Sunday, December 1, 2013

Who do you fear, God or man?

Ezra 3:3  Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site.  Then they immediately began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the LORD.  They did this each morning and evening.

It is better to fear God and not man.  There was a group of Jews who had returned to their homeland from being exiled.  The reason for their return was to rebuild the Temple that had fallen into enemy hands and been rendered unusable.  The people left in the land had not stayed true to God.  They were living as if God no longer existed.  They were okay with their lives and resisted those who wanted to reestablish God’s presence in the land.  Because of their stubborn resistance to the things of God, the returning remnant feared the residing remnant.

Yet, they were on a mission from God.  They were to rebuild the altar of God so that the burnt offerings to the Lord could be reinstated.  They were to begin to bring God back into the forefront of people’s lives.  In spite of their fears, they went ahead and rebuilt the altar and began to offer burnt offerings on it each morning and evening.

So often we let our fear of what others may think, say, or do hinder us from obeying the Lord.  We often are more people conscious than we are God conscious.  We fail to “rock the boat” because of fear.  We leave undone the things that should be done because of fear.  We hinder the work God wants to do because of our fear.  Whether we want to admit it or not, others become more important to us than God does.

Who do you fear, God or others?  Are you more concerned about the reactions of others than you are God’s?  Think about it.   Has God given you a task to do that you are not doing because of your fears?

The root cause of our lack of proper fear of God is our understanding of God.  If you are more influenced by people than you are God, then you need to get to know God better.  If you know God as you should, the opinions of others won’t matter.  You will do what God gives you to do and you will lead others back to God.

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