Bill Johnson talks about the importance of breaking the fear of man and embracing the fear of God. The fear of man undermines the fear of God, and the two cannot coexist together. If we want to be effective in this world as followers of Christ, we must be willing to break the power of the fear of man in our lives. The fear of man often masquerades as wisdom in wanting to seek the counsel of others, but will always lead us in the opposite direction of what the Holy Spirit is saying, distorting our perception. When facing disappointment, loss, or betrayal, we must follow Jesus’ example of getting alone with God. Only He truly knows how to heal the hurt in our heart and restore us. When we allow God to heal our heart, on the other side of challenge is great fruit. It is important to have wise friends and accountability, but most important is prioritizing the Presence of God and hearing Him for ourselves. We cannot afford to live under the influence of the fear of man. Subscribe for weekly videos:

Connect with Bill Johnson Ministries: Website:



Mailing List:

Additional Resources:…

Scripture References: Matthew 14 Galatians 5: 22-23 Colossians 3: 12-14 Originally shared at Bethel Church, Redding California, on August 20, 2023. Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He is senior leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and is passionate about seeing Revival and God’s Kingdom established and revealed in the lives of individuals, families, communities, and nations. Bill’s teaching on the Kingdom of Heaven, hosting the Presence, and the renewed mind has helped thousands around the world to step into their true identity in Christ, God given purpose, and walk in a supernatural lifestyle displaying both purity and power. #BillJohnson #BethelChurch #Fear #FearOfGod

because this world has a right to see

who Jesus is he’s alive he’s resurrected

he’s the same yesterday today and

forever and it’s the Believers that have

chosen not to live contaminated by the

fear of men that Embrace fully the fear

of God and live in that fear the fear of

God doesn’t drive us from him it endears

us to him

this morning I accidentally changed my

GPS voice to mail

now it just says it’s around here

somewhere keep driving

I think I may need professional help

a chef a butler and a maid should be

enough yeah

adulthood is saying but after this week

things will slow down a bit over and

over until you die

oh this one’s so dumb but I love it

if you suck at playing the trumpet

that’s probably why


oh yeah

so no this I didn’t know this is a

revelation to me husband asked where in

the Bible does it say it’s a man’s job

to do the dishes

the wife responds Second Kings 21 13

says and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man

wipeth a dish

wiping it and turning it upside down

who knew

oh this is this is a revelation all

right one more

young businesswoman flushed with success

was opening a new branch office a friend

decided to send a floral arrangement for

the grand opening when he arrived at the

opening he was appalled to find that his

wreath bore the inscription rest in


angrily he complained to the florist

after apologizing the force said now

look at it this way somewhere a man was

buried under a wreath today that said

good luck in your new location


good luck in your new location yeah all


we’ll just leave that right where it is

I I hope it worked out well for him

that’s all I can say I hope it worked

out well

open your Bibles please to the gospel of

Matthew chapter 14.

