“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25, ESV)
The “fear of man” is more than a mild spiritual problem; it is an invitation to the enemy to destroy our lives! It annihilates our dreams, and detracts us from the true course of our lives. With its deceptive intent, the “fear of man” has the power to enslave us to another without our awareness—robbing us of the very power that fuels our passions.
This spirit knows where our armor is compromised. Through our own deep seeded need to be approved by others, it finds its way into our hearts. We hunger for people’s love; and so, for the sake of winning others to our cause, we tie ourselves to their manipulation and control rather than trusting God for His sovereign intervention.
Please understand; the “fear of man” is more than being afraid of another’s opinion, disliking leadership, or even being obligated to another. It’s being dependent upon, or even consumed by, another’s approval to the loss of our own will and divine purpose. It’s believing for others to the relinquishing of our own calling. While it is true that we are to believe for others, we were never meant to be the vehicle through which others fulfill their purpose. Only God can be that.
So, if you’re feeling unusually fatigued, discouraged, or even depressed for no apparent reason; if you find yourself confused and without passion, and can’t seem to find your bearings, consider that the “fear of man” has been plaguing your heart. You may have been so obsessed with making someone else happy, or getting them to approve of you, that you have left the safe harbors of only trusting the Lord. You have lost your way. It has worn you down to the point of giving up.
Stop! Do whatever you have to do to be free, and trust God. Trusting God is an endeavor without burden. It releases us of the burden of others finding and fulfilling their purpose through us. Only in trusting God am I truly free to be and to love as I was designed.