Daily Archives: May 5, 2022
Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)
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.
Luke 12:4-5 (ESV)
Have No Fear
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Contrary to what some may try to convince us of, fear is a natural, human response. However what we must keep in mind when discussing this topic is what do we mean by fear? Fear in the pre-Fall and Christian realm is really a positive posture. All of creation should have a fear of God. Yet this is not fear in the sense of Adam and Eve hiding from God after their sin.
So again we ask, what do we mean by fear? Fear is that which keeps things in perspective. Fear, in the healthy sense, reminds us that there is indeed a distinct difference between creation and Creator. Fear is that reverential awe that all of us should have when we stand before our God. When we are in the presence of God, we should realize that there is something much larger than myself. When we encounter God, we realize that we are not the masters of our destiny. Rather, we come to realize through healthy fear, that our identity is wrapped up in the arms of a loving God who cares deeply for us – so much so that He was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Healthy fear helps us see the truth of life.
However, through the Fall and working of Satan, fear has taken on a different dynamic. Fear, in today’s context, is quite negative. When we fear, our reality, our “self”, is threatened, our identity and our preservation appears to be on the cusp of being lost. We fear death because it challenges the truth of our reality. We fear many things. I live in an age that seems very much in chaos. The country in which I was born, raised, defended in the military service, and live, is on the verge of economic and moral collapse. World powers are rising up to challenge us. People with eyes, people with ears, they see, they fear. Luke may have had more of the Roman Empire in mind. Regardless, the truth is the same – it is all temporary, history is fluid and changing; powers rise and fall.
Do not fear the temporary power or powers. They can only do so much. The ultimate: they can take my physical life. We spend too much time and energy sacrificing our faith in order to bow down to temporary powers – our survival depends on it. WRONG! There is that which is more powerful and is eternal. He has the power to destroy the soul. That, Jesus reminds us, is where our allegiance should be. If we live in sin, our fear is real when faced with God – real in the fallen sense. There is more to fear than that which can ultimately only take our physical being.
Through Jesus, sin is conquered, the Fall is reversed. Fear is rightly restored and it invites us into relationships with our Holy God who has taken us upon Himself in order that we may have life. The question isn’t if I fear God, but rather, how I fear God.
Grace and Peace