1 Peter 3:6 (NAS): just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
About six weeks ago, I sat at a table with a dear sister, and the coming illness came up. I joked over the next couple of weeks really thinking it was silly and wouldn’t have more impact or cause any more destruction other illnesses do every year. Of course now, six or seven weeks later life has taken a dramatic turn for most of our nation. In that short of a span of time Satan has wreaked havoc in our family and those we love. Doing what he does best which is steal, kill, and destroy.
Isaiah 8:12–13 (NAS): “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. “It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
Those weeks before it hit our area I got a front row seat to the destructiveness of sin. Close enough to the battle of souls to get the carnage splattered on me. One thing I walked away from this experience with; the fear of God and the fear of sin in such a way that I have never experienced before. Afraid not only for the people whom I love whose souls this sin was playing out in – but the deep seated fear of knowing that I am a sinner, that I am but dust and that if it were not for God’s unrelenting grip on me that I too would wander away and perish and die in my sins. The deceitfulness of sin is a terrifying thing to witness.
Exodus 20:20 (NAS): Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”
The other card in Satan’s deck is that he is a liar, the father of lies to be exact. He wants us to be afraid. He wants us to be so overcome with fear and wrought with grief that we don’t pray, we don’t open our bibles. He wants us to be so afraid for our flesh, and our possessions, and for people to think well of us that we only think of how we can get through each day in our own power. He wants God on the back burner of our minds. And he doesn’t care what he has to do to achieve that. Grief, pain, sorrow, loss, financial troubles, hunger, homelessness, illness, death – whatever it takes to get your eyes off of God. He wants us to fear the next hammer that’s going to drop. Cue the illness.
1 John 4:18 (NAS): There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
These fearsome trials helped grow me and prepare me for the storm of this sickness that was coming. The disease of sin is far more deadly and horrifying. Witnessing those that I love gleefully discard God Himself made me bold and fearless to share the gospel of Christ over and over and outright beg for them to repent. It made me focus on the hope that I have in Christ. The hope that every single thing in this world is passing away. I can not cling to one thing that I have on this earth. All that there is to me of any substance is what I am in Christ. That is all. I can cling to Him and live for Him because that is truly the only thing that matters. In the remaining time that we are allotted, until the Lord takes us home in what ever way He sees fit, we must be ready. I must be ready. We must purge the remaining sin that indwells us. This is an opportunity for us to draw very near to the Lord. This is an opportunity for us to repent.
Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.
We must not waste this time that we have in fear. We must not fear what we might lose or if we may fall ill or perish. We must in this time learn to fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We are to fear God only and obey His commands, this is to be the focus and intention of every day of our life. The days are short and they are evil. This is a time to be more than ever gospel focused and gospel driven.
Psalm 46:1–2 (NAS): God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.
Let us be like Sarah and May the fear of God remain in us that we may not sin. May we regard the Lord our God as holy. May we not fear at the abounding conspiracies of this world but fear God and Him alone. He is sovereign and guiding even in these times. May we have the great peace of loving His law and obeying His commands. May we be perfected in love so that all fear is cast out. Let us take courage and stand firm in these times. Jesus has overcome the world.
John 16:33 (NAS): “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Things to examine:
What is it that you fear in these days and the days to come?
How can God help you in your fear?
How can you better fight indwelling sin during these times?
Are there people near to you that you fear may perish in their sins?
Can you share the gospel with them?