Fear can be paralyzing, whether it is real or perceived, known or unknown. Satan loves to use fear to cripple Christian warriors. He knows he can’t defeat us; Christ has won the victory. So, he plants fear into our hearts and minds, just like an enemy might plant a disease into an opponent’s water supply to slow down an advancing army.
You’ve heard that fear stands for false evidence appearing real and that is usually the case when it comes to Christians. But we are called to a much higher standing:
“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)
The Apostle Paul is teaching the Thessalonian church that they need not fear the Day of the Lord and if the worse thing that could happen to them—death—they would be with the Lord Jesus Christ. My son was not afraid to die because he knew his eternity was secure. He did not have a death wish, but he wore the helmet of salvation and placed his hope in Christ. Was Eddie scared when he went into combat? You bet, he’d be a fool not to be. Although the survival instinct in each of us is for our protection, Eddie was never paralyzed by his fear when it came to facing evil. He literally dealt with the demons of war; read his words in a letter he wrote me in January 2007:
I can walk side by side with the demons, I can feel them…I can literally, physically feel them around me, but they are easily shooed away the very second I bow my head and call on the Person far more powerful than they are. Although I must live with them, and walk with them, they do not overtake me.
As chilling as those words are, knowing they were penned by my boy, they bring me comfort because Eddie faced what most people can’t even imagine, and yet his faith in Christ made him feel safe. Is that not amazing? Not that Eddie had that kind of faith, but that even in the midst of such hell Jesus reaches us and comforts us. When I would talk with Eddie one of the verses I gave him and he so liked was Paul’s admonition to his spiritual son Timothy:
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
Eddie made a good confession in the presence of many because of his ferocity and fearlessness in combat. And when they would ask him if he was afraid to die, he would say no because he knew he had eternal security. Many a soldier wrote to Eddie after he was killed saying how much they appreciated how he lived life and the talks he had with them about God. He did that in the hellhole of Ramadi, Iraq.
Beloved I am in no way pretending that I never let fear get the best of me. It happens, praise God it is rare now, but when it does happen I look and see that I have set down an important part of my spiritual armor:
“…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephesians 6:16)
Paul said above all, if nothing else, be sure you have your shield of faith to protect you from Satan.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The Word of God not only brings faith, but it also brings purity to our mind and soul, where our will, and desires are seated. Reading our Bibles washes away the stinking thinking of worldliness and gives us a strong faith:
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Dear friend, how long has it been since you’ve been to church? We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together; in other words, we are supposed to go to church! If it’s been a while for you, let me ask you another question: when was the last time you actually read your Bible? See the connection?
Not so fast regular church-goer! Are you trusting in yourself, your circumstances, and this world to bring you peace? Has stinking thinking taken over your life? When was the last time you opened your Bible other than when the preacher told you to?
Beloved, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and it is impossible to please God without faith. Those are God’s words, not Dave’s. So why is it we go to the Christian bookstore looking for the latest book or CD to give us a faith infusion when all we need to do is open our Bibles and seek God’s wisdom?
There is sweet safety in faith, and in that faith we receive the peace of God; His peace, not some manufactured peace that we’ve tried to build. Peace be with you Jesus said to His disciples after He was resurrected. Oh dear Christian remember these wonderful words from Jesus:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Don’t miss that beloved! Did you notice the type of peace our faith in Christ brings us? Jesus’ peace! Do you even know what that means? No? Then open your Bible and find out! There is the peace of mind you are looking for; it is in Christ. If you will place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will have peace and you will be safe, just like Eddie was in the midst of hell on earth.
When faith is all you have, faith is all you need.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers
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