“And Abraham said, ‘It was because I said, ‘no one fears God in this place and they will slay me over the thing of my wife.’’”
“For this reason, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give you a spirit of cowardice, but of power, love, and self-control.”
(2 Timothy 1:6-7)
How often believers fall into the trap of fear. How sad it is when those who should know no fear of the things that can destroy the flesh of this world succumb to the terrors that it seems to present. Even here, Abraham, the “father of the faithful” (Romans 4:11), falls prey (once again) to the fear of what will happen if Abimelek finds out that Sarah is his wife, not his sister. And rather than trusting God, he falls back into his old sin of half-truths to try and cover himself.
As Christians, though, fear is not a character trait that should mark us. We have a God who is Lord of all of the heavens and who reigns sovereignly over his creation. We are in his hands and not under the power of the hands of our enemies. What confidence that should give to us, what boldness we should have as we share the Gospel of truth with our neighbors, friends, and co-workers. We, of all people, should be going out and sharing our faith; yet how often we adopt a fortress mindset and retreat our Christianity behind the walls of our church buildings. How sad it is that Christians who know the power of God in their lives can then doubt that power so greatly that they become timid and fearful and do not speak the truth into the lives of those around them.
Loved ones, love God. And whether the people in our communities love and fear God should not stop you from sharing the Gospel. What is the worst they will do? Make fun of you? Try and ridicule you? Was not our Lord ridiculed and made fun of for our sake? Will they attack you and harm you? Was not our Lord beaten for your sins and for mine? Will they kill you? Indeed, they may, but why fear those who can only harm the flesh when the God of heaven has the power to destroy both flesh and spirit? Loved ones, there is nothing to fear… go, make disciples of all men by seeing them baptized in the church and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded. There is nothing to fear from men.
Shall I, for fear of feeble man,
The Spirit’s course in me restrain?
Or, undismayed, in deed and word
Be a true witness for my Lord?