Hello, this week's commandment is special, because not only did Christ give this command, but we are told over 350 times throughout Scripture to not do this one thing...can you guess it?
Jesus said, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). We are commanded to Fear Not.
Jesus is saying here that we should not fear (be alarmed, frightened, revere, be in awe of) other people. It relates to Proverbs 27:1, "The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" When we are on God's side, who can stand against us? They are no longer our enemy, but the enemy of the living God. Now most of us are not fearful for our lives, so how can we apply this to the everyday worries and troubles of a woman?
For the most part I have gotten over my fear of the dark or of something grabbing my ankle from under my bed...almost. : ) The things that bring fear or worry to my heart relate to my future and others' opinion of me. We will focus on fear of man, because I think we can ALL relate to this! Fear of man is wanting the approval and praise of others more than you desire the approval of God. Ouch, that hurt just typing it! It has been said that what you fear you will worship. If you fear your children, you will do whatever to please them, even if you know it is wrong. If we fear man, we will do a lot to get their approval, even if it is against God's ways. (Think Aaron and the golden calf)
Here are some ways that I have seen fear of man evidenced in my own life (I'll try to be brief): acting different depending on who I am with, dressing to get attention, doing my hair or makeup to get attention, being witty or overly loud, doing what I know someone else would praise me for, agreeing with someone's opinion even if it is not mine, complimenting with a wrong motive, not witnessing for fear of what they will think of me...I could go on forever. You get the picture...and it ain't pretty.
How can we learn to fear God? (This can apply to fear of man and other fears)
1) Get in the Word EVERYDAY so that you can know His commands. "And it (a copy of the Law) shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them" (Deuteronomy 17:19).
(See also Proverbs 2:1-5)
2) Dedicate your life and your reputation to God: "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1-2). When you have yielded your life to God, you have a confidence that whatever happens to you is God's perfect will. If you are committed to God's reputation more than your own, you will have a freedom to obey God rather than man.
3) Give your possessions and loved ones to God: if you have given everything to God, you have nothing to lose and therefore have nothing to fear. When I find myself fearful, it is because I have notyielded that thing to God and am scared what is going to happen.
4) Remember God's promises and special care for us: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, neither be afraid of them, for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee, He will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Deut. 31:6). "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31).
-How can I increase my fear of the Lord?
-What fears do I have now that need to be resolved?
-Have you yielded your life, reputation, and possessions to God?
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Notes adapted from IBLP Commands of Christ study guide and pocket guide