Fear of man can be sneaky, subtle. You may have fallen for it without even knowing it. It is a snare that keeps you "stuck." It is time to escape.
This past week, I attended a conference at which I was privileged to be on the ministry team. I felt drawn to a woman and asked if I could pray for her. Then, I saw that she was on the ministry team, as well. I said, "How about if I pray for you, and then you pray for me?"
Great plan. I prayed and shared what the Lord was saying to her, and then, it was her turn to pray for me. Suddenly, she stopped and said, "God doesn't want you to hold back anymore."
What? My mind whirled. I used to get that word years ago. How am I holding back? I was not holding back in my traveling ministry nor in my on-the-street, everyday ministry. What was it? Then, I knew.
Since we pastor an equipping church, I am always holding back and stepping back in my own church, even while my heart is longing to minister more. I thought about that. Why do I do that? Well, of course, it is because I want to give others the opportunity to come forth.
Then, a new thought came to me - one less noble. Is there any possibility that I have some fear of man in this area????
The Lord brought to my mind many times that I had been praised for my ability to step back and allow others to minister. In fact, the majority of praise that I had gotten in the past was for that very thing.
I had to come to the realization that I was, at least partially, acting out of fear of man, although I had not understood it. I also knew that I would not take away from another's opportunity when I walked in the fullness of what I was to walk in. Our prayer teams would continue. They would not stop. I, as the God-appointed overseer, was called to bless the people, NOT hold back.
I have shared this for one reason, and that is to ask you, "So, how about in your life?"
Have you been praised for being kind and sweet, and therefore, not been bold when the Lord was directing?
Have you been praised for being bold and uncompromising, and therefore, not been gentle when the Lord wanted gentleness?
Have you been praised for being a great family man or woman, and therefore, neglected the ministry that God gave you?
Have you been praised for your commitment to your ministry, and therefore, neglected your family?
Have you been praised for being stable, and therefore, not allowed the Lord to touch you with His power and emotions?
Are you unconsciously attempting to keep the good opinion of others, and especially those whom you respect and admire?
It is time to shake off the SUBTLE forms of fear of man. It is easy to see how criticism has affected you, but how about the praises of man?
Cast off both the criticism AND the praises of man, and focus on the One who KNOWS what He wants for you to do in these days. His ways are PERFECT. When you walk in all He has for you, the result will be that others will come up along with you.
Remember the prophetic words He has given you. Don't back down on them!
Allow Your life to revolve around Him and what He has called you to do. People are imperfect. You CANNOT take your cues from them.
Onward and outward to a time of great harvest!