Are you afraid?
Lately, I have found myself being afraid. I’m afraid of the evil that is in the world. I’m afraid that some knucklehead is going to attack my home or family, and I fear my response will not be what the LORD would wish – and that is deadly force. I pray often about this issue. Should I lay down my life or should I try to understand why they are attacking and respond in love by sharing the Gospel, if given the chance? I’m afraid of what is happening in the streets of America.
The LORD tells us through the Psalmist, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4 NKJV)
I can’t help but wonder if our problem is not keeping God our first love. With all the distractions the enemy throws our way, have we lost the focus on our main mission? Before we address our main mission, let’s look at some examples from God’s Word to see if any of His followers were ever afraid.
The twelve were afraid when the storm came (Matthew 8:25), Paul was afraid when he was ministering in Corinth (1 Cor 2:3), the disciples were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water (John 6:19), and the twelve less Judas were afraid the night Jesus was arrested and they fled (Mark 14:50). These men (except for Paul) walked with Jesus, were taught by Jesus, and were able to witness first hand His many miracles. And yet they too became afraid at times during their walk.
How did Jesus handle Himself when He was troubled, deeply distressed, and afraid? Jesus prayed to seek the will of His Father (Mark 14:32-36)! He kept His focus on His main mission, the cross, in perfect obedience to His Father.
Do you know our main mission?
Jesus said if you love Me you’ll keep My commands (John 14:15). His most important command was to first love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul, and with all your strength; and the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself. Our mission starts with obedience to God’s Word and ends with love. For we know that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…(1 John 4:18a). Our love is not going to be the same as the love that Jesus was able to provide, but we should pray and seek to love exactly like Jesus loved. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
Let’s make it our daily aim to be obedient to God and to love Him and others which will drive out our fear. If we can do this, we will change our community, which will change the communities around us, which will change our counties, then our state, and I pray it changes our nation and world.
So instead of focusing so much on the evil in the world, let’s make our first focus on our profession. Yes, let’s profess the perfect love and saving grace of Jesus Christ to the lost and hurting world around us. May it begin with you and me!
Until we meet again – love like Jesus!