Fear

Posted: December 9, 2015 in TLCC
Tags: , , , ,

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Public speaking isn’t my strongest suit. In high school, I remember memorizing a piece from Canterbury Tales. We were to recite the prologue. It goes…

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.

Then, the teacher called my name first. I went up in front and then I forgot all the lines. I don’t remember anything at all. I think that was the first time I experienced what we now call as “the mental block”. Other people would call it “stage fright”. When I sat down, I could recall every word and I could recite it but I blew my chance.

At some point in our lives, we all have that fear of people. We would want to have the admiration, the praises, the camaraderie of friends that we would do anything to keep them from leaving us. We want someone to bless us, pay attention to us, never leave us or forsake us. We have to call it what it is…the fear of man.

At the very core, the issue of the fear of man is rooted in lordship. Someone other than Jesus is enthroned in the heart, though sometimes it is enthroned unconsciously, the issue is really answerable by asking “Who’s on the throne?”

Fear of man is evolving. When we were teenagers, we call it “peer pressure“. When we enter the phase of life when we work, it is called “people pleasing“. In the later part of our lives, it evolves into “co-dependency“. Fear of man is one of the things that hinder us from fully fulfilling our goals. Find out what Jesus says about fear. He mentions the word “fear”, five times in Luke 12:4-7 which means this is something we need to focus on.

How do we overcome the fear of man? Here are three things that we can learn from what Jesus said.

#1 Overcome fear of man by looking forward to the day of judgment

But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:5)

Instead of fearing people, instead of letting man be the judge, we overcome fear by looking forward to the final judge, God himself. People can threaten us with punishment, or withhold rewards from us. People can embarrass us or humiliate us. People can intimidate us but they are not the final judge. We ought to look beyond and see that God will be the one who has the final say on what is going to happen to me.

#2 Overcome fear of man by being willing to suffer

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5)

Sometimes, it isn’t the dying part that I fear more. It is the living part. Why? Living for Jesus is harder than dying for Jesus. For the martyrs, they have a choice between death or life, and by choosing death, they get to be home with the Lord. While for those who choose to live, we are the ones who would have to live with our decisions.

Take this example. When we become Christians, and our family members are not of the same faith as we are, we will be living with them for the next forty or fifty years. Imagine how awkward the holidays would be. Let’s talk about our circle of friends. For new believers, the circle of friends would suddenly be smaller, and most people would shun you. This is what I mean when I say that sometimes, living for Jesus is harder than dying for Jesus.

Jesus is telling us that we will suffer in this life. Emotionally, financially, physically. If our Lord suffered, what exempts us from suffering in this lifetime?

#3 Overcome fear of man with the love of God

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Jesus is saying that God is concerned with worthless birds. This speaks about God. He loves us. He values us. He cares. He knows what is going on. So when fear of man overwhelms me, I need to come to a point of focusing on what He has done for me and what He is continually doing for me (worthless as I am, He cares!) We have to come to a point of journaling what God has done for us because we easily forget.

Fear of man is a Lordship issue. We have to put Christ back in throne and focus on who He is, and that is how we are going to overcome fear.

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