Fear: An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous or a threat.
While laying in bed one night I learned that fear is a strong motivator. I was just drifting off to sleep and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. I knew the doors were locked and no one else was supposed to be in our room. I immediately yelled in my biggest man voice (actually more like a scream of total panic) and jumped up ready to face the intruder (and run past him out the door with wife and kids in hand). Turns out the air condition had kicked on and what I thought was an intruder was just a curtain blowing in the wind. My wife got a good laugh out of it and so did I. But for that split second my belief that an intruder poised an imminent threat to my family took me over and caused me to react.
I learned that when fear gets a hold of you it drives everything. Your thinking, your decisions, and your actions all change when you’re afraid of something. At the root of fear is a belief that imminent danger is lurking around the corner and that you had better do something about it. When I saw what I thought was a man standing in our room my adrenaline kicked in and the fight or flight response took over until my sense of danger was gone (then humiliation kicked in!)
Fear is not a bad thing at all. On the contrary, it’s a God-given emotion that is intended for our good. Fear when based on Truth can save your life. But when fear is based on a belief that is distorted by deceit and sin, it can destroy it as well.
I think a lot of us today are fearful (full of fear). Why shouldn’t we be? We are bombarded by evil day in and day out. Just turn on the news and you will see story after story of murder, corruption, and disaster. America today is a fearful place. We’re afraid of losing our jobs, losing our homes, losing our families. We are afraid to send our children to school or to let them go to the movie theater. We are afraid of what the government might do (or not do). Most of all I think we are afraid that we are not going to be ready if things go from bad to worse.
Our belief in the next crazy gunman, the next economic depression, the next fiscal cliff, the next unconstitutional law or corrupt political leader is motivating our thinking, our decisions, and our actions. That’s why you see TV shows like “Doomsday Preppers” or you get heated nationwide debates about gun control or you see things like the fiscal cliff or the Petraeus affair making headlines for weeks. These things are important and the danger is real but aren’t we missing something?
What about our belief in the all powerful, all knowing, totally sovereign, Holy, just, merciful, loving God of the universe? Where has the good fear of our Great God gone in the midst of all the other stuff? Why is that fear not motivating our thinking, our decisions, and our actions first and foremost? Psalm 111:10 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Healthy fear of God is the beginning of healthy thinking, healthy decisions, and healthy actions. So when dealing with our fears let’s remember to start with the fear of God and then work out what we should think, decide and do in light of who He is and what He says. “A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever”.
What America needs more than gun control, “Preppers” or new economic policy is for Christ followers to live like we actually know and follow Christ. We need people who understand who God is and obey what He says. We need people who are not overcome by evil but “overcome evil with Good.” (Romans 12:21). A good understanding of God is evidenced by a healthy fear of sin and obedience to His word. We need to be the voice of truth among our culture today proclaiming to them the Truth of the Gospel. America is afraid of the wrong things. We need to fear God so we will turn from our sin and accept His Son as payment for them. Why? Because even when the end of our lives, our country and even the world does come crashing down one thing will remain unchanged; His praise will ring out forever.
“The conclusion, when all has been heard is; fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. This imminent danger of God’s judgment is real for everyone everywhere. Therefore everyone needs to know about the only way we can have peace with God and forgiveness of sin. First let’s live like we revere (good fear) Him by keeping His commandments. Then let’s go tell the world about our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ who is the answer to the fear they live in. God’s love and forgiveness brings real peace to our lives; “Perfect love drives out all fear” 1st John 4:18. Let’s start leveraging everything in our lives to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. If we do that together we will change our country and our world for the Glory of God, one person at a time.
Thankfully in Grace,
BCC Life Groups Pastor
BCC Life Groups Pastor