and I there’s a story line here that I

want to follow actually we’re gonna

we’re gonna go through the entire

chapter we won’t read every verse but

we’ll take the entire story

there’s uh there’s three stories uh back

to back to back that are all

interrelated that uh I think are are

important for us to take a look at today


here’s the context that I want

in fact let me read a passage out of

Galatians and uh then I’ll talk to you

for a minute before we get started

uh Galatians 5 has the

the passage on the fruit of the spirit

so let me read that to you the fruit of

the spirit is love joy peace

long-suffering kindness goodness

faithfulness gentleness self-control

against such there is no law let me read

it again the fruit of the spirit is love

joy peace long-suffering kindness

goodness faithfulness gentleness


against such there is no law what I

wanted to do to start with is just to

draw your attention to the fact that it

says the fruit of the spirit not the

fruits of the spirit

they are not individual fruits it’s not

love and kindness and peace and patience

and all these things as separate things

they’re they’re all actually different

flavors of the same influence different

expressions of the same influence of the

holy spirit it’s a fruit it would be

like I had a marvelous Peach last night

thank you Jesus for peaches

and to to give the taste profile of that

particular fruit it has so many

different aspects to The Taste profile

that’s what the fruit of the spirit is

it’s manifested in so many unique and

different ways

when the Holy Spirit has influence in

somebody’s life

it manifests in specific measurable ways

and the life of the believer is 100

percent about our relationship with the

Holy Spirit and him

bringing about

the resurrected Christ Illustrated in

and through How We Do Life how we think

our ambition dreams all those things

immersed in this measure if you will of

the resurrection of Jesus Christ

last week I talked to you about

thankfulness and this my goodness I

don’t remember the last time I got to do

two Sundays in a row so this is a sign

and a Wonder for me but I’m very very

happy for this moment so I made this sit

here all day long it just kind of soak

it in

but I talked to you last week about the

military power of thankfulness of

Thanksgiving specifically giving thanks

has uh such a profound and unique

influence on our lives personally our

internal world and on the circumstances

around us it actually is a disarming

element that takes tools of the enemy

out of his hand and places it into the

submission of the Lord it’s a it’s a

profound uh influence the thankful heart

has and it’s a military move it would be

the same as if we were in a a combat

somewhere and we were making strategic

Maneuvers thanks thankfulness the

specific Act of Thanksgiving is it is a

military move

what I wanted to do from that however is

to try to bring in a little bit more of

the rest of the story

character is a military strength

there are many things that we experience

in life that we experience only because

we did stupid things and thankfully

Jesus Rescues us he rescues us but he

rescued us because of our choices it was

an unnecessary Rescue It was unnecessary

in this sense that if I wouldn’t have

feared if I wouldn’t have compromised if

I wouldn’t have lived under the fear of

man whatever it might have been I

wouldn’t have needed him to rescue me it

wasn’t it I’m not punished for it it’s

just he looks for better he looked for

better for me

I like to use to illustrate the the

profound effective character is to take

a look at like um like the old the

cities of the Old Testament you have

these massive massive cities and they’ve

got walls some of them were so high and

so thick they could actually run

chariots on top of the wall I mean they

were just massive

and so if you can imagine living in such

a city so you got this vast city

commerce everything’s going on on the

inside you’ve got uh you’re protected by

these walls and you could have an army

on the outside throwing cannonballs at

your wall and never even know you’re

under attack because of the safety that

those walls provide well those walls are


that’s what character does character

actually insulates us not from


if you’re under you know a spiritual

conflict it doesn’t mean you’ve done

something wrong I’m just saying there is

a depth and a strength to character the

character insulates and protects us from

so many of the spiritual environments

that we become vulnerable to and so many

people live under this constant

awareness of spiritual warfare that they

are only in because of fear they are

only in that conflict because they’ve

not taken care of an issue

and if you have a you know this massive

wall and there’s a a break in the wall

then where’s the enemy going to attack

he’s going to come through that place of

weakness always he’s always going to try

to come through where there’s no gate

he’s going to try to come through where

there’s a breach in the wall the issue

of character is what

protects us and and keeps us safe from a

large percentage of the kinds of

conflicts that the enemy would like to

bring on people why does he work so hard

to get us to fear because fear removes

me from the place of safety into the

place of vulnerability fear actually

puts me in a position where it’s almost

like I’m saying I can handle this one on

my own

because fear is not submission to the

Lord fear is not yielding to the holy

spirit’s work in and through us it’s

actually us removing ourselves not from

salvation not that it’s just removing

myself from the constant influence of

the holy spirit in my life to help me to

be victorious in yet another situation

so what I want to do is I want to look

at this now very different story about

Herod Herod

ends up killing John the Baptist John

the Baptist rebuked him for having

somebody else’s wife and and hair didn’t

like that and so he ended up dying so

forerunners lose their heads so we have

a sign up sheet out front for anyone who

wants to get on it we have a new

ministry starting today called the

Forerunner Ministry

all right

uh Matthew chapter 14. we’re going to

start with verse 3.

