Sat 21 Jan 2017
What does the Bible have to say vs. fear? Let’s see, “Do not be afraid. I am with you even till the ends of the Earth”. – Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 1:8, Matthew 28:20
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deut 31:6
“Perfect love casts out fear” – 1 John 4:18
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7
These are wonderful promises. But how do I actualize them in my life? The woundings of the past and the loss of my mother seem to run down to my core being. But, if God is God, and all powerful and if He really made me and loves me like he says he does, then he can make good on these promises (and will). That is where faith comes in. Ok, back to practicality. Good old fashioned answers are the answers: prayer, scripture reading, fellowship, SERVING. The last one is actually the hardest. Serving takes the mind off of issues and problems. It gives a sense of purpose. Fellowship does as well. And interestingly prayer can be serving (intercession) and scripture can be serving (teaching). Good stuff.
The only entity I want to have sway over me is God Himself. Which leads me to a thought, a reminder really, that there is a war going on. There really is. Not to get all freaky, but there is a dark tyrant enemy who would like nothing more than to destroy me and those whom I love. Having said that, I won’t be afraid. Or more to the point, I won’t allow fear to rule me. That’s the issue. I think there probably is an element of warfare going on here. So, the Bible also says “Draw near to God”…stop, this part is the most important! Pray, seek His face, listen for him, confess sin and be humble, SERVE others, ok…now go on…”…and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. I am really starting to see this resisting as being sanctification and resisting temptation. Because really, we can’t fight the devil mano e (sp?)…angelo diabolique, no we need God to do that. And He will! Jesus told Peter that the devil wanted to “sift him like wheat” (modern translation: kick the shit out of him” but Jesus also said “but I have prayed for you”. So, prayer is POWERFUL and God is POWERFUL. As Kemper Crabb entones (reciting Biblical verse) “The Lord is the warrior! The Lord is mighty in battle!…The Lord is mighty to save. He gives strength unto his people. He guards his own with his right hand. The Lord is a deliverer to those who put their trust in Him.
So, kind of back to an old cliche’ (that is actually true): It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship (with God). It’s the gospel! John 3:16. God became a man so that we could no him and he sacrificed himself for that purpose. So, our response is trusting. Which I’m not saying is easy. Far from it. When the menure of life hits whirling blade it flies all over. But there are ways to get to faith and trust. Ways to build it up. And God IS real (though invisible) and does give us the ability to trust and have faith. The deep truth is that God is the very reason we have life, energy in our cells, breath in our lungs etc.
Well, a hearty “selah” is well served at this point. And if you have actually read this, blessings on you fellow sojourner.