by David Legge
I want you to turn with me in your Bibles to Proverbs 29. Tonight we’re looking again at another very vast subject, it has to be said, but we’re going to try and do it justice tonight: ‘The Fear Of Man’. Our text, though we will be looking at many scriptures, our first text is Proverbs 29 verse 25: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe”. We’ve already quoted this verse two weeks ago, ‘The fear of man brings a snare’. The picture is of an entrapment, and basically what this verse is saying, and what we will unpack tonight, is the truth that whoever lives in fear – particularly the fear of man – will never be a free person. Now that is tragic, because it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. He died on the cross to purchase our freedom and liberty. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. So I want to ask you tonight: how has the fear of man robbed you?
Now there are two areas that I want to focus on tonight, there may be more, but for our purposes we’re looking at first of all: the control that comes from others when we fear man – what I mean by that is, your personal freedoms can be encroached upon when you operate in the fear of man. Then the second area, which is a major one for us as evangelical, Bible-believing Christians, is the hindrance in sharing the Gospel or in evangelism. First of all we’re looking at personal freedoms – I like that slide, ‘I’m a recovering people-pleaser, is that OK?’. You are controlled by others, the fear of others, and when you fear something or someone you will allow that fear to control you – whether it’s their opinions, their attitudes, or withholding love, a sense of rejection – that fear becomes your master. It is the fear of disapproval, or as someone coined it ‘the disease to please’. Now we’ve all suffered from that at some time or another. . . .