When I was about six, my eager tummy quickly ingested the donut my brother wouldn’t eat after it fell on the ground. The price I paid for that tasteful delight? Unnerving fear I would become deathly sick for the next three years. So silly, right?
Fear and I have grown-up together. Nearly four decades has proven fear to be my Achilles heal. I battle fears surrounding my health. Is this chronic pain a sign of cancer? Will I be able to get pregnant only to lose another baby? Rationalized and quantified, fear is daily battle capable of suffocating God’s intended blessing. (Well, maybe not a donut off the ground…)
Look around! Our reactionary world uses fear to control and gain power. Purchase this product and you will have more friends and be happier. Eat these foods and you will never get cancer. Even amidst the Christian community, fear tactics control believers. Follow these steps and your kids will never be carried away by sin.
It isn’t any wonder that our world is trying to alleviate itself of fears, after all, Satan works to deceive and contradict God’s beautiful work. Over and over, God doesn’t gently ask, He boldly commands His people, “DO NOT BE AFRAID”.
What if? What if we lived daily in the freedom from fear, the freedom God readily offers His people? Peter echoes God’s command to Joshua and the Israelites, “Sanctify yourself, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).
And that’s just it! God wants to use His people to shine so brightly to this decaying world! There is nothing Satan should fear more than a body of believers resting boldly in God’s care sparkling to the open grave of this world, the last flicker of hope.
When we take time to set ourselves apart for God (sanctify) we open ourselves to the life God has for us. “DO NOT be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. BUT sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you A REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU…” (I Peter 3:14-15). Our world craves a reason to hope, and we have the only reason!
The world constantly closes in with fear messages that make me anxious and uncomfortable. Honestly, I often find myself hesitant in obeying this command and receiving His gift of hopeful peace. It’s easier in many ways to conform to the world around us, to be another drone controlled by fear. BUT, we serve a God who tirelessly draws His willing children back. I no longer need to have God’s blessings tarnished by fear! I DO have a reason to hope!
Today, will you choose to replace fear by setting yourself apart and in God’s hands? Will you choose to shine with hope to a desperate world?