Fear is a great motivator; however rarely does it turn out great when we react to fear. Actual fear for our physical safety is a healthy fear; imagined fear of our future usually leads to poor decisions. Oftentimes we set out on our own to cast away or deal with those imagined fears. We abandon what we know about God and His faithfulness.
A believer who puts his or her faith in God into action can face any fear that comes our way. We can know that God holds us in His secure hands. How can we know that? We can know it because we are His children, adopted into His family through the precious blood of Christ.
It is human nature to render evil for evil; many of us naturally want to exact an eye for an eye. But even those who consider themselves more Old Testament than New Testament will find that everywhere in the Bible we are told not to fear or act upon it. Isaiah records:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Being attacked or persecuted for our faith is never an enjoyable thing; as Christians we try to live peaceable lives. Nevertheless, if you’re not being attacked or persecuted for your faith, then it’s because you’re not in the fight. As my pastor says, “If you don’t meet Satan head on, it’s because you’re both going the same way.”
Trying to overcome evil with less evil is rendering evil for evil. We are not allowed to do evil at any degree. Furthermore, when we are up against evil for the sake of Christ, we need not settle for less evil. We can settle for righteousness because that is what upholds us. Commenting on our passage from Isaiah, Matthew Henry writes:
“There are those that strive with God’s people, that seek their ruin. Let not God’s people render evil for evil, but wait God’s time.”
That’s the hard part; waiting on God. Yet, that is putting feet to our faith. That might seem as an oxymoron; putting faith to our feet by waiting on God. What I am suggesting is that we continue to live holy lives as we wait upon God to act against our adversaries.
We can look around our culture and believe that we’re losing the war. In temporal terms that may be true, however we serve a King who has already won the battle. He has not only won, but He also has prepared us for spiritual warfare. We have a safe place that protects us from all the evil:
“For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:18-19)
No matter how stark our future seems, believers can rest in the promise of God’s deliverance. Jesus promised He would return for us, and as a down payment on that promise He sent us the Holy Spirit.
We are very familiar with the spiritual armor of God the Apostle Paul writes of in Ephesians 6. Familiarity with a passage and experience are two different things. One of the pieces of armor Paul describes, he gives preeminence:
“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)
It is our nature to want to fight back, but you cannot fight if you’ve been slayed. Satan uses all means of evil, fiery darts, with which to attack us. We must employ our shields of faith if we are to survive the day.
For those who consider themselves warriors, me among you, we do have an offensive weapon to meet the enemy head on. It may not be what first comes to mind, but it is sure and undefeated:
“The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17b)
Stop trying to fight in your own power.
Stop rendering evil for evil.
Wait upon God’s time.
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers