Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fear not

 I've decided to turn over a new leaf, or at least try. I am going to focus on a couple of words from the Christmas story this year that I normally don't pay much attention to. It is the first two  words  the angels spoke to the shepherds when they appeared to them to announce the birth of Jesus: fear not. And no wonder they needed to speak those words. Imagine the scene: a quite hillside with shepherds watching over their sheep. It was at night, so the sheep were most likely sleeping, then suddenly several angels appear. Yeah, they'd be needing to tell me to fear not also, and possibly waving smelling salts under my nose to revive me.

 I don't watch a lot of movies, and try to be careful about what I watch. I bought one that intrigued me last week on a Black Friday special at Family Christian bookstore for $3. I watched it this past Friday evening, and it shook me up. A lot. I won't go into a lot of the plot, but it was a movie depicting spiritual warfare. There was a man who played fear, and his job was to constantly whisper things in people's ears to cause them to worry and fear. At one point, an angel came into the house to defend the couple living there, and the man playing fear told the angel he had to leave, that he had been invited into the couple's lives and he had the rule in the house. The angel's sword turned to dust and Fear kicked him out of the house. Another angel questioned him outside why he wasn't going back into fight, and he replied he couldn't. The couple had invited fear in, and they were powerless to do anything,

  Now I know it was just a movie, but it still shook me up and has had me thinking and praying. Fear has ruled me for years. It has caused me to not apply for some jobs, has stopped me from trying to make friends, and has emotionally, mentally, and physically crippled me. Normal things that might slightly worry most guys terrify me, like starting a new job, applying for a job, going on a job interview.

  There may or may not be a demon whispering fear into my ear, but fear definitely doesn't come from God, so it has to be from the devil and my own insecurities.

 I've even tried to serve God out of fear most of my life.

 The Bible has 233 instances of "fear not" or "be not afraid", so it must be important to God for us not to fear.  Perhaps the best verse about fear is in Isaiah 41:10:

  I have been feeling really checked about this fear issue. To be so fearful means to not trust God. Can I honestly say I am trusting God when I am so fearful? No. I am not trusting God. I pray for His help in situations and ask for miracles, then sit back and expect the worst to happen. A multitude of angels would be a welcome break from the things I fear.

  And I am not talking things. I am scared to death of snakes and heights. I think it is OK with God to be afraid of something like that, but to be so fearful of the future, of change.....of being alone. That is a lack of trusting God, and is not good.

  I have many battles in my life, and if one knew of the battles I face, they may be surprised to find that I feel this is the worst one. It has eclipsed every other battle, and fear has even stopped me from seeking help I needed so many times over the years.... fear of what people would think, fear that I'd be bothering someone.

  Imagine what it must be like to live with no fear. To step into the unknown, knowing God is there and has it under control. To jump off the cliff knowing He'll catch me. To walk through the door with certainty that it will all work out for the best. To raise the knife over your only son, knowing God can raise him back up, to raise your staff over a mighty sea believing God is going to deliver the multitudes of people you are guiding, to be thrown into a den of lions and believe God can keep you safe, to go up against a giant and have confidence God will take him down.

  Many before have had faith, not fear, and they faced worse things than I fear. How did they do it? How am I supposed to do it?

 In the movie, the main character decided he needed to fight for his family and basically kicked fear out....... I wish it were that easy, but there is prayer. If God sees we are serious about doing away with fear and trusting Him, I am sure He will help in that regard.

 Maybe it is no coincidence that those words appear in the Christmas story, "Fear not." Christmas is a good time to seek spiritual renewal, to focus more on Jesus and one's relationship with God. And a great time to set aside our fears and instead of laying gold, frankincense and myrrh at the feet of the Savior, give Him our fears and let Him turn them into trust.

No comments:

Post a Comment