Hi, Rob here.
What are you fearful of these days? After all, there seems to be lot to be fearful of, doesn’t there? You could take your pick between political extremism (which arises out of fear), climate change, ISIS, economic uncertainty, random criminal acts or the usual suspects of rejection, loneliness and disappointment. Kiley and I have been feeling a bit fearful for our kids as we see so many children acting out of broken places and trying to grow up too fast. In the light of this fearfulness I read this in church on Sunday:
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)
Having a moment of fear is a recognition that danger is imminent. Those moments are useful and necessary. It is what we do with them that counts. They are an invitation to do three things. First, run to God who is our stronghold, our sanctuary and our peace. The second thing is to ask God to reveal the source of that fear. The third thing is to ask God what we need to do with that fear and for his resources to give us what we need to do what he is asking us to do.
We’re usually pretty good at step one. Crying out to God in the face of fear is something hard-wired into every human being. But we need to do ore than cry out. We need to take our place in God’s love as his children. We need to name him as our shelter and stronghold. Steps two and three are harder and scarier. Step two is disruptive. It makes us face the fact that there could be more going on than meets the eye. The enemy – Satan – could be attacking us. An unaddressed wound may be surfacing and crying out for attention. An immature part of us may need to do some growing up. A sinful part may need us to repent. It may be all of these and often is.
Once the source of the fear is named then spiritual warfare may be needed or counselling or prayer or a redemptive action of some kind. One thing that I too often overlook when it comes to dealing with fear is worship. When I worship from the heart I am making the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord and King; his kingdom has come and will come in all its glory; that Satan will perish and death will die; that I am a child of God and deeply, deeply loved. Worship gives me courage to take my stand in Christ and against the enemy. It gives me the perspective that the Donald Trumps and ISIS jihadists and all bullies of this world will not have the final say. As I bow the knee to Jesus I reject fear and come alive to faith, hope, courage, joy and peace. As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his book, “Strength to Love”
Fear knocked at the door.
There was no one there.
This week may you worship freely, love deeply, fight bravely and live fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
Grace and peace.