The infamous "Golden Calf Incident" is shocking and puzzling. Perhaps strangest of all is the behaviour of Aaron - a godly man who, seemingly out of the blue, leads the nation of Israel into idolatry. Why? Let's dive into the text and find out...
Today, we're going to be looking at a famous story of failure, there's no better way I can set it up than by simply diving right into the text of this incredible account from the Book of Exodus.
So let's read it through and then we'll go back through it and we'll break it down again. We're going to be an exodus, Chapter 32. We're going to pick it up in verse one. Now, when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron and said to him, Come make us gods. That shall go before us for ask for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt.
We do not know what has become of him. And Aaron said to them, break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters and bring them to me.
So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a molded calf. Then they said, this is your God of Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt. So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it and Aaron made a proclamation and said, tomorrow is a feast to the Lord. Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings.
And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. Now, when it says they rose up to play, we're not talking about, you know, just so you know. And the Lord said to Moses, go get down for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way, which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf and worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, this is your God o Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Skip down now to verse nineteen.
So it was as soon as he that's Moses came near the camp that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses, his anger became hot and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire and ground it to powder. And he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it. And Moses said to Aaron, What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?
So Aaron said, do not let the anger of my Lord become hot. You know, the people that they are set on evil for, they said to me, make us gods that shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. And I said to them, whoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me and I cast it into the fire and this calf came out.
It's a shocking, shocking story because the Israelites saw the hand of God move miraculously in the plagues of Egypt, they experienced miraculous deliverance from generations of slavery. They walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. They saw and heard God at Mount Sinai. They responded to God's law just weeks earlier by saying, we'll do it, we'll follow your way faithfully.
They had seen, experienced and heard so much. And yet just a few weeks later, we find them worshiping an idol, using pagan expressions of worship that I cannot describe for you in detail because there may be little ears listening. The Israelites turn their backs on God more than talking through what happened. I want us to focus on how it happened specifically. We're going to take a look this week at Aaron.
And what in the world was behind his catastrophic failure of leadership? And by the time we're done, I think we're going to find that there's a lot more of us in this text than we might realize. And here's a spoiler for you when I say that I'm not talking about Moses.
So let's go back to the top again and take a look at verse one. It says, now, when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain. So you'll recall Moses has gone up on Mount Sinai with Joshua into the cloud of God's presence.
The people gathered together to Aaron and they said to him, come make us gods or literally make us a god that shall go before us for ask for this Moses. Now, can you sense the acrimony in what they're saying, the lack of honor? As for this, Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. If we add some context, it doesn't excuse what the Israelites did, but it does help us understand their mindset at this time.
The Bible tells us that Moses was up on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights.
That's almost six weeks. And understand this. When Moses left the camp of Israel, when he went up the mountain. He didn't say, see you guys in 40 days because Moses didn't have any idea how long he would be gone. He didn't know. He said, I'll see you when I see you. Now, what would you be thinking? When five weeks had passed and you were in the camp of Israel, what would you be thinking? I suggest you'd be thinking something like, guys, we got to entertain the possibility Moses is not coming back.
Perhaps Moses and Joshua fell and died. I mean, it's a mountain, perhaps a rock fell on top of them. Perhaps God took them up to heaven. Perhaps God killed them because they did something wrong. Who knows? But but I mean, at a certain point, guys, aren't we delusional if we just keep waiting?
And you realize your situation, you're in the middle of the wilderness with a few million people, you're surrounded by hostile cultures, you don't have an army, you're vulnerable, you don't know where you're going. You don't know when your food and water is going to run out. You don't know what to do next. Nobody does.
You're afraid you're on edge and so is everybody else. Things are tense and way isn't speaking. Moses isn't leading.
This is one of those places where we should see ourselves in the Israelites, their anxiety and fear is growing because God is taking much longer to reveal himself and give direction than they would like. Have you been there before? They start to panic and to reassure themselves they seek comfort in their old familiar pagan practices, the ways of the flesh. They want something like their old gods. There are old idols, something like the gods of Egypt. Have you been there?
