The Fear Factor

Fear of something in creation
Because the intelligence report of twelve spies revealed that the enemy was well-fortified and ten of those spies counseled that it would be futile to attack, the seeds of fear gripped the heart of a nation as God?s command to ?go in and take possession of the land? was cast aside.(1)
Because his soldiers were clamoring to bring back the best of the spoils from war, fear caused Israel?s first human king to capitulate under this pressure. He rebelled against God?s command.(2)
Because the Jews had decided that whoever acknowledged Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue, the parents of a blind man (who had been healed!) cowardly avoided acknowledging Jesus.(3)
When God?s people fear something within creation, it can cripple and paralyze their service to God. Acts of love towards others will vaporize if wary Christians retreat behind protective barriers. Furthermore, the fear and doubts of ?what if ____? can cower God?s leaders into failing to perform their God-given commissions.
Although God?s people might allow their fear of something within creation to shut down their service to him, this need not occur. Even through threatening dark situations which could create fear, God has illuminated and empowered a path toward faithful service!
Fear of the Creator
The correction for becoming overly concerned with this world is to interpret our world based upon knowing God. For example, through Isaiah God taught his people that they should not fear human oppressors bent on their destruction. Why? Because such evil people are mortal and will pass away like the grass.(4) Instead of being overwhelmed by something within creation, they were to remember that it is God who comforts, who has created all things and whose righteousness and salvation will endure forever!(5)
Whether for the purpose of directing our love or fear, God has called us to build our focus upon Him and not upon creation. Jesus taught, ?do not be afraid of those who can kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you who you should fear: Fear him who, after killing, has power to cast you into hell. Indeed, I tell you, fear him.?(6)
It is living out of a deep reverence for God, this fear of the Lord, which can guide us in how to live wisely. Furthermore, it also forges that heroic character of faith we see in David, Joshua, Caleb, Peter and Paul.(7)
Knowing who our God is and what he wants us to do, let?s live courageously for him. With God-centered courage, let?s tackle our God-given purposes with zeal allowing God to defeat Satan?s arrows of fear and doubt.
(1) Deuteronomy 1:21, 26
(2) 1 Samuel 15:24
(3) John 9:21-22
(4) Isaiah 51:7-8,12
(5) Isaiah 51:8, 13-16
(6) Luke 12:4-5
(7) Proverbs 1:7; 1 Samuel 17:37; Numers 14:5-9; Acts 4:19-20, 1 Thessalonians 2:2-4; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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