Luke 12:4 I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
One of the biggest fears we tend to have as humans is that of the unknown. The powerless feeling that comes from not knowing what is going to happen can be terrifying. Nowhere is this feeling of helplessness more evident than in the fear of death. Many people fear death because they don’t know, and think we can’t know, what happens next.
But we can know what happens after this life. God has revealed to us in His Word that we will live on eternally after this life, either in heaven with Him or in hell apart from Him. Fear of death then, becomes less about not knowing what will happen and more about fear of going to hell.
Christians have no reason to fear death. If we are in Christ, we know that we will go on to live with Him in glory. To live is Christ and to die is gain for the believer. We can know where we’re going after this life is over and if it’s into eternal fellowship with God, then there’s no reason to be afraid of dying. Christ’s sacrificial death paid for our eternal life.
Psalm 27:1-2 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? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Anyone who follows Christ has and enemy. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and he’ll do it by whatever means necessary. This can be a scary thought. A powerful enemy who hates us because we belong to God, just waiting to bring us down.
But we don’t have any reason to fear evil because it’s already been conquered. God has defeated evil with the work of Christ and Satan has no power over us. Yes, he’ll still try to defeat us. Yes, he’ll still prowl around like a lion, seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). But the point is, he can’t win. He can’t get us because we’re in Christ. Jesus’ victory over evil is our victory over evil. Because He won, we win.
Some Christians still live in fear of the dark spiritual forces that are at work in the world. One reason for this is their focus on the evil that exists rather than on the Almighty God who beat it. When we keep our eyes on Him, who is there to fear?
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unfortunately, a major motivator that’s taught in the Christian church in regards to doing what’s right is fear. Guilt is heaped upon the Christian until he or she feels terrible for not being perfect. The problem with this, of course, is that no one is capable of being perfect. Motivation by fear is ineffective because it misses the whole point.
God did not send His own Son into the world just so we could have an example to live by because He expects us to perfectly obey Him. He knew that we could never live up to the standard of perfection and He offered a way to forgiveness and reconciliation. He paid the price so that we were no longer bound by the law.
Jesus freed us from the kind of burden that legalism brings by fulfilling the law. We don’t need to fear that we’re going to disappoint God because He’s faithful and just and forgives our sins. We have access to Him. He wants us to approach Him with our confession, so we have no reason to be afraid of what He’ll do if we own up to our sins. The prevailing thought is that God wants to forgive us and that should keep us from fearing punishment.
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Worrying what people may think of us can be paralyzing. We know what we ought to do, but the knots in our stomach, the fear that’s so strong it makes us sick, can be powerful and cause us to remain inactive. Sometimes this is even the case when we’re called to do something by God. Instead of following His path, we do what will win us the approval of other people. We’ve ALL been there.
But the Bible gives us a principle to live by, all throughout the story. Time and time again we see that God may call His people to do something that isn’t popular among others. Look at Noah! Not a single person outside his own family respected him as he followed God’s instructions. He built the ark, and the neighbors laughed and mocked. In the end though, it was God that Noah pleased. There was no judgment on him from the Lord. Nehemiah could have stopped trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem when he faced opposition, and there was a good deal of it. But it pleased God to keep building, and build he did.
Here’s a fact you don’t want to hear, but it’s nonetheless true: If you’re following Christ, you WILL face judgment from people who aren’t. It’s a reality that needs to be accepted. But the comforting part is that the approval of man means nothing compared to the approval of the Lord. If we keep doing what He calls us to do, it won’t matter what people think, because He’ll be pleased.
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
How many of us fail to act because we fear that there’s a chance we might fail? Sometimes this can even be a failure to follow through with something God has called us to do. But if He called us to it, how can we fear that we won’t succeed? How can we believe that the God who wanted us to do something will allow us to fall on our face as though He left us all alone to finish the job and didn’t offer any help?
The fact is that God equips those He calls to serve Him. If we hear a specific calling on our lives, we can be sure that the Lord will complete what He started (Philippians 1:6). He doesn’t nudge us off to go do something on our own, He’s with us all the way. And in Him we have victory.
Because Jesus already won, we don’t have to fear losing. Because He already succeeded, we don’t have to fear failure. Because it’s Him who qualifies us and commissions us to go, we can know that we will succeed. We’re not alone. We have the Lord’s guidance and gifts. Most importantly, we have His love.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Have you ever been so afraid of something that it paralyzed you? I mean like so scared that you couldn’t even do your normal daily activities because you feared something about the future. Has that ever been you? Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t, but the fact is we’ve all looked forward to the future with fear at times. The unknown is one of the primary things people are afraid of.
But what if I told you that there’s never a good reason to be afraid? The same God who created all things and holds all things together is in your corner. If He’s the most powerful, and He is, if He’s good and has our best interests in mind, and He does, then what should scare us? Simply put, nothing. Nothing is bigger than our God, nothing is more powerful than Him, and there not one other person that’s completely holy and without sin or flaw. I’d say with Him on our side, we’re guaranteed victory over anything. The Apostle Paul would agree (Romans 8:37-39).
So the next time you’re worried, say these words, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Live as though the Creator cares for you and the Savior died for you. Never doubt that the Lord has got your back.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I’m guilty of forgetting. I’m guilty of forgetting that if God is by my side I have nothing to be afraid of. I’m guilty of being afraid when I know better. I fail to step out in obedience when things seem scary because I forget that I have nothing to fear.
Living in fear isn’t really living life. It’s certainly not living the life God has called me to. Where in His Word can we ever find the Lord telling us to be afraid of anything in this world? There’s lots of places that we find encouragement to trust in Him and to not be afraid, but no, no instructions to be timid and hold back because something is scary.
Is there any area of your life where you’re dealing with this? Are you really living life as its meant to be lived and carrying out the calling God has on your life? Or are you waiting for things to settle down before making a move? There’s a time to wait. There are specific times when we’re meant to slow down and wait on God’s timing. I’m not talking about those times, though. I’m talking about times when you know exactly what He wants you to do and you’re afraid to do it.
I’m resolving this year to listen to the voice of God and follow Him, even when it may be hard to do so because of fear. We have a limited time on this earth. It’s time to start living.
The Commands of Jesus Series
Matthew 10:28-31 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
What do I have to worry about? Not a thing! The only thing, the ONLY thing that matters at all is where I am going after my life on this planet is finished and since that issue is settled then what else is there?
The God of this huge universe takes care of the smallest of his creation, the insignificant details of creation are personally known to him. Surely he will take care of me, after all I am made in his likeness, I have a soul that will live on after this body is worn out and gone, certainly he knows the details of my life and cares about everyone of them.
God has said “Fear not!” over and over again all through the Bible, he knew that we would struggle in this area, he wants his people to live by faith in him without fear that comes from relying on yourselves.
Romans 8:35, 37 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
I stand in awe of you Lord. It is amazing that you created an infinite universe and placed me in one little corner of it and yet you want a relationship with “little old me.” Thank you for taking care of me.
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Christ Passion For His Lost Sheep // Helping God When He Needs It // Focus On God