Have you ever felt like God is not responding? And so you seek comfort in the ideals of your old life, the gods of Egypt. All this this state of panic and fear and uncertainty is why we're told the people gathered together to Aaron and the original language actually says the people gathered together against Aaron. It was a hostile situation.
The people approached Aaron, and they were saying, hey, is de facto leader in Moses's absence. You need to do something now.
We need a God who we can see and touch so that we know that he's with us so that we can worship him and make sacrifices to him, so that he'll tell us what to do next and give us direction and God will do Aaron.
Erin's afraid. And this is where the trouble begins, because in this moment, Erin is more afraid of the people than he is of God. He's more afraid of the pressing situation that's right in front of him. Then he is of offending God. The Bible calls this the fear of man. And the Bible tells us it's the opposite of the fear of the Lord Proverbs 29 25, it's on your outline declares the fear of man brings a snare.
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Literally, whoever trusts in the Lord shall be set on high. The fear of man is a snare, it's a trap. In contrast, what does the words say about the fear of the Lord? It's the beginning of wisdom, the beginning of wisdom. Jeff, I mean, come on, there's a little bit unfair, Aaron's life is in danger. He's scared they're going to kill him, stone him to death or something like that.
Listen. That doesn't change what's right. And it doesn't change what is good. Pressing danger. Impending doom does not magically turn evil into good, a natural desire for self-preservation. Is not an excuse for wickedness. Our world thinks it is. It's the constant refrain we've heard throughout history from participants in atrocities, isn't it? I mean, I was just following orders. I would have been executed if I hadn't obeyed. Translation. I was terrified of the consequences of doing what I knew was right.
So I chose to do what I knew was evil. Following God means being willing to die for him if it comes to that. Because he's worthy of our trust and obedience, regardless of what's going on around us. Listen to me. God's worth does not change when the cost of worship increases, even if the cost is our lives. He's still worthy. He's still worthy. God's worth does not change when the cost of worship increases, he's still worthy.
Aaron finds himself ensnared by the fear of man. He knows that Iowa is the god of Israel and that worshiping some other deity would be disastrous. So he comes up with what is in his mind, a compromise.
Let me explain. Take a look at Verse 8 two again. And Aaron said to them, to the Israelites, break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters and bring them to me.
So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a molded calf. So Aaron gets a bunch of jewelry donated by the Israelites.
He melts it down and he fashions it into this idol of a golden calf, likely bearing the form of one of the gods that were popular in Egypt.
Erin knows that God has very recently commanded the Israelites specifically. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
But Erin compromises by telling himself, well, this isn't a new God, a false God, I'm just going to make a physical representation of your way so that the people can be reassured that Yahweh is in their midst. Everyone will still be worshiping Yahweh.
So it's it's not really that big of a deal. We know that Aaron was thinking something along these lines because of what we read next, then they the Israelites said now get this, this is your God o Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt. Erin has communicated clearly to Israel that this golden calf he's made is your way. He's claiming that it is the physical manifestation of God, the one who brought them out of Egypt, Aaron, lost sight of this truth.
God is the one who determines how he is to be worshiped. God is the one who determines how he is to be worshiped. We don't get to do whatever we want and then claim that it's an act of worship to God because it's our expression. If we want to worship God, we need to worship him as he desires to be worshiped.
Because if we don't, our worship will not be accepted by him.
We don't get to sleep at home through the church service and say, listen, I was practicing sacred restoration until the Lord, we don't get to make idols pump up the volume, take off all our clothes and say, well, this is my expression of worship to the Lord.
It's how I worship him. When we worship really get this, when we worship according only to our own preferences. The reality is that we're not worshiping God, we're worshiping ourselves, we're honoring ourselves, we're rejoicing in and blessing ourselves, not the Lord. Make a note of this, it's your first fill in. The fear of man leads to compromising with sin, the fear of man leads to compromising with sin first. Samuel tells us it was the reason that Saul, Israel's first king and celebrity, fell into sin at the moment of his spiritual downfall.
Saul himself confessed, I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, speaking to Samuel the Prophet.
And here's what he says. Saul says, Because I feared the people and obeyed their voice, not the Lord's.
Take a look at verse five again, so when Aaron saw it, so when Aaron sees all the people, the Israelites loving this golden calf, loving what he's made for them, so when Aaron saw it, they wanted to kill him earlier that day, but now they love him.
And there are notices this. It says he built an altar before it. He built an altar in front of the golden calf. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.
And here we see it again. Aaron is communicating to the people that the golden calf is yours, that it is the Lord. There wasn't any feast scheduled in God's law.
This was just something that Aaron made up on the spot. If you're a follower of Jesus, then you're probably good and you should be with dying for Jesus, that's probably a settled issue for you.
The challenge for many of us is not dealing with the fear of man when our lives are on the line.
It's dealing with the fear of man when our likes are on the line. That was good, right? I know my kids are going to be groaning when we watch this together, so let me say it again.
The challenge for many of us is not dealing with the fear of man when our lives are on the line. It's dealing with the fear of man when our likes are on the line.
Now, here's what I mean. When this situation started, Aaron was just trying to save his own skin. But now he's going further than that.
He's got a positive reaction from the people and his approval rating just shot through the roof.
And now he wants to ride that wave of adulation. And so he calls for a feast because, hey, everyone loves the pagan party. It's not dying for God. That's hard. It's living for God. That's hard. Aaron didn't have to throw this feast and where you and I most likely struggle with the fear of man is not when it's life and death, but when the issue is people liking us or not liking us. Right. Write this down.
The fear of man isn't just about what you fear most. It's about whose approval you desire most. The fear of man isn't just about what you fear most. It's about whose approval you desire most. And when your life is ruled by the fear of man, you will base your behavior on the opinion of the crowd, the opinion of the culture, the opinion of society. Bill Clinton's final years in the White House were infamously defined by his policy decisions being based exclusively on surveys of public opinion, whatever the majority wanted.
That's what his decision would be, because his goal, through his final few years in office was simply to leave office with as many people liking him as possible. That's the fear of man. So when you have no convictions of your own, it's knowing the truth, but trading it for a lie. If it means that the lie will gain you the approval of those around you, that's the fear of man.
Let me tell you something obvious about the fear of man. Unless you were born with a mental health issue like sociopathy or psychopathy, we already have it, we already have the fear of man. It comes to all of us naturally, because we all want people to like us. Right. And my wife is like, do you, Jeff? Sometimes I wonder. But yes, we all want people to like us. None of us wants to be the one out of 10 dentists who doesn't recommend Coalgate shout out to that guy.
Clearly a man of principle and conviction. We all have a natural desire to fit in because fitting in increases your chances of being liked. It's human nature, and that's how the trap works. That's how the fear of man is a snare. It taps into our desire to be liked and then offers us that in exchange for compromising with sin. That's the trap of the fear of man. And you might think, Jeff, listen, what's the big deal?
So I tell a few white lies about what I believe. So I go along with a few things I shouldn't. So I don't speak up when I know I should so that I can get along with everybody else. God understands the pressure I'm under. God wants me to get along with everybody else.
So what's the big deal? The fear of man is a snare. It's a trap. You step in it by compromising with sin and then the trap gets tighter because write this down, compromising with sin is addictive, compromising with sin is addictive. And I say this from experience in my own life and from observing the lives of others. Compromising with sin is addictive. It's almost never a one time thing. And it gets easier the more you do it.
Second time is easier than the first time, third is easier than the second. And before you know it, it's not difficult at all.
Compromise can lead all the way to denying Christ, because when we compromise, what we're doing is we're elevating our feelings above God's truth.
