DisappointGodaphobia

It seems there is a fear or a phobia for everything these days. A fear of snakes, Rattle-Snake-Coileda fear of water, a fear of the dark, a fear of public speaking, a fear of heights, a fear of spiders, a fear of flying, a fear of injections, a fear of tight spaces, a fear of germs; there’s even a fear of long words.  People are flat out afraid of everything under the sun; even Christians. Why? Why is it that we are so afraid of things? What is it about fear that causes us to change the way we act in certain situations? If we’re scared of snakes; we don’t go near them. SpidersIf we’re scared of the dark; we keep a light on. If we’re scared of speaking in public; we do whatever we must to avoid those situations. If we’re scared of heights, we stay on the ground. And you get the picture. But this post isn’t a study on fear. I’m not a psychologist. But, for whatever the reasons that causes us to be afraid, there are solutions to keeping away from being afraid.

But I pose to you today, no matter how many types of phobias there are; there are only 2 categories of fear. The sinful kind and the biblical kind. We mentioned the sinful kinds. It’s being afraid of anything that can harm the flesh. Matthew 10:28 tells us exactly that. “Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” (We’ll look at part 2 of that verse in a second.) The Word of God plainly states that fleshly fear is not only foolish, it’s sin. Why? Well God has promised again and again that He’ll protect us and that He’ll provide for us and that no harm will ever come to us unless our loving, caring God allows it. Jesus goes on in the same passage in Matthew 10 in verses 29-30 to tell us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.”

When we fear, we doubt that God can carry out what He has promised to do. And when we doubt God, we sin. There’s the equation of how fear equals sin. None of us can justify our petty little fears unless we contradict the Word of God. There is indeed something that God cannot do. In fact there’s two things. He cannot break a promise and He cannot let us down. So when we fear, we have once again bought into the lie that God can let us down and can break promises, and there in lies the sin.

And there’s someone who loves fear; Satan. In fact fear is Satan’s #1 weapon of choice. Whenever in battle with us, that’s the first weapon Satan goes to. Why is fear so potent even to Christians? Because even so-called believers can, in a moment, act like practical atheists. And when that happens, the flesh defeats the Spirit of God and sin occurs. But again, Satan can’t make us sin. Satan can only open the door of opportunity for sin. It’s you and I who must take the initiative and walk through. And once we walk through, no matter how many times we have claimed Christ and how many praises we have sung about our awesome God; in that instant, we act as if God doesn’t exist. Either that or we make His word void in our lives by reading it and not living by it.

So it doesn’t matter what our phobias are. Picture 13Satan’s like that NFL team who watches tape on their opponent before they play them to see where they’re weak. Satan will learn you. He will find your phobia(s) and he will squeeze them like a pressure point until we say “uncle.” But there’s always a solution.  TRUST GOD! If we put our faith in Him for Creator, Savior and Father; we should trust that His Word is the most secure thing we will ever come across. Satan is powerful, the flesh is weak, and fear is a deadly weapon; but God reigns supreme and will ALWAYS take care of His children, even when we doubt. What a mighty God we serve!

However, there IS a Godly type of fear; in fact it’s biblical. The fear of God. To my knowledge there’s isn’t a phobia for it, but that should be the only phobia that exists in a Christian’s life. Let’s look at the 2nd part of the verse in Matthew 10:28 “…But rather fear Him who is able to to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  That “Him” is obviously talking about God. Man can hurt the flesh (but only when God allows), and even then it’s only earthly, temporal flesh. God can DESTROY BOTH body and soul and He can do it eternally and permanently. That fear is biblical and it’s the fear that causes action; the action that points to Jesus Christ as our Savior. Without the understanding that sin leads to death (eternal death), and that God is able to carry out His eternal judgment, salvation through Jesus will never happen. So every Christian has at one time feared God. And that’s a good thing!

However, just like faith, fear of God sometimes ends with salvation. We fear Him enough to make sure our sins are taken away, but after that, fear of God stops or greatly decreases. It did in my life at least. How come? Why are there literally thousands of phobias, and no fear of God? And I suggest to you, go up to a Christian and ask them what they’re afraid of, or ask them what their phobia is. Usually 9 times out of 10, a Christian won’t hesitate to tell you what their earthly fear is. That’s how casual we’ve made fleshly, sinful fear. But rarely, rarely will anyone ever say, I’m afraid of disappointing God.

So what? Maybe I’m spiritualizing things too much?

Let’s look at another passage from the Word of God. This time from 1 Peter 1:17. “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;” Again you will see biblical, Godly fear commanded to us as believers. But this time it’s not talking about fear that saves. It’s talking about the fear of disappointing God. When every believer stands before God someday at the judgment seat of Christ, God will judge every Christian’s works while they were on earth. The good fruit (according to Matthew 12:33), will last for all eternity and we’ll be rewarded for. The bad fruit (any act, sin or not, that wasn’t done for the glory of God) will burn in the furnace along with those who rejected Christ as Lord and Savior. And the fear of disappointing God should be our fuel for the fire. Our motives to please and serve God should come from our love for Him (for saving us, protecting us, providing for us, allowing us to serve Him, etc. etc. etc); and also the fear of standing before our Creator, Savior and Father someday and having a large amount of our works being tossed into the fire, and for us to have nothing or very little fruit to give back to God for all the love He’s shown us.

If that’s not our phobia, then we have a problem.

There are people who fear and love God and it’s evident in the way they live. And there are people who fear man and things of this earth and who love themselves, and it’s also evident in the way they live. Everyone is afraid of something. I don’t know about all of you, but growing up, no matter how many spankings I received, I never ever wanted to hear either of my parents say these words, “Todd I am disappointed in you.” That phrase cut deep and hurt a lot more than any spanking ever did. Now think on a MUCH grander scale what it would be like to stand before God, and for the realization of all He has given you and all the heavenly paradise that is waiting for you because of His love for you; but to stand there with spoiled fruit while God judges your works, and without even a word from God, for your soul to know it as fact, “I am disappointed in you.” BE AFRAID OF THAT!

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