(Republished Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
The fear in our world is pervasive. It is destroying lives, tearing families apart, and killing American churches off one by one. I cannot blame those who do not know Jesus for making wrong choices and living their lives in fear. After all, we can’t expect those who don’t know Jesus to live as if they do. But as for the American Church, we should look radically different… We unfortunately do not.
We look precisely like them.
We have let the world push their agenda of fear onto us. They are training us to believe that fear is perfectly acceptable, and that we should embrace it because it is “normal”. Obviously feeling fear is normal; but living in a state of fear is not (or at least it shouldn’t be for a Christian).
When you believe the lie that living in a state of fear is “normal”, it gives you the perfect excuse to not do brave things. If the enemy can use the world to get us to react and live our lives in fear, then it’s almost a guarantee that we won’t do anything about the evil they are promoting because we are inward focused.
We will be distracted and preoccupied.
If the world can get us to live selfishly and within their context of fear, then we are going to live like that in a spiritual context because they coexist. Fear, then, becomes our excuse not to do that which calls us to be brave because we think that everything depends on us, and we’re not willing to risk looking like a failure.
Currently, there is a war against the unborn babies and children of our generation, but we won’t engage in it because we are afraid.
There is a war against the Church, but we won’t engage in it because we are afraid.
There is a war against freedom, but we won’t engage in it because we are afraid.
There is a war against Biblical sexuality and marriage, but we won’t engage in it because we are afraid.
There is war against the perfect and authoritative Word of God, but we won’t engage in it because we are afraid.
I love Ezekiel 2:1-8 which says, “He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
I believe God is calling The Few to do the same in 2023. We must speak boldly to a rebellious people, for our authority is not our own, but God’s. He never intended for us to live in fear. Instead, He longs for us to be courageous.
C. S. Lewis has a quote in his book, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, that is simply remarkable. Peter, the oldest of four siblings who discover a place called Narnia, quickly comes to realize that he must lead an army against the White Witch who has used force and fear to make all of Narnia cower and comply with her wicked demands. Lewis says, “Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.”
As Christians, our fear makes no difference to what we must do. Though many of us can relate with Peter, in that we do not feel very brave, our job is obedience. God’s job is outcome.
The truth is that we know we have to do something. We have no choice but to do it afraid. Without fear, there can be no courage.
Do the fearful know that the brave are among them? They should be afraid.
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= What is one way you can be spiritually brave this week?
= After reading this post, do you feel humbled or inspired?
= What are you going to do differently?