Planted and Fearless, pt. 2
Last year, just as this blog was getting going, I wrote a post called Planted and FEARLESS. Today, watching the world buy all the toilet paper because of novel coronavirus-19, I'm reminded of the sentiments in that post.
In the Church, we talk about fearlessness rather often. It's an important aspect of our faith in Christ. It was hidden within one of Jesus' last messages to His disciples:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV, emphasis added)
Today, though, I want to focus on the Planted portion of this post's title. I think that we often forget the "how" and "why" of the command to be fearless. In the past, I have been wracked with guilt over the fact that I have overwhelming fears sometimes. But I have a secret for you. God doesn't tell you things to make you feel guilty. No command is there to make you feel bad. This command, in particular, is there to make you feel safer.
In a world where an uncommon cold causes worldwide panic, the stock market is falling every day, and there's no toilet paper on the grocery store shelves, how can we be fearless? What even makes this possible, not to mention commanded?
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?... For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31, 8-39, NKJV)
Here's the big message: Your God and mine is bigger than your respiratory system - He made it. He's bigger than your 401k - He'll outlast it. He's bigger than shortages - He fed thousands of people out of a kid's lunchbox.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, NKJV)
Here's an analogy for you. The world is your playground. Before you knew Jesus, the big kids hogged the swings, the bullies pushed you around, and the teachers looked the other way. But now, Jesus is your big brother.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:14-17, NKJV)
You can strut onto the playground fearlessly, because Jesus is walking alongside you - a big brother who has promised to protect you. He didn't promise it would always be easy, or that you'd never have trouble. After all, if as a kid on the playground you always got your way, you'd never grow. But He did promise that He'd be there for you through the suffering; and when the going gets really tough... when you mess up and become the bully or hog the swings, just when the teachers turn and look at you... you can rest in the fact that Jesus has already stepped in and taken your punishment.
I leave you with this:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)
Sarah Jo Smith; Austin, TX; March 11, 2020