“Daaaadddaaaaa!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. “Come here Daddy! I need you!”
It was 4 AM this morning. My precious 2 1/2-year-old daughter Amira was crying in desperation. So, what’s a good dad to do? Down to her room I went.
At first sight of me she seemed relieved, and immediately she exclaimed, “I need some milk.” We talked some, quenched her thirst, and the conversation quickly went from her dry throat to more pressing issues.
“I need to sleep with you in Mommy’s bed” (funny how that works, isn’t it?). “No dear,” I replied, “you can stay in your bed. Just a couple more hours until the sun comes up. Your bed is nice and comfortable!”
“But there are monsters on my wall.”
She said it in such a matter-of-fact manner that I had to try to keep from chuckling.
Turns out, the monsters were not just on her wall, but also in the closet, under the bed, and on the ceiling, she told me. Honestly, I don’t know where she got that idea, but she was fully convinced of the infestation.
I showed her how safe her room was, that monsters weren’t real, then I assured her that God is in our house and he keeps the monsters and other scary things away. She got tucked in and slept for a few more hours, and woke up nice and cheerful as if nothing had ever happened. Thank goodness.
How many times do we act the same way? All around us there are “monsters” out to gobble us up. Maybe not the big, hairy, green ones, but our fear manifests itself in other ways.
- I can’t try anything new because I might fail
- I can’t witness because people might reject me
- I can’t give to the church or missions because I might not have enough for other bills
- I can’t speak to anybody about God because I might make them angry, and I might even be persecuted
It shows up in missions all around the world. May I be bold to say, Fear-based Christianity and fear-based missions is sin.
Why is it that the most frequent command in Scripture is to fear not? I believe that there are 2 prominent reasons:
1. Fear causes us to magnify a lie instead of Jesus
What is fear? It is worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet! Satan whispers a doubt, a lie, an unfounded anxiety, and we swallow it. That’s why we find the following in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Anything that makes itself greater than my God is an idol and must be torn down. Tear down your fear. Bring your thoughts into captivity. Trust Christ.
2. Fear causes us to miss God’s will
When fear controls your life, the Devil gets the victory because you’ve already given up. “There’s no use in trying.” many might say. When we think of reaching the world with the Gospel, what is the greatest hinderance? We have missed it because we’re dominated by fear. Paul told one of the young men he mentored in 2 Timothy 1:6-9:
“6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
He had to remind Timothy of something that was forgotten. Fear doesn’t have to own you. God has something greater for you. The power to defeat that fear is already in you. If you don’t squash that fear, you will miss God’s plan for your life!
Christian, What’s your fear? What’s the “Monster on the wall?” What’s lifting itself up above Jesus in your life? What’s holding you back from doing God’s will? It’s time to lay it aside and trust Christ. It’s time to live boldly for the ONE who gave all for us.