We take over the throne of our lives and we take on the role of judge the arbiter of truth, and when we get into the habit of denying what we know is true. Scary things can happen. In John 12, we read this about the Ministry of Jesus, nevertheless, even among the rulers, many believed in him. But because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Jesus, God himself was on the earth in the flesh, standing right in front of these guys and many of them knew it. Did you hear that? They knew it. They knew the truth. They knew he was God, now I'm sure some of those men became believers after the resurrection. But here's what I also know. Most of them were part of the Sanhedrin that voted to condemn Jesus to death. Do you understand what I'm saying, they knowingly voted to kill.
God. The messiah, why, we're told why ultimately, ultimately, it was simply because they loved the praise of men. More than the praise of God. That's terrifying. That is terrifying. That's the trap of the fear of man taken all the way to its ultimate conclusion, where it will blind you to the truth of God.
Even when he's standing right in front of you. It's terrifying. Yet we tell ourselves, listen, a few little compromises aren't going to get out of hand. I'm sure that's what Aaron told himself. A few more observations on the fear of man. Write this down, the fear of man will blind you to the truth. The fear of man will blind you to the truth, the search for truth requires one thing above all else, and it's real simple.
A desire to know the truth. And while that might sound obvious, it's far from it because we put things upstream from the truth all the time, we want the truth.
As long as it confirms our preexisting beliefs, we want the truth. As long as it's politically correct, we want the truth. As long as it doesn't interfere with us doing what we want and living as we please. As soon as you place conditions on the truth. You are no longer searching for the truth. Let me say it again as soon as you place conditions on the truth. You are no longer searching for the truth. On the contrary, you are willingly concealing the truth from yourself.
Our culture places all kinds of conditions on the truth. So logically, if we're living for our cultures approval. We will inevitably blind ourselves to the truth, inevitably, because the truth does not care what anybody thinks. It just is the truth remains the truth, regardless of what anybody thinks, regardless of whether or not anybody approves.
The truth is the truth, but it cannot be grasped by those who are ruled by the fear of man, because the fear of man demands you trade truth for acceptance.
Our brother Paul describes how this happens in Romans one verse is 18 to 23.
He says the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all on godliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them for since the creation of the world.
His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made even in his eternal power and godhead so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened, professing to be wise. They became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four footed animals like golden calves and creeping things.
So God says, listen, this is how you can see the judgment of God on wickedness on the Earth. This is one way you can see it right now, that that God has revealed himself through creation to everyone.
And people intrinsically know that there's no way this is all just accident or coincidence, they know there has to be a designer, but men willingly reject it because they want to reject God. They want to reject God. They don't want to deal with the implications of God being real and then having to answer to God. So they convince themselves they put that condition upstream from the truth and they convinced themselves that there is no God. And the judgment of God is that God actually allows them to believe that he allows them to believe that.
And so these men walk around thinking themselves wise, telling one another how wise they are, and they become increasingly foolish as they become increasingly blind to the truth.
Write this down to the fear of man will prevent you from loving people, the fear of man will prevent you from loving people. We need to understand that truly loving people will not always result in them liking us. Truly loving people will not always result in them liking us, and our culture does not understand this concept.
True love wants what is best for the person, even if the person wants something else. True love cares about what is best for the person. Even at the cost of the relationship, true love will never trade the other person's affections. For the truth. In other words, true love will never say I know it's not what's best for them, I know it's going to lead to pain and hurt, but I really want them to like me. So I'm not going to bring that up and I'm going to support their decision.
That's not love. That is not love, that is selfishness, because that is caring more about yourself than them. That desire to be liked. Is the fear of man, and when you give into it, you cannot love people well, because loving people well means caring more about what is best for them than what is pleasant for you. The fear of man is always there, lurking in the background, waiting to make an entrance. Galatians, two, tells us that after years of leading the Jerusalem church, Peter had to be confronted by Paul because Peter was acting sinfully.
Out of a fear of man, his behavior was being driven by a desire for the approval of his fellow Jews and Paula to say, stop it, stop it.
Fear the Lord, don't fear, man, in the end times in which I believe we're living, much of the church is being torn apart by the fear of man and a spirit of compromise is leading people to believe they're worshiping God when they're really worshiping idols.
Paul warned his protege, Timothy, of this writing for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.
