A couple weeks ago I unknowingly stepped into a patch of Poison Oak. It tricked me with its leaves that had turned from green to red. I looked at it, reached for it and took it home with me! I can’t even describe to you the discomfort I had on my arms and legs for days afterward. It sent me to Urgent Care to get an antidote for its poison. What soothing relief the medication brought!
There is another poison that is spreading that’s worse than what I experienced. It’s called FEAR. America grieves once again for the loss of innocent lives. We weep with the families and the church who lost dear ones in the shooting during the Sunday church service. While these tragedies sadden us, they also cause fear to spread in our hearts like the poison oak. We ask ourselves and maybe also say it to others,
Are we safe anywhere these days?
Folks are asking, If you can’t even attend church without the fear of being gunned down, where can you feel safe?
On Facebook I saw these comments:
I carry to church. Someone should always be armed and ready these days.
We put some new security policies in place tonight, and we will be adding to it.
How sad. There are no safe places anymore
Whether we agree with these responses or not, we’d all probably admit to the feeling of pure vulnerability and FEAR. How do we respond? What should we do today, tomorrow or next Sunday when we head to church?
The answer came so clearly from one of our visiting missionaries on Sunday. He said:
Fearing the Lord is the antidote for fear. If I fear man, it will affect my behavior. The fear of God should be greater than any other fear.
To fear God is to have a conscious awareness of Him and His presence.
Therefore, if I fear Him, I’ll be aware that He is with me when I am at church, the park, the auditorium or in any other place. Knowing God is there and thinking about that truth will alleviate any fear of man, because God is greater. It also reminds me of other important truths:
- He can protect me.
- He loves me.
- He knows the future.
- He will give grace.
- He will give strength.
The fear of God comes from the knowledge of His Word. It is there that we learn His attributes that give us confidence and true peace – even in these turbulent days.
No one wants to face a terrifying time like the dear folks in Texas, but if we live in fear, and under the shadow of these kind of acts, we will miss out on each day God gives us to love and fear Him with a holy fear. He is greater.
Don’t fear men. Fear God. It’s the only medicine for the poison of fear of men.
Is fear ruling your heart? Ask God to give you a holy fear of Him instead.