Fear of men = a snare


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dear Friends:

Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe

 

Sometimes I realize that what I have been reading for years does not seem to make sense because I lacked the years required to totally comprehend the truth.  What a pity that I did not earlier in my life allow  and trust  God’s word to take more authority in my life and provide more light. 

But now I “get” what Solomon was saying here, in Proverbs 29, precisely because I have wrestled with the “fear of man” (which includes being consumed and overwhelmed with the anxiety of what other men and women—-or the institutions of men and women—can do to me). Banks, creditors, vendors, payroll companies, the IRS, the Department of State, embassies all over the world—these are all man-made institutions, but they wield power and are capable of making anyone’s life miserable!  And even more so how a disgruntled staff, parent or neighbor can make your life a nightmare if you’re not wise and careful with how you handle them.  It’s just a matter of fact!

And yet Solomon realized that it’s not man or his bureaucratic institutions that represent “reality”, but rather God Himself.  We get all lathered up about the “what if’s” of business, money, our security, our reputation and we fret that if we make one mistake or if someone decides to go after us, we’re doomed!  When in fact it is the Creator that needs to be the focus of our security, our future and our protection.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  Who is it, in reality, that is finally in control of everything that happens? Is it not God?  And are not men and his institutions a mere mist—something here today and gone tomorrow?

Do I trust in Social Security, the Federal Government, the U.N……or God?  Do I fear what men can do to or have I not witnessed time and time again what God is prepared to do for me?

Napoleon Bonaparte was the emperor of France in the 1800’s This man was driven by his mad determination to rule the world. On the morning before the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon mapped out his strategy to defeat Wellington and the troops of England. He told his officers, “By the end of this day, England will sit at the feet of France and Wellington will be the prisoner of Napoleon!” One Napoleon’s generals said in response, “But we must not forget, sir - man proposes - but God disposes.” Napoleon flew into one his common rages and said, “Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes!”  Of course, later Napoleon lost that was.  Victor Hugo wrote these words: “From that moment, the Battle of Waterloo was lost. God sent a storm of wind, rain and hail - and Napoleon’s troops were immobilized. By nightfall, Napoleon was the prisoner of Wellington - and France sat at the feet of England.”

Do I fear man or do I trust in God?  Put another way, do I trust in my own skills, instincts and efforts at self-preservation and aggrandizing, or do I surrender all to Him and humbly seek shelter beneath His wings?  Am I a Napoleon or a Moses——a man of arrogance or a man of humility?  Do I seek Him—and Him alone—for direction, strength, courage and resolve….or am I looking for it somewhere else?

Whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.  He wants to be our source of Joy, but I must look to Him as my “All in All”.

 

Warmly,

Dean Barley

The Vineyard

Dean@VineyardCamp.com

336 351 2070

919 368 8493 (Mobile)

The Vineyard


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