Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He Has Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear

Each morning when I wake up I am thankful to God for a lot of things.

Things like:
1. New Life in Christ
2. My family
3. God's grace, favor and continued work in and through my imperfect life.
4. The wonder of His creation and beauty of each new day. Along with my ability to enjoy these things.

There are days when I stand in awe of God and His ways. Today is one of those days when I am also amazed at how small and fearful we can be as humans and as Christians.

I have had an email conversation with a person recently who is passionately fearful that certain believers are being deceived by certain leaders and people who claim to be working for God. This person strikes me as truly passionate about helping other believers but also as a person who is consumed with fear that somehow these other believers might miss out if they follow certain 'false Teachers.'

What grieves me and I believe the Holy Spirit is that we as Christians spend so much time promoting fear instead of trusting God and believing that He is more than able to protect us from any teaching that will keep us out of heaven or even from accomplishing what God wants in our lives.

The book of 2 Timothy 1:7 says 'He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound or well ordered mind. '

The book of Job shows (the last several chapters) us that God is much more powerful and knows far more than our little minds can comprehend.
1 Co 13:12-1312 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. NASU

There is such a thing as Godly fear of the Holiness and Majesty of God as demonstrated in the Old Testament Isaiah 6:1-8 and the Book of Revelation 1:17. But fear is more often a tool of the devil than of God.

It is said that Godly fear brings conviction and that ungodly fear brings condemnation. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin.
It is the devil who would condemn us and make us believe that there is no forgiveness of din or escape from its shame.

If we a Christians could use the passion and resources God has given us to build up those who are in His Kingdom and do the work of the ministry instead of using these things to protect the saints from anything that is different from our worldview of the Kingdom of God we might have won the world by now or at least have made more progress at getting the Gospel to every tribe and people group.

We do have a responsibility to let people know when someone is teaching another Gospel or Messiah but we can keep more people in truth by teaching it and modeling Christ like passion for winning, restoring, teaching and equipping people to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-14 than by constantly pointing out all those we might believe to be in error.

I have been a believer for 38 years and seen many new movements come and go. But I have never seen a person permanently deceived when they did not want to be. Some have been hurt and taken up an offense which leads to anger and bitterness which some times leads them away form God. This however is their choice and not the other persons or doing of God.

It comes back to seeking to have more each day of;
1. The mind of Christ
2. The heart of the Father
3. The power and working of the Holy Spirit.

Most of all it comes back to you and I trusting God and allowing others to follow Him according to the understanding and conviction of their own heart. This does not mean that we ignore obvious sin or doctrine that is not Biblical. We need to focus on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

There will come a day when all believers are judged and our works will be determined to be of value or not so valuable.

The spirit of Fear is not God's way of getting us to live a life that is pleasing to Him so let us put off childish things!

1 Cor 13:11-13
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. NASU


Wayne said...

Great blog. First time I've come across it using Blog Explosion.

It's been blog marked.


kip said...

I'm sorry. I don't want to come across as mean or anything, but do you really believe this stuff?

Equipper said...

Hello Kip

Yes I actually believe this stuff. It sounds as if you might not. I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

kip said...

Thank you. I guess the most basic question is, how can you trust anything written in the Bible in the first place? We know there were four authors of Genesis alone. Science has disproved many of the so-called "miracles" recorded in scripture. The New Testament is chock-full of contradictions - Paul vs. James for example.
Bottom line is, the Bible was written by a bunch of different guys, who wrote what they thought was politically necessary during their time.

Equipper said...

Hello Kip

I appreciate your response and your honesty. Without knowing more about your personal story or the source of your information it is hard to give a response to your concerns about and lack of faith in the Bible. I would recommend a few books you might read if you are interested in hearing another side of the issues you mentioned.

Here are a few to think about:

1. Creation & Evolution 101: A Guide to Science and the Bible in Plain Language
By: Bruce Bickel, Stan Jantz
2. Evidence for Christianity
By: Josh McDowell
Thomas Nelson / 2006 / Paperback
3. The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ
By: Lee Strobel
Zondervan / 2007 / Hardcover