Does the Fear of Man Stifle Your Worship?

Don't let the fear of man silence your voice of worship.

Every day, God shows himself faithful in my life. I just can’t contain the gratitude I feel for Him, and I find worship bubbling up from deep within at the oddest times.

Case in point: I often use a power-chair when outdoors and it gives me incredible freedom in the warmer months as well giving me the flexibility to do my shopping and banking at my leisure. I often find myself singing a worship song under my breath as I go along the tree-lined sidewalks of my picturesque neighbourhood. When you are in a car, and your windows are rolled up tight, you think that you can get away with singing at the top of your lungs as you use your radio as a karaoke machine. However, my power-chair is open to the elements and does not give me the same illusion of privacy.

I am able to carry a tune reasonably well, or so I have been told. I assume that I don’t offend the ears of those who might be within hearing range of my impromptu travelling praise sessions. And yet, I usually silence myself if I happen to notice anyone within hearing distance. One bright, sunny Autumn afternoon, I abruptly ended an impromptu worship session in mid-phrase, “Oh Praise Him… Oh, Pr….”, as I spied an elderly woman looking my way as I went down the sidewalk. I was immediately reminded of an aborted worship session I participated in shortly after I committed my life to God as a teen.

The previous weekend, my best friend and I attended a youth retreat that opened our eyes to God’s longing to be in intimate communion with us. As we were deeply affected, we couldn’t contain our joy as we walked down the halls of our high school that Monday morning. Arm in arm, we sauntered along, singing in barely a whisper,

“Shout from the highest mountain The praises of our God…”

We lamented that peer pressure kept us from shouting our praises on our way home from school later that day. We knew that unless someone had been within two feet of us in that hallway, our praises wouldn’t have been heard. We sadly concluded our voices would not have carried far off a lofty mountaintop, no matter a crowded high school hallway. We promptly broke into giggles, then sang at the top of our lungs as we walked to the bus stop.

Heading down the sidewalk on my powerchair decades later, it seemed I hadn’t yet taught my heart song to drown out the fear of ridicule. The fear of man silenced my spirit from broadcasting the praises of God, even when my spirit longed to explode in worship and thanksgiving for all He has given me.

2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23 – As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honoured himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them, I shall be held in honour.” And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

Michal’s disdain of David’s reckless expression of worship created irreparable damage to her marriage. Valuing decorum and prestige over a life abandoned to God’s heart resulted in fruitlessness and barrenness. So to will the fear of man cause damage to our hearts, resulting in ineffectiveness in ministry and personal witness.

Personal Application

Determine to step past the fear of man, choose to walk into the freedom that allows all that is within you to be expressed. Resolve to not allow a fearful heart to despise your spirit’s expression of worship. Like David, allow yourself to be even more undignified than this!

Our God is good. His faithfulness endures forever! His mercy and blessings are new every morning. May we shout the truth that resides in our hearts through our actions, speech and song!

P.S. Wondering about the worship flags the dancer is using in the featured image at the top of the page? Here is an example on Amazon.

All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).

Until Next Week

©2017 Katherine Walden

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