(OP note: I recently updated and revised this topic; we need to about our father's business, not scared out of our minds at every little thing)
When used in reference to God, it is us in awesome reverence and wonder at his power, beauty and utter holiness. That we would rather be dragged over a hundred miles of nails and broken glass than to intentionally offend this being of pure brilliance, complete wisdom, supreme might and unspeakable love.
But that is not the fear I am talking about today...
It's the OTHER fear.
The fear that grips people in the middle of the night, the fear that haunts a person's waking thoughts and their fitful, restless sleep. It's the fear that makes us forget that God is God, and like Peter, we begin to sink in the dark, murky waters of uncertainty that are overcast by the storms of this life.
Now, before I continue: I am not writing this post to be popular: indeed it will most likely make a lot of people upset and just plain mad. Perhaps so mad that they cannot see straight. But I am not called to please people, or to "tickle their ears"; I am called to post what God has placed on my heart. So be forewarned...
This fear is part of a deadly trio called "FUD", or, "Fear-Uncertainty-Doom." It is a most deadly trio, and one leads right into the next, causing us to not cling to the rock that is our Saviour, and instead to claw madly at the shifting sands of this life in a futile and utterly void attempt to grasp something we perceive as "solid."
Oh, that our faith were "solid" instead...
"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7, NASB, emphasis mine)
We hear talk about "preparing for the worst" and "stocking up just in case." While these aren't a bad idea for short-term troubles, this talk is of practically building underground reserves of food and water for years. Of "buying gold" in case the economy completely crashes, and we are left without any worthwhile currency. Of "arming ourselves" in case of the government turning on us or some sort of invasion, or mass riots and looting, or at the very least needing to hunt for food...
Has fear gripped us that strongly?
Do we trust God THAT little?
We say that we trust God to save us from our sins, yet if we cannot trust him with the basic necessities of life, than how in the WORLD can we say we trust him with our forevers?! If we are going to cave in to the fears of this world, is not our God stronger than all of these, yet we refuse to believe in his awesome might?! Have we reduced our omnipotent, everlasting God to a powerless figment of our minds?!
."No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."(Matthew 6:24-34, NASB, emphasis mine)
He promises in his inerrant word to care for us, yet when the rubber of our faith is called to meet with the asphalt of this life, we cringe? We trust him to save us but not to care for our needs when the need arises?!
HOW FAITHLESS ARE WE???!!!
The fact of the matter is that Scripture speaks STRONGLY against FUD:
"Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:14-19, NASB, emphasis mine)
When we spread that kind of garbage, not only are we terrifying people senseless, but we are drawing their attention away from the Lord and to the problems surrounding us. Through scripture, the Lord warns us not to do this, yet we do.
So what do we call it when we disobey the Lord?
I ask again...
HOW FAITHLESS ARE WE???!!!
We forget: "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.(2 Timothy 1:7, NASB, emphasis mine))
The Apostles (including Paul, ESPECIALLY Paul!) all went through times of trials that would peel the very skin from our backs, yet they never once wavered in their faith. Never ONCE did they doubt that one day, the Last Trump would sound, and that alive or dead, they would be summoned bodily to be with the Lord forever. Generation after generation of Christians have suffered and DIED horrible deaths, and yet they clung to the promise that God would care for them, and that he would return for them. Thousands upon thousands of martyrs, blood spilled in the name of our holy Saviour, and they didn't recant even ONCE. Yet we, living in the times just before our mighty King's return for us, having the PRIVILEGE to see his return bodily.....
"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. " ( Romans 8:35-39, NASB, emphasis mine)
God promises that no one will remove us by ANY means, yet we look at the world and shudder...
DO WE TRUST OUR GOD SO LITTLE???!!!
Have we become so concerned with comfort, that we confuse what we WANT for what we "need?" Ask yourself: do I NEED this, or do I WANT this? (and yes, medication is a need, let's not go there.)
We need to examine ourselves on this; we need to do so oh-so-much.
The trio I mentioned before; "Fear-Uncertainty-Doom" poisons us, and causes us to stray from our Lord, to not trust him for what we need. It causes us to magnify our problems INSTEAD of the eternal God is who larger than ALL of our griefs, woes and dilemmas. Fear causes us to be uncertain about not only the things in this life, but God's word. And uncertainty about god's word causes us to doubt the Word.
I know that as human, we have fears, we are uncertain, and we have doubts; but that being said, if we have fears of this world, we MUST surrender them to the Lord and let HIM comfort us; if we have uncertainty, we MUST be still, and know that God IS GOD. If we have doubts, we must come before the Lord and LET him reassure us. We needn't be afraid; we need to stand as the Lord has commanded us, and "Occupy till I come." (Luke 13:19 b, NASB)
Right now, we MUST cling as tightly as we can to God, and not leave his side for an INSTANT. If we are to fear, then let our fear be a CLEAN fear: the fear of the almighty God HIMSELF!
"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28, NASB, emphasis mine)
Our walk cannot be a timid, tiptoeing across a vast distance, but a purposeful stride as we walk with our beautiful Saviour and righteous King. We have only a short time left, and there are still many we must reach. Time is running out, and we cannot afford to be doing anything else that detracts from our commission to preach the Gospel to the lost.
TOO MUCH is at stake!
One last thing to keep in mind: our walk is visible to all that see us: including those that we talk with, those that we work with, and those that visit were we congregate (be it the church we go to or these forums, it makes no difference). What does our walk say if we walk in terror? Are we driving away people by embracing fear? If we show no faith in our God, the how in the WORLD can we proclaim him to those that are themselves consumed with fear and uncertainty? If he is not supreme in our lives, then how can we declare him as such to the unsaved?
Does fear rule us, or does God?
Father, forgive us for taking our eyes off of you. Forgive us our moments of despair, and of not trusting in your precious word. We repent of our faithlessness, and ask you in Christ's name to restore within us a heart for you Lord. Cleanse us of the choking fears of this world, and instill in us the clean, pure fear of you. Remove from us the canker of uncertainty, and reassure us by your words Lord. Take away from us the dark blanket of doom, and instead give us the lamp of truth, that we may be as candles to this darkened, dying world. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.