verse 4. John had said to him it’s not

lawful for you to have her although he

wanted to put him to death he feared the

multitude because they counted him as a


when herod’s birthday was celebrated the

daughter of herodias danced before them

and pleased Herod

therefore he promised with an oath to

give her whatever she might ask

so she having been prompted by her

mother said give me John the Baptist

head here on a platter

the King was sorry nevertheless because

of the Oaths and because of those who

sat with him

he commanded it to be given to her

this is kind of about this is a weird


the Bible is filled with the weird

stories this isn’t the weirdest but it’s

in there

Herod the guy who’s the most powerful

man on the planet at this time is making

decisions because of the fear of men

no one is outside the reach of the fear

of man

you see it with the Pharisees they would

not be asked Jesus would ask him a

question they refused to answer because

they were afraid of the crowd

Saul King Saul actually started as a

humble a humble leader but he fell into

trouble because

he he didn’t want to make a decision

when the people were thinking something

else he would blame the people the

people preserve the Sheep the people did

this the people did that and there was

this constant

wrestling that he had in his own heart

because of an insecurity and insecurity

is wrong security exposed

insecurity is a gift when you see it

because he’s exposing you’ve got a wrong


it’s because of insecurity it began to

draw from the opinions of people around

him and here’s the deal the devil

doesn’t come to us you know with a red

rubber suit and Pitchfork and horns

it comes as an angel of Light so in

other words he comes he comes at our

point of greatest weakness to appeal to

us to think like he does

fear of man masquerades his wisdom

fear fear of man is I need to be humble

I need to submit myself to counsel make

sure I receive input

the problem is the fear of man will

always lead you in opposite direction to

what the holy spirit is saying to do

the answer is not to become countless

towards people the and that’s that’s uh

that that indifference or that

callousness is the opposite of love it

is not at all what God’s called us into

but there is a discernment with the fear

of God you don’t get with the fear of


the fear of man distorts and perverts

our perception of situations of people

of circumstances the fear of man

actually distorts how we see and reason

a given situation

now if you’re the daughter

who just did this dance

and the most powerful man on the planet

said you can have anything you want

who in the right mind is going to choose

the head of another person as the great


so there’s the fear of men and then

there’s the fear of woman



amen I most of the people that scared me

the most on this planet are women oh oh

but Heidi in the list it just goes from

there just Tracy all of them

honestly what would possess a young lady

when she could choose any number of

things to set her up for the rest of her

life to choose

the head of a prophet on a platter

it’s called the fear of man

fear of man distorts values

I personally think the three number one


of of our faith in a sense are our our

our lifestyle of breakthrough would be a

bitterness resentment

disappointment knowing not knowing how

to handle it and the fear of man

those three things uh undermine the

lifestyle of a faith-filled believer in

ways that you can’t believe in it and

it’s the it’s the Trojan Horse we

Embrace wisdom so we allow the enemy

into our camp if you will into our

Council and we start thinking in ways

that are contrary to what radical

obedience looks like


well that went over well we’ll just

we’ll just we’ll just keep going here

um so verse 13 says when Jesus heard it

what did he hear he heard that John had

been beheaded in prison I should read

that verse 10. so he sent and he had

John beheaded in prison the the head was

brought to the on a platter to the girl

disciples took the body verse 12 and

buried verse 13 when Jesus heard it he

departed from there to a boat to a

deserted place by himself alone okay

stop right there for a minute we’ll go

through the rest of the story here but

we know in Scripture it says that Jesus

was tempted in all ways as we are yet

without sin

so every emotional challenge every every

kind of circumstance that would rattle

us were circumstances that he faced

without sin he didn’t sin in intention

ambition and dream he didn’t sin and

attitude he didn’t sin and behavior and

no no expression was there even a hint

of compromise but he still experienced

the emotional challenges

he wept at lazarus’s gravesite

there’s a human element there that is

important for us to recognize now we’ve

got one

he knows that there is a man that he

just praised three chapters earlier

Matthew 11.

