What not to Fear!
What are you afraid of—what do you fear? When I say fear I don’t mean that you are scared like being scared of the dark! I’m talking about things in your life that bother you—things in your life that bring conviction as a Christian because of your reverence and respect for God. Because you are sensitive and aware of God’s presence in your life you pay careful attention to love, follow, and obey Him and His Word! If you sin, living contrary to God’s Word and ways you are convicted, bothered, and downright captivated by the fact that you have displeased Him and have strained your relationship with Him. It’s healthy and good to be sensitive to the things of God and His working in your life. Knowing what to fear and what not to fear will give us great freedom and confidence in our daily walk with Jesus—to know Him, please Him and do His will! Paul the Apostle is a great example of someone who feared some things as a Christian, but notice first what he didn’t fear.
Paul did not fear losing his salvation in Christ! 2 Tim 1:12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Paul knew that salvation is of the Lord! His soul was safe and secure in God’s eternal care.
Paul did not fear trials or persecution! 2 Tim 1:6-9 says, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Paul knew that no matter what came his way God was not only for him, God was with him and would be his strength during trials.
Paul also did not fear that his needs would not be met! Remember what he told the church at Philippi in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Time and time again God proved himself faithful in providing his daily needs.
Paul did not even fear the criticism of others! Paul said in Col 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Paul knew that people would have differing opinions about him and God. The opinion that mattered most to Paul was God’s opinion.
What should we fear as Christians?
Paul the Apostle did not fear many things because of His close relationship with God! But what did Paul fear in his Christian life? What bothered him and what should bother us? What should we be sensitive about?
Paul Feared to sin! Sin is deceiving. It can trick us into giving into temptation. It can control us. Sin is also destructive. Paul said in first Timothy 1:19, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:” When we let sin take control it can weaken our faith so much so that it shipwrecks us! It can destroy us, leaving us on the sidelines of our Christian experience instead of in the game and making a difference for Christ. And worse still sin breaks our fellowship and hurts our relationship with God. Does it bother you when you sin—are you troubled that your relationship with God is not right?
Paul also feared that He wasn’t bringing enough glory to God with his life! How often do you even think about bringing glory to God with your life—pleasing Him in all you do? Do you daily seek to demonstrate and communicate God’s value and worth? Paul said in first Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Here are some good questions that will help us bring more glory to God: Can I praise God for what I am about ready to say? Can I praise God for what I am about ready to do?
Paul also feared that he would become a castaway! First Corinthians 9:26-27 says a castaway is something that is not approved, does not stand the test, and is unfit! Paul was sensitive about pleasing God with his life–doing right. This perspective motivated him to maintain a testimony for Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a race. And while we run this race and serve Christ people are watching (family, friends, lost people). Paul was concerned that his life and his race would be approving unto his Lord and an example for others! Does it bother you to think that things you may do or not do might be displeasing to God and a poor testimony to others?
Paul also feared that People around him would be lost eternally! Paul had a healthy respect for the souls of men. As Paul walked this earth serving Christ he passed by people every day. It bothered him that some of those people would die and spend eternity in a Godless hell! He said in Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” He cared deeply for his fellow people! He wanted to see them know Jesus as Savior and Lord. It bothered him so much that he said he would have given up his own salvation if they would receive it (Romans 9:1-3). How much does it bother you to know that some of your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors are lost, without Jesus, and on their way to hell? Is there a healthy fear that motivates you to pray for them and share Christ with them?
What do you fear as a Christian? Be the first to join the conversation by leaving your comment!