Fear. It grips us all, but God has a different vision for our lives. Almost every book of the Bible says, "Do not fear." So why do we? Are we not confident in Him? Are we putting too much faith in ourselves? Are we listening to the words of our enemy?
We have to ask ourselves, "What is keeping me from having the growth in Christ that He wants me to have?" What am I letting come between me and my Lord? Have I allowed a wedge to grow between Him and me? Am I holding onto one part of my life that I just can't give to Him? Is it fear that keeps my faith weak?
While our own fears are bad enough, today Mary enlightened us with the idea that our own fears can be passed down to our children. Yet again, we as parents are called to clean up our own relationship with God in order to be good parents.
Fear is the opposite of trust! If I am questioning God's ability or will to take care of me, aren't I in turn questioning the salvation He has already granted me? My faith is now in question when I think, "Well, you can save me through your Son, Jesus Christ dying on the cross, but maybe you can't save me or my children from a snake, storm, heights, kidnapping, SIDS or (insert your personal fear HERE.) No, self, don't question that He can. No, self, let that fear go. We are to trust that He will "meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 4:19).
If we trust in the Lord with all our fears, He will prove faithful. For "The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6). Hebrews 13:6 says almost the identical message: "The Lord is my helper, I will not be seized with alarm. (I will not fear or dread or be terrified.) What can man do to me?" We see the same idea again in Psalm 56:4, "In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"
So what is going to happen to you if your worst fears come true? If you trust in God, if your worst fears happen, you will be protected, calmed, sheltered and overcome with peace! If you are with God, nothing is impossible, and since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:47 and Romans 5:1).
Instead of being fearful, Paul tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"(Phillipians 4:6-8).
1 John 4:18 tells us that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." That "perfect love" comes from Christ and can drive out our fear!
If you deal with a parent who tries to pass down fear to you, gently and respectfully say, "When you get that fearful feeling, don't say anything to me about it, please, just pray."
All the while, the safest place to be is right in the middle of God's will. When we are in His good and perfect will, all will be right.
To keep things right with God, we are called to fear God and not man. What? I am supposed to fear? Read what Isaiah 8:13 says, "The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread." Well that doesn't sound comforting, but you have to read on through verse 14: "and he will be a sanctuary."
So in order to be a sanctuary for our children, we have to view God as our own sanctuary. Otherwise, we'll leave a legacy of fear in our children's hearts.
On a cheery note, Mary let us know that we will be doing a lesson on Christmas soon that includes creating a budget in order to LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS! First we have to find out how much we have to spend, who we are going to spend it on and then what we are going to buy. I can't wait for her tips on creating a meaningful family celebration centered around Christ. (And I bet you can't either!)