In Revelation three, we find a description of the definitive End Times church, the church that will rise to prominence in the last days.
It's the Church of Theodosia, the church ruled by the fear of man, the church that rejects the truth of the Bible and the authority of Jesus, instead creating for themselves their own version of Christianity, their own version of Jesus that affirms the values of the culture.
And here's what Jesus says to that church, he says, I know your works, that you're neither cold nor hot. You're the temperature of the culture. I wish you were cold or hot, so then because you're lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth because you say I'm rich, have become wealthy and have made of nothing. And you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
I counsel you to buy from me gold refind in the fire that you may be rich and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and anoint your eyes with eyes self that you may see. The fear of man will surround you with other people whose lives are ruled by the fear of man, and you'll be drawn into this worldly system of reciprocation where you and the world just go back and forth lying to each other, that you're doing great, that life is wonderful.
You're happy even though in reality. You're miserable. You're insecure. And your life is empty, empty, or as Jesus would say, you say I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing. And do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Jesus says the solution is to stop buying what the world is selling, come to him instead. That you may see. The truth is, like poetry, most people hate poetry, and most people are ruled by the fear of man.
And in the age we're living in, those who hate the truth are getting together with leaders who are ruled by the fear of man.
And they're creating churches that are ruled by the culture rather than by the Lord Jesus. The real church. The church ruled by Jesus, is made up of people who love the truth, know the truth.
Are ready to die for the truth. And have been set free from fear by the truth. And if you haven't made up your mind which one you want to be a part of. The church that craves the approval of the culture or the church that craves the approval of Jesus, you need to decide now. You need to decide now, because time is that short. You can be set free by the truth and hated by the world. Or you can blind yourself to the truth and be ruled by fear and be loved by the world.
But you cannot have it both ways. Jesus was the most wonderful, loving and free man who ever lived. And the world hated him, hated him. The Bible says that a savior is going to show up who the world will love and accept and worship. Small detail, the Bible also says he'll be the Antichrist. Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Christians don't need to fear a council culture, Satan, Satan's been trying to cancel Christianity since 33 A.D. The church was born in a culture trying to cancel it.
The church was founded by a savior who the world tried to cancel. And the gospel was spread by men and women who were martyred for their faith because their lives were not ruled by the fear of man.
Jump down to verse 21, where Moses confronts Aaron after coming down from Mount Sinai, it says, and Moses said to Aaron, what did this people do to you that you have brought so greatest sin upon them? So Aaron said, do not let the anger of my lord become hot. You know, the people that they are set on evil for, they said to me, make us gods that shall go before us. As for this Moses, the one who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.
And I said to them, whoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me and I cast it into the fire and then underlined this.
And this calf came out. I just threw the gold in the fire. Moses and then, oh, this is Golden Calf came on.
I don't know what happened to state the obvious here. The fear of man leads to foolishness, the fear of man leads to foolishness, Aaron was acting like a fool, expecting that Moses would actually believe this excuse.
You know what, I see a lot of foolishness in the Western church today as a result of the fear of man infringing on the church.
You see, I hear foolishness.
Like if people don't think of you and your church is loving, then you must be doing something wrong because everybody felt loved by Jesus and everybody loved being around Jesus.
I hear foolishness, like if your church closed tomorrow, would your community mourn their loss, if not, you're doing something wrong, because if you're being like Jesus, then your community will love you.
Now, hang with me if I've got you on edge right now, because I got you right where I want you to be, because there's a few things we need to remember. Everybody didn't feel loved by Jesus after three years of ministry. The overwhelming majority of people hated Jesus and they cried out crucify him. And he was crucified. Even after the resurrection. In Acts Chapter two. How many people are there in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit?
120. One hundred and twenty. After the resurrection, that's how many people were in. One hundred and twenty, so no. Not everybody felt loved by Jesus. Do we really think that we're more gracious, more loving and more winsome? Then Jesus. John the apostle actually tells us why most people did not love Jesus. John said this is the condemnation, that the light that's Jesus has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
For everyone, practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. Most people hated Jesus and his message because they loved their sin. They preferred the darkness. That's what the Bible says, or how about these words of Jesus to his disciples when Jesus said, if the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.
