Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bound By Fear!

Bound by Fear!

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6 – New King James Version).

While on a mission trip to Puerto Rico, I couldn’t help but notice the bars on ALL the windows and doors of houses and businesses alike. That truly saddened me. It spoke of the condition of the people. They were afraid; afraid to the point that even SECOND STORY windows had bars over them! Sure, there is great danger in living in hurricane alley, but the bars were designed to protect from people.

That may be our biggest fear…other people. But, I don’t think we fear our houses getting broken into as much as we fear ourselves getting broken into. We fear letting people into our private inner world, because that may expose our weaknesses. At least, I know I do. That may be our biggest obstacle to serving the Lord.

Look at some of the directions in Hebrews 13. Love brothers and sisters in Christ (vs 1). Be kind to strangers (vs 2). Remember those in prison (vs 3). Honor marriage (vs 4). Don’t love money (vs 5). Remember your leaders (vs 7). Watch out for false teaching (vs 9). Suffer like Christ (vs 13). Don’t get too comfortable in the world (vs 14). Always praise God (vs 15). Share (vs 16). Obey your leaders (vs 17). Pray for others (vs 19).

What is similar in all these verses? They call for action not focused on ourselves! Rather than being protective of our image, our weaknesses, our possessions, our inner desires, and our time, God calls us to be outward looking people. We are to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Christ! We can’t do this living a life of fear!

We must stand in Christ (John 15), and find our strength in His overwhelming presence. We have nothing to fear of men. Jesus told us that very thing in Luke 12:4; “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” (KJV).

I say this, not in condemnation, but that we all may have hope. We may live in a world that continues to become more violent and more isolated, but God is unchanging and by His strength we can do great and mighty things. We must step out in faith, believing in HIS protection as we minister to a hurting world. We must give of ourselves, trusting in HIS unending supply. We must not be selfish, knowing HE is sufficient. We must believe that God can do infinitely more good through us than man can do evil against us.

Let us not be bound in fear, but be zealous in good works! Let us turn to God to break free of this world’s bondage, become His servant and know the blessing of being truly set free.

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