Fear God, Not Man

December 7, 2023 — Krystal Craven
The title text "Fear God, Not Man" over a wall with the shadow of a gun and another shadow of hands held up.

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! 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 12:4-7)

When we think of someone killing us, that is a scary thought, right? We have a survival and self-preservation aspect to us that God created. Yet, Jesus reminds us that after our flesh is dead, there’s still afterlife. While fellow mankind can kill our bodies, they cannot affect what happens to our spirit afterwards – But God can!

Man’s Limited Ability

In light of the fact that where we spend eternity is far more important than how we die here on earth, we should not have a fear of those who can harm our body because that’s the extent of their ability. Now before we move on, I do think it’s important to note that Jesus is not saying to walk around town like you’re untouchable simply because you’re saved and know your eternity life is secure in Him. He does give us wisdom and we should walk in it, being cautious when necessary. But if a time comes when persecution becomes physical and you’re in a position of recanting or dying with your faith firm in God, you can remember that after death comes eternal life in Christ and be encouraged and strengthened to indeed stand firm in your faith to the very end.

Your Spirit Is Safe

God knows His children, even down to the number of hairs on their head. The average person has between 90,000 and 140,000 strands of hair on their head, and no matter how much hair you have, God knows the exact number on your head. When you lose a hair, God knows. When your physical safety is in question, God cares. God may not always choose to rescue you physically in every circumstance, but if you are His, sealed with the Holy Spirit on your day of salvation, then you can rest assured that your spirit is safe in His hands.

Right when Jesus was about to die on the cross, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). He trusted His Father to raise Him from the dead and yielded His spirit to Him. Through Christ’s sacrifice, we too have become children of God and can trust our spirits to Him, whenever and however our earthly, physical death comes. And know that whatever your eventual death looks like, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 115:16). My precious sibling in Christ, when you die you will forevermore be with God in His presence and He will have you with Him as the reward He died to redeem.

Do Not Fear

The phrase “Do not fear”/”Fear not”/”Do not be afraid” appears 365 times in the bible. With 365 days in the year, you could read one a day and always be reminded of this admonishment. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), and as a follower of Jesus you have love dwelling inside of you because God is love (1 John 4:8).

We know as Christians that we will face persecution because Jesus warned us that cost of following Him when He said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20). And Paul again reminded of the same thing when He wrote to Timothy saying, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

We can also be admonished and encouraged by what the church in Smyrna was told: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:10-11)

How To Not Fear

Abiding in Jesus daily is the way in which we can obey the command to not fear. We know that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), so as we grow in our relationship with God and are reminded of how great our God is, we won’t fear the people and circumstances that we’ll face in life, no matter how bad and no matter the outcome.

I’ll leave you with this quote by Charles Spurgeon: “He who comes forth fresh from beholding the face of God will never fear the face of man.”

The text from Luke 11:38-41 "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you." over a wall with the shadow of a gun and another shadow of hands held up.