The dictionary definition of ‘fear’ is this; ‘a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil or pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined, the feeling or condition of being afraid’
If I were to ask you ‘what are you afraid of?’ I guess I would get a whole range of responses; clowns, heights, spiders, death, onesies! But if i were to ask you what place fear had in your journey of faith, what would you say? What do we fear as saved people? Is there anything about living life as a Christian that causes us to fear? You may have answers to those questions, you may not.
Can I share with you something that God has been speaking to me about regarding the story of David and Goliath. Saul wanted David to take his armour, Saul believed the only way David had any chance of surviving more than 5 seconds against Goliath, was with Saul’s armour. But not only did David realise that he ‘couldn’t wear Saul’s armour, he also I think realised that he ‘shouldn’t’ wear it.
I have no doubt that when any of us experience fear it is a very real and terrible feeling. It can cause us to react emotionally, to be physically paralysed and to be unable to function normally. Lately I have seen that occasionally as Christians we can get dragged into the worlds view of fear, a view that removes our fundamental belief that God can, and will, act on our behalf and go before us. We can find ourselves in a tricky situation and our natural reaction is to fear and then attempt to protect ourselves, to take Saul’s armour so to speak. But you see because of our faith in God and our belief in the fact that God “works for the good of those who love him”, we have a different response before us. The fear we may experience is still as real but we need to remember that the God we follow is even more real and present.
David knew something about God as he walked out before a giant, armed only with sling and stones, and faith in the Lord Almighty. I believe that David may have experienced fear as he faced a well-armed 9ft warrior, but what he experienced even more clearly and in an even more real way, was the presence of God, the knowledge of the truth of God, in essence David wore a different armour to combat the fear he faced.
In my ministry I face occasional challenges and sometimes my response is to work harder, to rely on my own energies and skills, and to find a way through using my own weak efforts. I must learn to rely on God, totally! I must learn to remember that God is bigger, stronger and more powerful than anything I will ever face. I must also remember that as Christian I need not fear the things that the world fears. My response to challenge and struggle should not be fear, but prayer, faith and a reliance on my God who is spoken of like this; “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for all of us – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things”