How To Not Fear…

July 31, 2019 at 12:16 PM

I think most would agree that life can be difficult, especially for Christians who are committed to being obedient to the Lord (2 Timothy 3:12). We aren’t obedient because we think that by it, we earn our salvation, because we know that our salvation is given freely based on faith.

We endeavor to be obedient because we want to please God, to bring Him glory, as He calls us to obedience. Ultimately, this means fulfilling His will for our lives. There are general areas of His will that apply to all Christians (God’s moral law) and there are specific areas of His will that might be different from one Christian to the next (becoming a pastor, foreign missionary, author, speaker, etc.). Our job as Christians is to endeavor to fulfill all of God’s will for us in this life, both the moral aspects and the specifics in other areas.

If you do not know what God’s moral law is, then you only need to open His Word and start reading from Genesis 1. Without that knowledge of His Word, you are left to go by “feelz,” which is how the world determines right and wrong. God often starts us there, understanding God’s moral law and He watches us to see how faithfully we will obey His moral law before He begins to move us out into other areas of His specific will for our life.

It is through obedience that we not only follow the dictates of His will, with the correct attitude, we are changed from within as the Holy Spirit recreates the character of Christ within us. This comes through willful obedience because our obedience maintains our fellowship with God. Without obedience, fellowship is broken. Without fellowship, there is sin and no growth. If/when we are out of fellowship with God, we are so solely because of the decisions we have made, based normally on SELF.

But even as we Christians endeavor to understand and fulfill God’s will for our life, there are times when we find ourselves fearing circumstances that come our way. We fear others. We fear our reactions to something negative. We fear unknowns. What can we do about that?

As I’ve repeatedly said, there is only one solution and that is to cast ourselves back on God’s Word. There is a situation that I’m currently dealing with that is unpalatable. I don’t like it. It is an annoyance that does not need to exist. What can I do about it?

I can react in my flesh which accomplishes no good thing at all because it normally stems from sinful desires or I can find out what God expects from me in every case. Obviously, the latter option is the preferred one from God’s perspective. Applying the latter option in my life brings about several things.

  1. proves my desire to obey God
  2. allows God to empower me to fulfill that aspect of His will, and
  3. brings about the needed change in my life that God requires

Again, this is where the rubber meets the road in our Christian walk. At every fork in the road, we see opportunities for growth, opportunities for God to work, and opportunities to be a witness to the world. I’m sure most will agree with me when I say that it can be tiring, but if we look to our High Priest, Jesus, it is clear that He never wavered and never wearied in doing good. Paul tells us that this is to be a motto by which we seek to live as well (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

But what do we do as Christians who struggles with fleshly lusts and desires? What do we do when it feels like circumstances and the fear caused by them tends to overwhelm us? What do we do?

If you do not know and understand portions of Scripture that speak to this problem, then you are at a supreme disadvantage. Only you can change that by providing for yourself more “weaponry” found in Scripture.

In our previous series about guarding the tongue, we talked about our responsibilities toward God and how to learn to control our tongue. We do so by controlling what is in our heart and mind because whatever is in those areas will flow out of our mouths. Makes sense perfectly. While some work hard to cover over their real thoughts, they are eventually seen for what they are – con artists. We’ve all met them and many of us have been taken in by them at times, even at churches. I’m not saying all con artists are out for your money. I’m simply saying at its most basic, con artists seek to present something they are not, to fool people into thinking more highly of them than they are in reality. They present one facade that does not mirror what is in their heart. They are dishonest.

As Christians we need to be authentic. We need to experience the changing, growing reality of our hearts and minds governed by the Holy Spirit via God’s Word. The only way this can be accomplished is through understanding God’s Word, literally hiding it in our hearts.

The more you know of God’s Word, the better position you’ll be in to root out heretical teachers and teachings. The better you’ll be able to stand against the devil and his agents. The better you’ll be able to overcome temptations to sin and doubt God. The more you have hidden God’s Word in your heart, the greater will be your victories in Christ in spite of any increased level of persecution.

So, what about when you are facing a situation that causes fear and trepidation? Does God speak to these situations? Of course He does.

Isaiah 41:10 is merely one verse that says the following, “Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.” Here, the prophet was speaking to the people of Israel telling that that God was unequivocally on their side. In fact, that’s why He created Israel, to be His arm of judgment against evil nations and to bring forth the Messiah who would offer salvation to the world. But do these words only apply to Israel? Let’s consider.

When we were talking about how to guard our tongues, we referenced passages from James and from Paul. We discussed the ramifications of Philippians 4:4-8.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (ESV).

Notice that most of the above are directives (imperatives or commands), for the Christian. These are things Paul instructs us to willfully do. We are to actively rejoice. We are to actively allow gentleness (or reasonableness) to guide us. We are to be mindful that the Lord is “at hand.”

Paul then tells us not to be anxious about anything. Instead, we are to submit ourselves and our fears/concerns to God in prayer and supplication with plenty of thanksgiving and praise that we make known to God. Once we have done this, then God’s peace that cannot be explained will guard our hearts and minds.

So in the above case, we Christians have certain responsibilities that when followed will produce God’s peace. What if we do that and we don’t experience God’s peace? We keep doing it. Very few battles are won in an instant. Most take time for someone to win. It’s the same with spiritual warfare. Though it’s clear God will win, sometimes, it takes a bit of concerted prayer and resisting the devil for the victory to be secured. Even then, it doesn’t mean we’ll never have to enter into battle again (Matthew 4).

But what is interesting also to me is the contrast between what Paul says and what the prophet Isaiah says. In essence, the prophet stated what God Himself was saying. It is God who tells us to “fear not.” Why? He provides the reasons. We shouldn’t fear because He is with us. We should not be dismayed (frustrated or overwhelmed), with circumstances because He is our God. God then promises that He will strengthen, help and uphold us. He alone does this and we can count on that fact.

Yes, though Isaiah was written to Israel originally, it applies to all who are in Christ, because He is the ultimate fulfillment of these and all other OT promises. All Christians are heirs in Christ together with Abraham’s seed and as such, these promises apply to our lives as much as they applied to the true Israelites during Isaiah’s day.

But what I particularly like about the Isaiah passage and others like it (whether from the Psalms, Proverbs, Nahum or elsewhere in other prophets), is that God is simply telling us that He is for us and there is nothing He cannot accomplish on our behalf for our own good and His glory.

If we are facing a situation that is unpalatable, we need to remind ourselves that we should not fear because God is literally with us, on our side and He is so for the sake of His Name. It is clear that He will accomplish His purposes in and through us. God speaks to us as a loving father speaks to children. God wants us to succeed in His will. In every situation we find ourselves, there is the path to God’s will. How do we get there? By seeking and trusting. How do we trust? By filling our hearts with the truth of God’s Word.

Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.”

These are God’s promises to us in the midst of situations that tend to cause us to worry and fear. God has a solution and even if He does not change the situation itself, He will certainly change what is within us that causes us to fear. He will strengthen, help and uphold.

Committing verses like Isaiah 41:10 to memory provide ample weaponry against the wiles of the enemy. If you are not memorizing God’s Word, you are living under your own power. God wants us to live under His.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , .

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