(For Lord’s Day, August 26, 2012, weekly church email devotion)
I was listening to some sermons through the Gospel of Mark by Pastor Jeff Stivason this week, and one point particularly impressed me. He said something to the effect of not fearing man, but God, for we serve whom we fear. This is a paraphrase of what he said, but boy did that resonate. Don’t we essentially serve the people we fear (in whatever sense we fear them) in how we act around them — and even when we’re not around them? How we let them impact our thoughts, choices, words, and actions? And doesn’t that wrongly placed fear negate or paralyze our service to the Lord of Lords (not to mention a proper respect for ourselves as His redeemed servants and heirs of the Kingdom)?
Here’s something I saw referenced in a DaysSpring email this week that is worth meditating on related to these thoughts above:
10 Things to Know about Fear:
1. Don’t fear failing. Fear not obeying.
2. Fear is a fraud. Nowhere on earth is beyond the reach of God.
3. All fear is but the notion that God’s love ends.
4. Your fears don’t decide your fate — your fears destroy your faith.
5. We must do that which we know we cannot — to prove that it’s our God who cannot fail.
6. Our God appoints those who will disappoint — to point to a God who never disappoints.
7. Everything your Father has for you — is over the fence of fear.
8. Travel in the direction of your fears — to let God direct your life.
9. Fear doesn’t stop the really bad things as much as it stops you from really living.
10. It’s impossible to simultaneously feel fear — and give thanks
11. Fear is always the flee ahead. God is I AM and His presence fills the present moment. Just. Rest. in. Him. in. This. Moment.
12. Do not feed the ducks, or the bears, or the fears. Feed your soul — on the Word that is the Bread of Life.
[I noticed there were essentially 12 things, but the number 5 got used twice, and one line didn’t get numbered; they’re all good, so I just fixed it and made them twelve things. All other emphases, etc., are original to the blog]
If you’re feeling afraid lately, perhaps you might benefit refreshing on the Genesis 15 sermon a while back, “Don’t Be Afraid“. Remember, we saw recently from Jacob that it is normal to be afraid; but God always comes to the patriarchs and to us saying to look to Him and find ourselves in the fear of the Lord, no longer afraid.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:4-5).
Why don’t you try something spiritually and radically different in your life this week to serve Christ? What are you afraid of? Or, rather, of whom are you afraid?