he talked about John as being the

greatest man among all the prophets the

greatest all the Old Testament prophets

is John

no one was of the quality stature the

John Jesus had

a value an affinity of respect for this

man and now this man just died because

of him

now I don’t want to pretend to know

what’s going on in Jesus heart mind all

I know is that this happened and he knew

he had to go pray

what do you do when you got your loss

your disappointment your unanswerable


what do you have when you’ve got

somebody who just suffered because of a

decision you’ve made

Jesus is facing this and he immediately

goes to pray

some people will

turn to alcohol or drugs other people

will gather a bunch of friends and have

them encourage them which is that’s a

positive thing

but there’s there’s only one place to

get really fixed and that’s there’s a

slot on the mountain that’s reserved for


and it’s something you climb

when you’re emotionally fatigued

you’ve been you’ve been hit hard by a

set of situations circumstances

and the whole picture of climbing a

mountain to meet with God it’s not that

we get there by our works it’s just that

it reminds me it costs me every time it

costs me every time

I have to get over myself

to climb the mountain I have to get over

myself over the circumstances to meet

alone with God

for me those times are not

um they’re not uh

uh quick prayers they’re not token


it’s not uh it’s not a token exercise so

that I feel better about myself I have

to meet with the only one who can heal

the fragile of the broken place of my


and it takes time and if and if I do

that today let’s say I have a crisis

today and I meet alone with the Lord

this afternoon I climb that mountain so

to speak I do everything I know to do

but there’s still Brokenness there then

I go back tomorrow

the point is is there is only one

solution and and our greatest challenge

at times is

is that in this culture we have so many


and Jesus is in the list

but in situations like this he should be

the only one on the list

it’s meeting with the father in these

moments is the only place to actually

get things reset it’s like a dislocated

bone gets put back into place this gets

put back into place

and that’s what positions us to move on

into the next phase which we’ll see in a


lost disappointment those kinds of

situations all of us face

those are the moments you feel least


emptying your heart before the Lord

and they are the moments that have the

greatest effect

it goes on to say when Jesus

did this the multitude saw him and

actually followed him

and so he was moved with compassion it

says in verse 14 and he healed their


now here’s an interesting part of the

story Jesus

has just got the news that John is dead

he remember he only does what he sees

the father do

he has set his heart to go meet with the


so this is what he’s going to do

on the way he has a god-sent distraction

a god-sent distractions

God the father’s not double-minded but

here’s what he does is it’s important

for us to recognize

when God sends

something to do that doesn’t feel


I I’m this is my third attempt I’ve not

said it right yet

but I’m going to keep trying and who

knows the fourth service by that time

you just could care less what you say so

there’s there’s something about having

this direction of the father and then

there’s a distraction here’s another one

Jesus came knowing he was not to

minister to the Gentiles not to minister

to the Samaritans he told his own

disciples don’t do that we’ve got to

hear the Jews first then all right so

he’s had a well

and there’s a Samaritan woman there

who he profoundly touches why he sees a

faith in her that he knows can only come

from the father so he knows this is what

the father is doing she goes back to

town gets the entire town to show up

Jesus goes there spends two or three

days in a city he told his own disciples

don’t go to what was it it was a

god-given distraction

are you so stuck on the regiment

that you miss the Divine moment


some of us are intensely committed to

the protocol not realizing the Lord will

examine you to see

can you recognize the Divine moments

that come unexpectedly and always

inconveniently and almost always looks

like a contradiction

it’s all about presence

you can’t memorize enough principles and

rules and formulas to get it right

it just doesn’t work that way it’s

always about presence so Jesus is going

towards the father he’s moved with

compassion where does that come from the

father so what he knows this is a Divine


he heals their sick multiplies the food

just a good day

five thousand men besides women and

children are fed

and then he goes back verse 22 says he

made his disciples get into a boat go

perform to the other side he sent the

multitudes away

there is a time when the priority of

encountering God is greater than all

Ministry demands and opportunities

and it’s just wisdom to to know that

I’ve been trying to learn that one for

50 years

and I feel like I’m still in


it’s just it’s just not that easy it’s

just not that easy

it’s not a pass or fail

it’s just what measure of Glory can you

live under that’s the test constantly

what measure can we live under

verse 23 when he had sent the multitude

away he went up to the mountain by

himself to pray

so there he is

Jesus is on the mountain and he sees the

