This past Sunday we began to look at the fear of the Lord and what the fear of the Lord looked like in Gideon’s life.
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Fear has gotten a bad rap in some church circles. People like to quote 1 John 4:18 and 2 Timothy 1:7, both full of wisdom and truth. The problem is not with the Scripture but our understanding of fear.

Fear is a part of our DNA. It keeps us from danger; fearing the right stuff is what keeps us safe.

And when it comes to the Bible, the whole counsel of God paints an important picture of fear that goes well beyond the thought that all fear is bad.

Opening Scriptures

Proverbs 1:7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalm 33:8  Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

Proverbs 14:27  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Matthew 10:28  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The problem is not fear, but what we fear.
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We’ve been talking about Gideon in Judges 6. Gideon was afraid of all the wrong things.

A quick review:
– Gideon is hiding out from the marauding army that has plagued Israel
– The Lord challenges Gideon with a new vision for his life: “The Lord is with you, O
valiant warrior.” “Go in this strength, I am sending you.” “You shall defeat the
enemy as one man.”

Gideon responds flippantly, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
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This is about fear and directing fear in the most profitable way possible.

When Gideon presents the angel with an offering, the angel touches it with his staff and fire shoots out of the rocks and burns it up in a heartbeat. Then the angel vanishes from sight!

Gideon figures out that this was no ordinary angel, but God himself.

Judges 6:23  The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”

This was Gideon’s fear adjustment. His fear went from “fear of man” to “fear of God.”

There was still a major hurdle to cross: God tells him to go to his father’s house and tear down the family idols and to declare his allegiance to God.

Judges 6:27  Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.

Afraid of everyone, he did it! And the result of his obedience…

Judges 6:34  So the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon;
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Take all this in for a moment:
– You will either fear man or fear God.
– Because fear is a part of our nature, you will seek God’ approval or man’s approval.

Matthew 10:28  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

If we want to see revival, to see righteousness arise again, the church return to serving God and not man, then the answer is to return to the fear of the Lord.
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Signs of fearing man:
– a need to control what people think about you
– living in the deception that if I live like them, act like them, maybe I can witness to them
– believing that people are “good or bad” instead of “saved or lost”

Signs of not fearing God:
– no transformation
– a Christian life of “Christian-ease” instead of being salt to sin, servant to salvation

It is living like…
Isaiah 5:20-21  Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!

To fear God means to not fear man.
To fear man means to not fear God.
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Close

The fear of the Lord begins with admitting that there are idols in my life that need tearing down.

…God didn’t ask Gideon if there were idols
…God didn’t give Gideon a pass because his father allowed the idols

God said, “Tear these idols down.”

An idol is anything that stands between you and God. What are those things standing between you and God today?

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