The idea that the Church of Jesus is designed to grow by being likable. Is completely unbiblical, is completely unbiblical, now hear me on this, we don't do good deeds to try and get people to like us, OK, as though we're living for their approval. Good deeds are the natural fruit of a life that is abiding in Jesus, and we do charitable deeds because Jesus loves and values people.
Therefore, we love and value people because we want to share the values of Jesus. Now, don't miss this. Don't miss this. That means Christians seek to love people in a way that God approves of, not in a way that people approve of. Let me say that again, so that you get it, Christian's real Christians seek to love people in a way that God approves of in a way that blesses God, not in a way that people approve of.
And when those things line up, listen, when God is blessed and the person feels love to hey, that's wonderful. Praise God for that. But if God is blessed. And God approves. But the person rejects our love. Because they're rejecting Jesus and they love their sin, that doesn't mean that we're doing anything wrong as the church, it means we're experiencing the same rejection that Jesus experienced.
Our prayer, our hope and our goal is to love people like Jesus loves people. Our goal is to love people like Jesus loves people.
If people don't feel loved by us, then we want to ask the question, is this because I'm just being a jerk? Or is this because I'm loving them like Jesus loves them, but they prefer the darkness right now. Guess what?
Newsflash, everybody everybody likes people who are nice to them, give them attention, give them free stuff and affirm their life choices, everybody loves someone who does that and we are delusional if we do those things and then convince ourselves that we're making disciples were delusional because guess what?
If a Muslim does those same things, the person will be attracted to Islam. If a Jehovah's Witness does those things, the person will become a J.W. Probably. If a cult does those things, people join the cult. Our goal is not to get people into the kingdom of God. By simply trying to get them to like us, that's not our goal or goal is to love them the way Jesus loves them. Share the truth with them and have them respond to Jesus.
Our goal is not to love people as people love. Our goal is to love people as Jesus loves. Our goal is to love as Jesus loves. Doing what is best, wanting what is best for people. And you cannot do that when you are ruled by the fear of man. You'll end up doing foolish things and claiming that you were just trying to do the right thing. But you weren't you were trying to gain man's approval rather than God's.
You were being like air and saying, well, Heidi, the end justifies the means, I mean, people are still worshiping God in some way, right?
The ends don't justify the means. Hold to the truth, don't be ruled by the fear of man love people as Jesus loves people. So what do we say in conclusion? The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Is your life ruled by the fear of the Lord that brings wisdom and freedom? Or is your life ruled by the fear of man that is a trap and leads to compromise with sin and stops you loving others well and blinds you to the truth and leads to foolishness?
Is your life ruled by the desire for the approval of your heavenly father, which she gives freely through his son Jesus, or is your life ruled by the desire for the approval of the world, which leaves you feeling anxious, insecure and afraid? The fear of man brings a snare. But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. So, Lord, help us to be concerned with pleasing you. Rather than pleasing the world or ourselves, let's pray with you by your head and close your eyes.
Father, thank you for the wisdom of your word and thank you for the path that you lay out in your word to freedom, to wholeness. To the truth, to the light. And father, we do not want to be a people whose lives are ruled by the fear of man, so we ask right now in the name of Jesus that your spirit would just illuminate in our lives any ways in which we may be ruled by the fear of man right now.
Father, bring to mind even relationships that are being ruled by the fear of man and help us to love people as you love people wanting what is best, doing what is best for them, regardless of the cost to us. We want to love the way that you love Florida. We want to please you rather than pleasing people. So, Father, help us to do that, Holy Spirit, speak to us if we've tuned out your voice, we ask that you would be gracious and allow us to hear it again with clarity.
Right now, we love you, Jesus. And we're so thankful that you have brought us from the darkness into the light. So help us to walk in the light. Jesus, we love you. It's in your precious name. We pray. Amen.