I have two simple questions for you today, what are you afraid of, and why are you afraid of it if the mark of God is upon you? Fear is a terrible thing, no matter what form it arrives in, we are not to be afraid of the terror that flies by night, (Psalm 91:5) we are not to be overly concerned about anything, for fear means only one thing, we do not trust the Lord.
When most Christians I know show fear of anything, it is most generally of a personal nature, even when a spouse or dearly loved one has died, or is dying, the fear is one of loss, of being alone. I believe deep down that they understand that they will see them again, for His promises are true, but these moments of fear are almost always brought on when they are of a personal nature. I believe it is in these moments, when we are in the valley of the shadow of death, that our faith is shown to us for what it truly is, and it is sad to say, but many times after we have left the valley, we are ashamed of ourselves, we despise ourselves because we did not trust, we doubted, we feared. It is as if our spiritual side is constantly at war with our flesh at these times, and we can begin to understand what Romans 7:18 means, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
Paul was not just talking about the temptations and all the ways that it rears its ugly head, not just about the desires to just quit and go back to the world, but he was speaking also on the part that resides inside every born-again believer, the part that doubts, the leftover remnants of the old man, (Rom. 6:6) that still fears. Whether it be the loss of our financial wherewithal, health that is declining, uncertainty around the neighborhood or around the globe, we almost always will relate the events or changes to us personally, “How is what is happening going to affect me?” I am afraid that far too many believers fall into this mentality on a regular basis, they of course pray and lift up their brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering persecution as they should, (Heb. 13:3) but underlying all of those thoughts are the hopes that the persecution, the troubles and changes will not arrive on their doorstep. What they have forgotten is the promise that the Lord God chastises all those He calls sons, that they will walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, these are not “if” statements, these times will come.
Fear will cripple you; it will disable you, and if your Life in Christ is nothing more than words, it will kill you. Not perhaps physically, but spiritually, you will become useless to the Lord of Glory, your witnessing and ministry will produce no fruit and worst of all, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be dishonored by you. When times of great trouble come, God’s people run to Him for refuge, for He is a Strong Tower, (Prov. 18:10) but sadly when fear comes upon them many times they hide from the One who can calm their spirit, they worry and fret, they concern themselves with themselves instead of seeking out the lost and offering them the opportunity to also come into that Strong Tower to find peace, to find confidence on the Rock that is Christ.
I mean no offence here, but the statement is true, there are few things more despicable on this planet than a born-again believer who is afraid, than a Christian who doubts the provision and assurance of Christ. I do not mean the moments of doubt and lack of trust, for those come upon all of us, but those who profess Christ as Lord who are constantly verbalizing the word “why,” those who seek the preservation of self above all other things in their life, those who fear for self. How does anyone who comprehends the verses that tell us, that command us to die to self, (Gal. 2:20) ever live in a state of fear, what is the worst possible thing that could happen, that you might die? I thought that was supposed to be a good thing, I thought that meant that you would then be with the Lord.
“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Prov. 22:3) This and other verses like it do not say fear the evil, the follower of Jesus Christ does not even fear Satan himself, though we respect him, these verses do not say fears the evil, fears changes, doubts the provisions of God or forgets the final home that is waiting for us, we remove ourselves whenever possible from evil, but we do not fear it. You have the mark of Almighty God Himself upon you, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, what could possibly cause fear to reside for any length of time within you, you have been promised an eternity in the presence of the Most High God, why would you be afraid of anything for any length of time? Those who profess Christ and know these fears do not spend enough time in the future, as it were, they spend way too much time concerned with how they personally are being affected by the world around them, and they are easily influenced and persuaded by it.
Imagine for a moment that it is 1,800 years from today, you are strolling around town in the New Jerusalem, Satan, all the demons, all the wicked men and women who died without Christ are safely and eternally locked away in the lake of fire, peace and tranquility are the way of life for all those who are dwelling forever in the eternal light of the Lamb. Will there be any fear, any doubt, any questions of the Lord’s provisions? So why would you have them here if you know for a fact beyond any shadow of a doubt that this is what is waiting for you? There is nothing, not one single thing that this world throws at us that should ever make us fear for any length of time, that should ever make us doubt that what He has promised will not come to pass, He is faithful who has promised. (Heb. 10:23) Were we not told to “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.” (Matt. 10:28) Isn’t it amazing how some of those verses are so easy to read, but for some reason so difficult to actually live, isn’t it amazing how those who should be walking continuously in the confidence of Christ are living a life of fear and doubt, of self-preservation, of unwillingness to serve the Almighty no matter the circumstances or the possible consequences to themselves.
They want the promises, but they do not want to have to enter in through the gate of suffering, they desire to walk on streets of gold, (Rev. 21:21) but they do not want to walk the path of a submissive, obedient servant to get there. “What in the world are you afraid of” is the appropriate statement, for this world is the only place where fear abides, with the subtle misdirection of Satan comes from fear, doubt, a lack of trust and thoughts only of the temporal, not the eternal. Those whom he knows to be heirs to the kingdom of heaven he attempts to conquer through the things of this world, and fear is an exceptional tool in his hands. “Hath God said” (Gen. 3:1) worked at the beginning and it works just as well if not better today.
It’s very simple my friends, and it is something that some of you must admit to yourself, if you don’t trust God, you will doubt and fear, you will be afraid, and those who are afraid are of little value to the work of the kingdom of God, much less being anyone who can be sent into battle. Fear comes from doubt, doubt is a sin, it says I don’t trust God. You have the mark of the Most High God, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings upon you, act accordingly. “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Prov. 3:24-26)