This past Sunday we continued to look at the life of Gideon and how the fear of man is a snare. Gideon listened to what the Lord said about him and he conquered armies.
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Opening Scripture

Proverbs 29:25  The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust in the Lord means safety. NLT

God wants us to believe what He says, not just about Bible truths, but about what He thinks about you.
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Ephesians 1:18-19   I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

The God of the universe wants you to know Him personally so that:
– the eyes of your soul, your view of live, will be focused and clean.
– you can see exactly what He has called and equipped you to do.
– you can see the glorious way of life He has designed for us.
– you can see how extravagant His gifts to us are and will remain.

Gideon’s story is important because so many of us share the same history.

Judges 6:  Tells the story of the conversation Gideon had with God

Judges 6:11  Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

Judges 6:12  The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”

Judges 6:13  Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
This was Gideon’s way of saying, “Are you kidding? Hello? He has abandoned me and everyone else to the hands of the enemy!”
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What is the fear of man?
– When your life choices are motivated by what people think
– When your motivation is to keep people happy instead of living an honest life
– When you are more concerned about hurting someone’s feelings instead of sharing the truth of the Gospel
– When you fear the future, fear people, fear life itself

It is the oldest lie in the book.

Genesis 1:26   “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;”
Man was not just supposed to look like God, but have the same likeness…motivations, thinking, feeling.

Genesis 3:5   For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
The devil works his way into Eve’s life and tells her this lie; they were already like God. They had been created in His image.

So instead of fearing God, Adam and Eve were more concerned about the future than trusting God in the present, and that is the fear of man.
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The fear of the Lord keeps me from falling into my own sinful behavior, but the fear of man keeps me from following the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

The fear of man wants to re-define God so that I can reach Him on my own terms and reduce Him to my own level. In other words, the fear of man makes the God of the universe into an idol.

You will either worship God on His terms or your idol on your terms.
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The way you see yourself is not the way God sees you. You see yourself tinged with the devil’s lies. But God sees you created in His image…
…commissioned with His anointing.
…commanding the powers of heaven.
…comforted by His Holy Spirit.
…controlled by the character of Christ.
…commissioned to take the Gospel to every dark corner the devil says he owns.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of revival.

Fear man? You’ll produce a fleshly and sinful lifestyle.
Fear God? You’ll produce holiness, joy and freedom.

It begins when we believe what God says about us rather than believe the devil’s lies.
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All through the Bible, God confounds the lies with truth:
– Abraham & Sara were barren but God said, “you will be the vessels of a multitude.”
– Jacob was a deceiver but God changed him to “Israel” – the face of God.
– Joseph went from a dreamer to a ruler.
– Moses was a fugitive to God’s great shepherd.
– Gideon was scared and defeated to a mighty man of valor
– David was the forgotten little brother to the giant killing king.
– Esther was a simple Jewish girl to the savior of the Jewish race.
– Tax collectors, fishermen, renegades, and malcontents to disciples, apostles and architects of the first century church.
– Saul was a proud fool who tasted dirt one day and became the humble mouthpiece of most of the NT.

1 Corinthians 1:26-27  For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

Put aside the fear of man. It will only keep you from the love of God.

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