There is a trust in Christ that we as believers are to have that I fear is greatly lacking today, perhaps it has always been distant from us, but I sense, for lack of a better word, a loss of that trust in the world today. Fear is the enemy of trust, fear keeps us from acting when we should, it hinders growth not only in the mind, but in the soul, fear keeps us from faith.
For those who have spent much time in prayer and supplication towards the Lord to have fear removed from them, another trap has been laid by our adversary, that of pride, for pride without fear can be an even greater deterrent to spiritual growth. Pride sees itself as unconquerable, it dwells in the land of the supposed security of self, with no need for the God of creation. But the worst one in this area is the born-again believer who was once fearful, but instead of replacing that fear with thankfulness, submission, and humility, attempts to believe that their lack of fear, in no matter what area it is, has come upon them by their own strength. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
And my friends, the lack of fear is most definitely a gift, it is the soul that has found rest in Christ, who have given their lives to the Savior, and recognize that if it was not for His mercy, their fear would have overpowered them long ago. The lost call this “Having a handle on the situation,” sports teams teach their players not to fear their opponents, men of war are taught skills that are not only meant to combat and defeat the enemy, but to instill a confidence that inhibits fear on the battlefield. Our confidence is in Christ, He is all we need to defeat fear.
The “sense” that I spoke of earlier in this letter to you comes from observation, the witnessing of many who call themselves Christians, but who fear to speak His name outside of the security of the church they attend or those they have associated within it for years. It is the fear not of death, but that of words, not of torture and punishment, but of mocking, and it is sickening to watch. They take the words “personal relationship with Christ” quite literally, for they are the only person that believes themselves to be saved, except for those in their inner most circle of friends, those who are just as likeminded as they are. They keep their so-called faith personal, to themselves, they do not share Christ with the lost.
They run when the lost enter their perimeter, not physically, but spiritually, they themselves will divert the conversation away from the Scriptures so as to not heap coals of shame (Prov. 25:22) upon their own heads, and then will determine later that since the lost souls that they were engaging in conversation with never brought up any Scriptural or Spiritual references, that God was just not calling them at that time. The problem seems to be that if they were to look back on their lives since they were what they call saved, they would see that not one person has ever begun a conversation with the topic of Christ, the Scriptures, or anything even closely related to the Spiritual, and neither have they.
I feel two emotions at the same time when I ponder these individuals, sorrow and hatred. Sorrow, because if it is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) if it is by our works (Matt. 7:20) that we are known, then these individuals are most definitely not going to be in the kingdom of the Most High. Hatred because they have given the heathen an opportunity to blaspheme the name of God. These individuals are known as “church goers,” and thereby as Christians in the eyes of the lost, their actions, or better yet, inactions, are what the lost think a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to be.
Why I believe it is more prevalent today is because we are told in the last days “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” (2 Tim. 4:3) And if there is one person who wants their ears itched it is those who are not hearing the truth, but want to believe they are.
We are in the falling away, (2 Thess. 2:3) there is no doubt about it, use great caution my friends, He who has removed your fear will put it right back on you if you decide it was you who took it away, that it was by your own power that fear no longer rules your life. Pride hides truth, truth reveals pride. Watch out for the traps.