“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Yesterday we talked about desiring Gods approval and not the approval of man. We talked about Deborah and the confidence she held in God, and not in others that allowed her to run so fast after God.
Today we are going to talk about how we can become more like Deborah, and learn to drop the need for approval from humans.
I don’t know about you but this is something that I specifically struggle with. Like I mentioned yesterday, whenever I want to receive affirmation, I go to my parents because they are easily my #1 cheerleaders.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to share good news with others, but when you find yourself constantly focusing on what YOU did, and not what God did you are stepping onto a slippery territory.
It also can cause you to seek what humans consider “good” over what God considers “good.” There are many things that society approves but those same things break Gods’ heart.
You see, when you start to switch out Gods approval for human approval, chances are you will be switching out the actions you are taking as well.
Do you see how it can be detrimental to seek the approval of human beings?
There are also times where you might find what you’re doing is something that honors God, but something socicety will mock you for.
Try telling an unbeliever that you are giving up a job to pursue missions in a foreign country and they will actually think you’re crazy.
I remember when I told one of my friends that I was going to a Christian college and she all but told me the degree was useless.
A story comes to mind from Exodus about two midwives named Shiphrah and Puah, who had to go against a decree that Pharoah gave to all midwives. Pharaoh’s decree was that they had to kill every Hebrew boy that they delivered.
Exodus 1:22b tells us, “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”
But Shiprah and Puah did not follow Pharoah’s command. They knew that they would be losing the approval of others, and possibly their lives, but they chose to honor the teaching of God, and seek the approval of God instead.
Exodus 1:17 tells us,“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.”
Shiprah and Puah obeyed God because they feared Him. Not out of feelings of danger but out of feelings of deep true love. The Bible tells us over and over again that fearing the Lord will forever be the best choice you can make.
Psalm 115:11 tells us, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.”
Because Shiprah and Puah honored God and went after his approval, God protected them from Pharaoh. Not only did he protect them, but blessed them with their own families.
Exodus 1:21 tells us, “And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.”
What also happens when seeking the approval of humans is you often starting doing the opposite as well which is fearing humans. When you start to fear humans, your fear in God will start to slip as well. You will start caring about their opinions, reactions, and beliefs instead of those of God.
Proverbs 29:25 tells us,“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.”
Fearing God is a good thing! It’s often given negative connotations, but it actually means to have a deep love, reverence, and obedience to God.
Jeremiah 32:38-40 explains: “They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.”
The Lord states that He will inspire us to fear Him. It’s in His character to do this! If you are struggling with a fear of the Lord, then maybe you are fearing humans instead.
Instead, remember to fear the one who is in charge of the entire universe! Fearing humans will only ever lead to disappointment, while fearing God will bring the security and love that your heart is searching for.
Be bold in Christ, instead of fearing others.
Thoughts For The Day
Do you struggle with seeking the approval of human beings?