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