Sunday, July 3, 2011

We Have Nothing To Fear

Fear is a terribly strong emotion that is capable of reducing the strongest man to a blubbering idiot. It is often an irrational emotion that causes us to take actions that we would normally never consider. From the fear of a a child late at night who imagines a monster under the bed to the fear of an adult who imagines a different sort of monster in their future; we all know the taste of it. Yet the apostle Paul, who faced so many different dangers, both from outside of the Church as well as inside, simply stated:

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Perhaps that should be the motto of our lives as we push through all opposition, everything that tries to entangle us, everything that tries to provoke fear in us. It is only in understanding that, because God is with us, we have nothing to fear at all. King David had this same motto, it would appear, and I have no doubt that it was the result of his awesome relationship with God:

The LORD is my light and my salvation— 
   whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— 
   of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

How could these men face what they faced with no fear and no running away? How did they face the dangers to the flesh and stand their ground? How could they place their trust in a God who remained invisible and yet demanded such trust from them?

They were able to do this and so much more because their value system, what they considered to be important, what they thought of as great treasure was so much different than the messages we are constantly surrounded by these days. Paul's priority was the love of Jesus:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

It did not matter what happened to Paul in this place because he knew that nothing could interfere with Jesus' love for him. It was that love that compelled Paul to do all that he did. That was his entire priority. He sought no comfort for himself and was willing to face anything because he was provoked by this great love. Now read David's words and tell me if you see any difference in this single priority:

One thing I ask of the LORD, 
   this is what I seek: 
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD 
   all the days of my life, 
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD 
   and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Fear only happens when we set aside our trust in Jesus. Fear takes root when we allow another set of priorities, another set of values, to take the place of Jesus' love for us. Fear happens when we try holding on to the things of this earth instead of placing our treasure in heaven. Fear has no root and no place in a Christian's life. We have been given the gift of peace through the relationship we have with Jesus and fear is a disturber of that peace. If we allow it to take root it is often because we have set aside that relationship with Jesus. If it is found in you today allow the love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ to wash it from you. We have nothing to fear because of Jesus.

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