disciples in a storm

first of all he’s on a mountain can’t

see him in the natural secondly it’s at


thirdly they’re in a life-threatening


so the only way he can see is through a

gift of the spirit

but he sees them it comes walking

by them on water

one of them sees and cries out it’s a


Jesus responded to them saying be a good

cheer that is I do not be afraid

anybody notice whenever Jesus says that

it’s because you have a really good

reason in your mind to be afraid

Peter answered and said Lord if it’s you

command me to come to you on the water

now let’s just think through this for a


something’s out there

we don’t know what it is or who it is

secondly we just learned it can talk

whatever it is it can talk

that’s not the point in which I say

if you want me to come just tell me to

come and I’ll come to you on the water

because we already know it can talk

Jesus has one word come

what Peter reveals and the disciples

actually reveal in John chapter 6 is

that whenever Jesus spoke they came

alive inside

there was something different it wasn’t

the tone of voice it wasn’t the

familiarity of the voice it was the fact

that when he spoke words became spirit

and that word of spirit

empowered what he commanded

everything for us comes down to learning

to recognize presence recognize voice

because sometimes he comes walking on

the water and it’s quite scary

but it’s a Divine moment it’s not a


now sometimes he comes completely

different amount of transfiguration says

he appeared as other

it wasn’t recognizable

but the voice is the same

and he says come

Peter walks this is the easiest sermon

in the world to preach because

everything is sold

graphically Illustrated

Peter as long as he looks at Jesus walks

on water when he looks at the waves and

the wind

he starts sinking he cries out

and Jesus saves him

it was an unnecessary rescue

Peter’s fear created the need for the


when he saw the wind

and he saw the waves

he was afraid

we tend to write books about the waves

and the wind

you write songs about it

sermons about it

instead of realizing it’s competing for

my attention

of the one who keeps me afloat

anything that competes for your

attention competes for your affection

anything that is looking to get our

attention is ultimately looking to get

my affection

heartfelt commitment to this theme this

thought this idea this way of life

it’s always a battle for worship

so Jesus Rescues Peter

anybody else glad he still rescues

it’s just it’s just good to recognize

sometimes I got rescued because

I got afraid created a mess

and then needed him to show up again

the good thing to know is it’s not

necessary fear is not a requirement

in fact the fear of God is really the

only antidote for the fear of men

fear of God and fear of man can’t


don’t don’t treat it as a as a friend

that you can just talk away in the fear

of man that you can just kind of

talk it away gently it’s it’s an enemy

because it Wars for my soul

it Wars for my affection it Wars for my


says here in verse 34 it says when they

crossed over they came to a land the

land of janessarily

and when the men of that place

recognized him they sent out into all

that surrounding region and brought to

him all who were sick

and begged him that they might only

Touch the Hem of His Garment

as many as touched it were made

perfectly well

here’s the deal

lost disappointment I don’t know what to

call it but it’s what drove Jesus to the

mountain to pray

so he’s got he’s got his moment of this

decision he goes to the only place that

can heal whatever issue of thought of

heart whatever that he’s going through

he goes to that place to meet with the

father when he comes down he walks on

water and anyone who touches his

clothing gets well

he’s in a moment

he meets with the father

he walks on water and anyone touches his

clothing gets healed

it’s it’s always unto something

see our greatest breakthroughs

our greatest expressions of the Gospel

our greatest expressions of us stepping

fully into what God’s called us to be in

to do on the other side of a Mountaintop

encounter with God after a loss and a


it’s using loss well

using the disappointments well lose

using the Betrayal well

using whatever it is that you’ve

experienced that I’ve experienced to get

me alone I I’m not opposed to counseling

please understand me

but sometimes


sometimes we we want to hear something

that soothes us from another human being

instead of actually getting soothed

instead of actually getting healed

and that time with the father

in the place of of yielding and

surrender and and a place of encounter

the place of you know for me it’s not a

busy time of me doing a lot of talking

I’ll worship a bit I’ll talk to him I’ll

I’ll bear my soul

you know I I will do things you know

I’ve told you before God it it really

feels to me like you lied and I know

it’s impossible you’re incapable of

lying but that’s where I need you to

heal me because it feels to me like you

betrayed me

and I confess and declare it’s

impossible you’d never betray me but I

need to feel that reality I need to have

that sense restored to my own soul and

so you take those moments other than

that there’s not a lot of conversation

for me it’s a lot of adoration for me

it’s a lot of affection for me it’s a

lot of Just Surrender In Worship in

those moments but you stay there till

