Faith Brings Us Past The Limits of Fear
Proverbs 29,25: "The fear of others lays a snare."
Isaiah 41,10-11 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; they that strive with thee shall perish."
Romans 8,15: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry "Abba Father."
Matthew 28,10: "Then said Jesus unto them, 'Be Not Afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee and there they shall see me.' "
Matthew 28,20: "and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Just as Israel learned to be, we Christians are also the Not-Afraid-People.
The risen Jesus gathered his apostles one last time with an exhortation against fear. And then he sent them off with the fear-busting promise of his presence, in every situation.
About ten years ago, the outrageous events of 9-11 put our beloved and boisterous U.S.A. into a spirit of fear and control. And led by Washington, we lashed out militarily and legislatively (rightly or wrongly) in hopes of taking away our fear of man.
I don't necessarily think it was so much that these military or legislative actions have lessened our fears (they did meet a call to action and the world is still somewhat dangerous as it has always been). But after more than ten years, we are coming to an emerging sense that lashing out in fear is unworkable, and no way for our great nation to live.
In other words, perhaps we have come to a point in our young nation's history where we begin to tailor our laws and military actions and politics to actual and particular threats against our national security instead of generalized fear.
As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was leaving his post in February of 2011 he said that the future defense of the country should primarily be by the Navy and the Air Force:
"In my opinion any future Defense Secretary who advises the President to again send a big American land army into Asia or the Mideast or Africa should have his head examined..."
We might not think Secretary Gates comment has anything to do with us Christians living without fear. But it does. His wise comment admits there are limits to the security measures of any government to ease our fears. And if there are these limits, we Christians are right back where we belong (as is Israel vis a vis Iran per Zechariah 12,3, see 11.23.11 in Blog Archive), depending mostly on God for the faith and grace to live without fear.
This new perspective on the limits of trusting in man further frees us Christians to cling to the rock of Ages, who is Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Yes dear brothers and sisters, we know well in our spirit that there is a limit to trusting in our fellow man, and if there's a limit in trusting man and fallible governments, we take comfort in the fact that we have trusted in God fully.
And if we have trusted in God fully, amen, then there's also limit in fearing man.
And after such trust in God there's our place in Jesus, beyond the snares of mortal fear. This place is accessed by our faith, by confidently acting on the promises of God day by day, moving beyond the present limit of our fears, to a free place where faith works through persevering love.
Oh dear U.S.A. and fellow Christians, may we move beyond all unfaithful fear with the love of God to guide us, and learn by faith to be your Not-Afraid-People.
"WHO SHALL NOT FEAR THEE, O LORD, AND GLORIFY THY NAME? FOR THOU ONLY ART HOLY: FOR ALL NATIONS SHALL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THEE; FOR THY JUDGMENTS ARE MADE MANIFEST." REVELATION 15,4
circa March '12
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...