies in everything. And those conspiracies simply deepen our fears. And the cycle continues.
And while we’re busy fearing all these things, our behavior affirms that we do not fear the One we should fear: the Holy God. We don’t pursue Him. We don’t seek to please Him. We consistently ignore His commands. We seldom open the Book He gave us to teach us what He values. But we have plenty of time for everything else.
So let’s begin to heed Isaiah’s admonition: Have no fear … except the fear of God. If we will truly follow this course, our behavior will change, worry will diminish, and peace will consume us.
Live free — with no fear!