Sunday, March 02, 2008

Preaching fear...

I preached today. It had been quite awhile with Steph being sick and all... I have really missed it, and I really appreciated being up there again! I preached on the story of David and Goliath. My main point was Fearing God leads to a fearless life! It was great getting to see the church and many people in the church who I haven't seen in awhile. Brent Roberts, a new Action Missionary, also came with me as well as Kelly, the painter guy. They asked Brent to share a few words on the spot. He was like, "I, uh don't really have anything to say." But I whispered, "You need to go. The Spirit will give you the words." And wow, did He ever!! Brent was clear and powerful and honest. It was really good. Afterwards, Brent joking said a funny thing to me: "I am from America. We don't speak by the Spirit." Who knows what God would do if we spoke more by the Spirit! Brent took some video, so I will be trying to get a video clip up soon!

I thought I would answer the question, as I did in the sermon, on why fear is bad...

What is fear? Fear is what we feel when our greatest values are threatened. We all hold things valuable, like our family, or friendships, or our health or our money, our dignity, our lives… When these things are threatened, that is when we fear. Our fears look a lot like Goliath…Our fears look big, strong, intimidating…

It is good to take a step back and ask the question: Why is fear bad?

Fear is the opposite of faith. Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. If it is impossible to please God without faith, then it is possible to please Him with faith. But, because faith and fear are opposites, it is possible to say, "With fear, it is impossible to please God." That is a difficult statement, but I believe it is confirmed by Jesus.

Mark 5:36 Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe." In this scenario, Jesus is saying that you can fear or you can believe… You have two options, and the better one is to believe.

Perhaps this is why God tells us over and over again, “DO NOT FEAR!” There are a lot of commands from God to man, but Do Not Fear is the most often quoted commandment in the entire Bible. The phrase “fear not” is found at least 365 times in various forms throughout the Bible. That is one for each day of the year. He wouldn’t say it if he didn’t think we would have situations where we would fear something and would have trouble believing Him.

We say God is the most powerful, but when we fear, we are saying that something has more power than our God. We believe evil will win. That is why fear is so bad. When we fear we are basically saying to God, “I know you say don’t fear, but I don’t think you are more powerful than my fear.”

Why is it so wrong? Because there is no power greater than God’s power. Other people who do not know God have reason to fear witchcraft or death or tragedy, but not us… Our God is always in control.

Fear doesn’t believe God in his promises or in his power. The Israelites felt that God’s promises were not believable and that Goliath was bigger than their God and so they were afraid and would not fight. They were paralyzed and they did not act.

But David feared God more than he feared anything else and we will see how fearing God leads to fearless living…

It is important for us to realize It is one or the other. Either we will fear God and be free of fear of anything else. Or we will fear something else and be free from the sanctuary that comes when we fear God only. We can’t fear something and still fear God. We can’t fear God and yet fear other things.

I have been doing a blog devotion over the past 100 days on all these kind of fear (not) verses...
If you want to do some more studying on this, click this!

1 comment:

Nan said...

Great message, Steve! The experience Brent Roberts had as he spoke (unprepared), perfectly illustrates our Bible study lesson this week as we study the Helmut of Salvation. Your sermon on fear tied in perfectly with our previous lesson, the shield of faith. I love how God uses other messages, readings, pastor's sermons, etc., to drive home a Biblical truth He wants us to grasp!

Thanks for being His willing vessel!

Miss you guys .. think of you often and appreciate your blog page!