Monday, August 17, 2009

Guest Post: Fear

Fear: A Guest post by my daughter, Melody

What is it about that tasteless, invisible, intangible thing called fear, that, so often, has the power to hold us down with a grip like a vise? Why is it that we give in and give way, oftentimes at the most crucial moment, all because of that strange sensation? The dictionary defines "Fear" as "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid."

In my short experience of walking with the Lord, I've come to realize that fear can be one of our greatest opponents. If our adversary, the devil, can get us to be afraid, he can often get us to put down our weapon and turn-tail without a fight. If he can get us to miss out on the benefits of God's blessings, all because of the fear in our hearts, he's able to control us and remain victorious.
It seems that, so often, and especially in the church, God's people are restrained by something. Many are so afraid of what other people think of them, that they would never ever even dream of standing up and raising their hands, speaking out in a prayer meeting publicly, or walking up to the front to receive prayer. Why is this? Why do so many worry about what others think of them? Why do they remain in their little shells every Sunday morning, listen to the message like any good Christian, and then walk right back out into the world again, unchanged? Why are they so afraid to let the Spirit of God work in their hearts and change them?

I think the answer is that they haven't completely surrendered to God, and also, that they have not been perfected in love. I John 4:17-18 says: "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is NO FEAR in love; but perfect love CASTS OUT FEAR, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

When we are surrendered to Him, He has ALL of us. TOTAL control of us. We have given up our rights to Him, and now He is the one calling the shots. But if we aren't totally surrendered to Him, we're holding part of ourselves back. We're basically telling God, "OK, God, you can have so much of me, but I'm keeping the rest, because it feels more comfortable that way."

Wait a minute. I didn't think Jesus came to the earth so we could be more "comfortable". I thought He came to "turn up the heat", so to speak. To test us and refine us, and see which of us are true followers of Him, and willing to give up EVERYTHING, even those people and things that we hold dear, for Him. In Matthew 10:34-39, Jesus says: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household'. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

See, God's Word is 'sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit...', (Hebrews 4:12. Whether we like it or not, God's Word divides. It can divide families, marriages, and even our own soul and spirit.

So WHY, then, do most churches today attempt to remain "comfortable"? Why do many of them never experience divisions? The answer is simple. The church is NOT USING THE SWORD, the Word of God. The church is lukewarm. It's afraid to "offend" anyone by using the God's Word in its entirety, as it God intended it to be used, so instead, the church either, a): leaves out the parts of the Bible that might be "offensive", or, b): substitutes other materials for God's Word. We need to PRAY that the church would WAKE UP. There is NOTHING we have to be afraid of! Why do we always worry about what mere men think of us? The men who stand in the pulpits should NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL SIN WHAT IT IS: SIN.

As followers of Christ, we can boldly proclaim: "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6). We have NOTHING to fear, when we put our trust in Him! It's when we put our trust in man, that we start to have problems. Psalm 118:8 tells us that "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." Proverbs 29:25 is also an important verse: "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe."
And look what you get when you put 2 Timothy 1:7 and Hebrews 13:6 together: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" "So we may boldly say: 'The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'"

AMEN. Let's stop being fearful, let's open up God's Word, open up to God's Spirit, and allow Him to work through us. And above all, let's NOT allow the Sword of the Spirit, (His Word) to get dusty and rusty. Let's continue using it, till the day Christ comes back for His bride!!

No comments: