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Week 29: November 13-19

Make God Big 

Psalm 34:9, 11

9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 

The information and all quotes in this devotional come from the book: When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T Welch. This is a helpful resource that will benefit all who struggle with fearing others.

In the last devotion we discussed the “Fear of Man.” This is an innate fear we all possess as sinners, also known as insecurity. Because of our indwelling sin we have shame and fear as a part of who we are. The only way to defeat this insecurity is through salvation. Salvation is a heart-level change and solves our sin problem. Although the heart of the problem has been fixed for believers, we will still battle our flesh on a daily basis. Our flesh will always seek outside sources for our fulfillment and security. The next step in solving our insecurity problem is making God big.

“Making God big” is a funny statement. In our theology and understanding of the Bible we know God is already big. But if we take a close look at our daily life we see that God is actually very small in our estimation, and people are huge. If we accept the statement, “what you fear will control you,” we will discover what we fear most in life. What is controlling you? Is it the understanding of God and his holiness that is controlling me to obey Him and do what he wants? Or is it fear of others that controls what I wear, where I go, what I say, and where I spend my money? The solution is to put God in His rightful place of being BIG in our lives, which will lessen our fear of people. 

Making God big is a relatively easy process. Read your Bible and pray every day, as the children’s song says. The real problem is everything in us and around us is fighting that activity. Without any effort on our part, we will naturally look to people to give us security. This is the way of all men and reveals the insecurity in our flesh. The world also fights us by creating a system for us to follow to fear others. The Christian has to do something DIFFERENT. We have to ignore the sinful culture: what seems right and what feels right. We need to go to God’s Word and see who He is and learn the Fear of God.

The Fear of God is the antidote to the fear of man. The person who fears God will fear nothing else. This comes through knowledge of who God is. We need to know God as Creator, Ruler, and Holy Judge, and this fact needs to terrify us. The glory and blessing of our salvation contrasts a real punishment in Hell that we deserved. As we know God more we will come to have a reverent submission that leads to an obedient life. We need to learn our place in God’s holy system so we will believe what God says in Hosea 11:9a, “For I am God, and not man.”

First, I urge you to start reading your Bibles. This is the only way to grow in the Fear of the Lord. Second, I urge you to see God in His Word, not yourselves. It is easy to read the Bible with “me glasses” on and interpret everything you see through “me” lenses. Look for who God is in His Word. Here are some great sections of Scripture where you can specifically focus on who God is:

  • Genesis: God as Creator
  • Genesis through Exodus: God revealing himself to the Israelite people.
  • Psalms: David talks extensively about who God is.
  • Job: Specifically the last 4 chapters, where God questions Job revealing who God is vs. who man is.
  • Isaiah: Chapter 6 reveals man’s response to who God is when we see Him face to face.
  • Topical study on God’s wrath and hell: We need to know the reality of God’s righteous punishment and His plan for unregenerate sinners.
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: God revealed Himself through His son, Jesus. 

No matter where you start in the Bible, start now! Start learning to Fear God and replace the fear of man. Teach your children that the man who fears God fears nothing else. 

Pray Together

  1. Pray that God helps us learn the Fear of Him through His Word.
  2. Pray that God will create an opportunity for a Gospel conversation this week.
  3. Pray that God will develop in you a heart of prayer and dependence on Him.

Further Reading

When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man. Welch, Edward T.  Phillipsburg, NJ, P &Amp; R Pub., 1997.

 

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. Welch, Edward T.  Greensboro, NC, New Growth Press, 2007.

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