I Will Not Fear

May 8, 2024 | The Chuck Wagon

“The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Ps. 118:6; NASB

I have a story for you. It is about a man (let’s call him Jim) I have known for many years. I witnessed him change dramatically in all areas of his life by embracing this passage. He lived for many years as a carnal Christian. What I mean by that is he accepted Christ as Lord and Savior as a young man. Jim would go to church whenever possible and occasionally take part in church activities. He married a Christian woman, had children, and raised them as Christians, but he was driven by worldly gain. Jim was very good at his chosen profession and always ended up a leader, even when it was not his intent. He excelled in every area of his professional life and, from the outside, looked to have it all, but there were problems underneath the well-crafted façade.

Jim’s success resulted from a deep fear of not being accepted or liked by others. He never took this fear to the Lord because he wasn’t that “religious.” Instead, he worked tirelessly to be better than the next guy to ensure his acceptance. He became a relentless workaholic in pursuit of the good feeling he got when completing a project that was liked by others. It was not pride that would drive him to excel, since he never wanted accolades for his accomplishments. It wasn’t even the money that made him so focused on doing everything well. What ultimately drove him was the feeling he got when people looked favorably at him for whatever he had done.

Everything appeared to be great in his life, except for one thing. He had become an alcoholic from drinking every time the pressure to please got too overbearing. The big problem with all this is that the more successful one gets, the harder it is to exceed expectations. As a result, his drinking got out of hand. The anxiety of not measuring up and displeasing someone was overwhelming. It all came crashing down when his drinking became out of control. He lost his family, his business, and virtually everything he had worked for so many years to gain. He had to get help, so he entered a recovery program.

Once he had enough time to examine what went wrong in his life, the Lord gave him today’s passage. The passage helped him realize that what upended his whole life was something he never would have considered had the Lord not made it clear to him. There are many people that are driven by the desire to please others. The devil can use this to take even a dedicated believer into dark places, and much more a carnal Christian.

The desire to be liked or accepted can easily keep you from saying or doing what you know is right because of how it would be perceived by others. God is the only One we need to please. If that is displeasing to someone around you, too bad. God is our provider and our protector, and Jesus is our Savior. We are to love everyone with godly love, and if that is not enough for someone, it is their problem, not yours. Do your best with the gifts that God has given you, not for pride or to please others, but to honor and glorify your Father in heaven. There is no pleasure greater than pleasing God with your life.

Whatever happened to the guy in our story, you ask? He fully dedicated his life to glorifying God in everything. It took some time, but he is no longer concerned with being accepted or liked, and the alcohol addiction is gone. If you ask him today how he’s doing compared to his previous life, his answer will most often be that he is truly experiencing what Jesus meant when He said, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

God bless and have a great week

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