“Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them” (Numbers 14:9, NASB).
How easy and prevalent it is to take our eyes off of God and to “fear the people of the land.” This could be fearing the people in our workplace, in our classroom, in our home, in our friend groups. This fear leads us to inaction. This fear is often used by Satan to make stale and weak our faith in Jesus Christ by causing us to fear man more than we fear God.
Have you ever been afraid of what other people will think of you if they knew that you were a Christian? I have. I spent much of my middle and high school years afraid of the “people of the land” and not sharing my faith or really even living my faith out well because I didn’t want to be labeled as weird, I didn’t want to have to stand up for my faith. My faith was weak at this point because of my fear.
And yet God is patient and kind and loving. And God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Through my weak faith and my fear God worked and moved in me to dedicate my life to knowing Him and making Him known. God moved in my life to lead me to fall in love with teaching others about Him and to fall in love with proclaiming Him as often as I possibly can. It is not easy, conquering this fear of the people of the land, but it is worthwhile.
Also, conquering this fear is not a one time feat, but is in fact an ongoing, situational fear that must be reconquered every time the opportunity presents itself. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m the only one that’s experienced this. But sometimes no matter how many battles have been won, when an opportunity presents itself where I could stand for my faith and speak out in a loving way, or I could be silent, there is a battle within every time. I still battle that fear, and I’m assuming I’m not alone. But, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil. 4:13). Included in this “all things” is the conquering of the fear of the people of the land.
So don’t be afraid of what people will think of you. It is wonderful and joy-filled and awesome to be in the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and to have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us. Live that out and do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16)!