Every child of God knows what it is to be tempted and troubled by the fear of man. Threats real and imagined abound, and the fear of man can wreak great havoc in our souls if it is allowed to penetrate.
How kind and good of God to speak to these very fears, and to make so clear how they are to be resisted. The answer is as profound as it is simple: “fear God, not man”. Quoting from Is. 8:12-13, this is Peter’s main point in 1 Pet. 3:14-15, “…have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy…”.
G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945), British pastor, and predecessor of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel in London, provides these helpful insights:
“The simple meaning of the injunction is that at the very centre of life there is to be but one Lord, and that is Christ. To do this is to ensure the unification of being, consistency of conduct, and accomplishment of purpose. We are divided in our own life, inconsistent in our conduct, and ineffective in our service, when our loyalty is divided. This is so self-evident a truth that it hardly seems necessary to argue it. Nevertheless, while holding the truth theoretically, how constantly we are in danger of failing to live by it! Other lords are permitted to invade the sanctuary of the heart, and to exercise dominion over us. Our own selfish desires, the opinion of others, worldly wisdom, the pressure of circumstances, these and many other lords command us, and we turn from our simple and complete allegiance to our one Lord, and give ourselves up to the false mastery of these things. The results are always disastrous. We become storm-tossed and feverish; our conduct is not consistent; our work is spasmodic and devoid of power. Therefore the urgency of the injunction. To hallow the heart by excluding all other lords save Christ Himself, is to be strong, true, and effective. His knowledge is perfect, of the heart, of the circumstances, of the true way of life. To be governed by many lords is to be in bondage to them all, and to be desolated by their conflicting ways. To be in bondage to Christ, is to be released from all other captivity.” (from Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)
What comfort and courage is found in singularly fearing Christ!
Because He lives,