you’re well

it’s not it’s not a five minute prayer


it’s it’s

an unending encounter with the only one

who sees the details of what’s going on

inside me I don’t see it I know pain but

I don’t know what’s going on I don’t

know what the answers are I don’t I can

quote all the verses that I know but

it’s not necessarily going to fix

anything what I need is I’ve got a seat

reserved for me on the mountain that’s

got my name on it and the only place I

can go to get this thing restored and


put me back into place to see the

walking on the water and everyone healed

from the Garment those kinds of things

that’s on the other side of the mountain

the fear of man

keeps you from the mountain

the fear of bound

sends you into the crowd

where you can be affirmed instead


now let me just say as a side note I am

so thrilled for the encouragement the

affirmation the prophetic the friends

this we experience around here all the

time I don’t ever want that to be dialed

down I only want it to be dialed up but

I know in my heart of hearts that often

times for me

I’m going to receive all the

encouragement I can get but I know the

crowning Touch of my restoration is

alone time with the father

that’s the only thing


all right

therefore as the elect of God

holy and beloved

put on Tender Mercies kindness humility

meekness long-suffering bearing with one

another forgiving one another if anyone

has a complaint against another

even as Christ forgave you

you also must do

this passage stood out to me this


it’s kind of an odd place to end a

message like this in some ways but maybe


I like it because

the verse starts

you’re the elective God

put on clothe yourself it’s it’s

intentionally when I got up this morning

I know it’ll shock you but I put all

these clothes on myself

I did I I actually I took this shirt off

of the hanger

the the everything I’m in the socks


and it was intentional I actually you

may like you may not like it but it was

intentional on my part

I put on you know what I wore today I

wore what I wanted to wear

that’s what I wore today I wore what I

wanted to wear

it was intentional I made the decision

and this passage says

because you’re the elect of God

you have a closet other people don’t


you can die of starvation with the

million dollars in the bank if you don’t

make withdrawals

your death is your fault

this says you’re the elect of God


comes from forgetting who called us


only happens in the heart that has lost

sight of

the one who’s walking on the water not

the waves

the elect of God put on clothe yourself

is the actual word dress up with


dress up with Mercy

dress up with peace dress clothe

yourself with these things before you

leave the house

clothe yourself with these things why

because this world has a right to see

who Jesus is he’s alive he’s resurrected

he’s the same yesterday today and

forever and it’s the Believers that have

chosen not to live contaminated by the

fear of men that Embrace fully the fear

of God and live in that fear the fear of


doesn’t drive us from him it endears us

to him

all right once you stand



thinking back to


the outpouring of the spirit that

started here some 20 because this would

be 27 years ago

people would have these just bizarre

encounters with God

you know we would watch as people would

tremble I remember my wife goodness I

was we were back in Toronto

and we were on the Mothership


and the meeting was over and there’s

hardly anybody left in the room and

Benny and I were walking out the back

and there was this guy

one of their staff guys that locked eyes

with my wife

she about tore my arm off

I mean she had this electric cuting

encounter with the Lord Jesus

that absolutely changed her she was

spectacular before

she was spectacular ER after

I’m serious I walked to the meeting that

night with a lamb I walked back to the

hotel room with a lion

something happened she

has the feared man was shaking off of


opinions of others are shaken off

and I tell you from that point on

people think

I really don’t care what other people


that’s true

but my wife was worse

she was worse

she would make me look like a coward you


but what happened it was an accountable

she had a Mountaintop experience in the

back of her room

When Somebody Prayed for her

I’m not saying it has to be

a an encounter like that where you shake

for two hours I’m not saying I’m just


you got to meet with him because he’s

the only one who knows how to uproot

that thing yeah he’s the only one

he’s the only one that knows where the

root system goes and how to not only

uproot it but heal the very place it



all right

just put your hands in front of you I

want to pray for him

thank you

you’re the only service that got that

one I just I just it just I just

remembered oh I’ve seen this happen

all right so father we we come to you

first of all just acknowledging

that we love you we trust you

we will fear no one else we will bend

our knee before no other name that the

name Jesus

we will not bow before any other God or



but I do ask right now that in your

mercy you rescue us once again

when you you help us to step into a new


of Life of anointing a breakthrough

where the fear of man

is silenced

help us not fall for that trick again

and again

but to stand firmly and the delight and

the joy

of the fear of God I do pray for that in

Jesus name