For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba,* Father!” Romans 8:14-15
There is much fear in Christian circles these days. Fear of the coming persecution. I have felt it. I have scanned the headlines, where bakers get fined for not partaking in a sin celebrating ceremony, where legislators in other countries force a state run church to redefine marriage, (though not yet individual pastors) where ISIS kills children and destroys churches, where hospitals try to force nurses to perform abortions (thankfully the hospital lost that battle). It seems as if the world is collapsing, and perhaps the world we have come to know is. But the only kind of fear we need have is Fear of the Lord.
Fear of the Lord is a reverence for God.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
When you follow the Lord, he holds you in the palm of His hand, and there is no reason to fear the things of this world.
1 John 4:18 tells us; “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
The spirit of fear does not come from God, and the devil can feast on it because the devil wants you to stop trusting in the Lord. We are called to see that God is intricately working in our lives and when we keep our hearts and eyes on Him, the divine plan unfolds for us. The divine plan is better than anything we could ever plan for ourselves. BE NOT AFRAID.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
Instead spread joy and spread love. Do not hate those who persecute you. Pray for them and love them. The spirit of hatred feeds the beast. Another scan of the headlines today and you see it everywhere, the polarization. We have labeled one another instead of loving one another. While you should never compromise truth, you should also never allow hatred to take hold of your heart. When you are in union with God, we want what He wants, for souls to be saved.
“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-4
Today I ask you to go out unafraid. Make a sacrifice for a stranger, make a sacrifice for someone you don’t like. Pray for them. Love only spreads if we choose to spread it.
If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend.
St. Theresa of Avila
This morning, as I am getting ready for the celebration of the marriage of my niece-in-law, I had an insight about a personal fear which I try to deny, but can only occasionally hide from.It is that I will soon become incapacitated or physically disabled in some way. It’s irrational but I know it is based on my own selfish pride. I am physically fit and self sufficient for my age. I hate the thought of losing that.
You scriptural tapestry brought me face to face with my selfish overconfidence. Thank you.
The truth in your post points us toward Our Blessed Lord and away from our senseless fears…real or imagined.
If you will excuse this poor attempt at a personal parable, this actually happened this morning.
There is only so much hot water…and there needed to be six showers before the family left for the wedding. I went first because I could be quick and cold. There was no wash cloth, just a mitt. So I made due and lathered up for my one handed bath. I was suddenly an amputee. My private little fear. I chuckled at the “God game” and played it out.
All but my right arm was able to be clean. If I wanted my arm cleaned I would need help from someone else. How needy! I left it unwashed and joined the family for breakfast. When I told them about my strange predicament, they all said that they would have gladly helped me. My pretend disability allowed me to realize how God is there in the hearts of those who love us. Through them He can provide the care, light, love and joy that fear and pride try to prevent.
It won’t be easy, but I know I can trust my Abba to know and ignore the misplaced fears of this child if I ever need him. He already does. I love Him so much.
You really make me stop and think. Thanks
Thank you for the parable, it’s awesome how God can show you in a simple way His immense love. I was struggling with fear and I went to talk to my Priest Spiritual Director about it. I’ve had a feeling I will die as a martyr. Even in writing this blog, I have had fear. and I told God I wasn’t prepared for martyrdom and sometimes I fight writing. I know I am too attached to things here, namely my kids and husband. The Priest reminded me fear is not from God but from the evil one who feeds on it. He reminded me how John Paul II’s mother died when he was very young, and that God’s plan for him was much greater. Even in earthly death, because of the Kingdom of heaven, we should not fear. My fear may be completely unfounded, but even if it’s not, I have to refocus my face on Jesus, and listen to His words, as he told St. Paul, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;” Acts 18:9. Throughout the bible, he tells his people not to be afraid. Who am I to question Him? I know He knows best.
Thanks for showing me how God weaves His love throughout the day, hearing our cries! I hope you have a phenomenal time at the wedding!
Here is a link to bible verses that talk about not having fear; http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/HaveNoFear.htm , there are just so many verses!
Thanks for sharing your insights on fear. I have a fear, which seems to come and go in intensity. It is the fear that my grown children will continue to withdraw from the safety of the Church. Only one of them participates in weekly Mass. Probably at the root of this fear, is the fact that I was a Catholic only on Sundays when my wife and I were raising our kids and I fear that this is why they are not devout in their faith. My failure in providing a rich and nourishing faith filled home while they were young did not allow them to grow in the faith.
Silent Watcher, never lose hope! Tell your children of your repentance and contrition for the past, and always have hope in the future. I know exactly what you speak of, but always know, God hears your prayers and it is never too late. And again, BE NOT AFRAID!
SilentWatcher, may I offer some help? On the 31 of August, while in prayer for needs around the world, I heard a voice say, Blow the spirit of My Mother into the realms where work is needed. I have never in my life heard of such a thing but perhaps that is what we need to do. We all make mistakes, no one is exempt. But your contrition is very beautiful, and it is already a step in the right direction. Blow the Spirit of Mary into your children’s hearts, SilentWatcher. Let our Blessed Mother help you to make the wrong of old right again. I will pray for your children too.
Just came across this: Love only spreads if we choose to spread it. Have typed it into my journal. Thank you.
Amen to that caitlynnegrace.
Reblogged this on kent4jmj.
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That is what has been lacking in the Popes after Vatican II.
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