fear.

There exists a Godly fear (the fear of God and reasonable danger or difficulty) and an ungodly fear (fear we’re commanded not to have). Here’s two thoughts on ungodly fear.

A of all:
Whenever we “fail to do what we should do just because we are afraid of what might happen to us, we are being fearful in an ungodly way.” That nagging urge to speak up, help someone, to love on someone with a need that has caught our attention is there for a reason. To ignore it because of fear is ungodly and sin to its greatest extent. I was in the doctor’s office a few weeks ago getting a check-up when a young lady in her mid 20s/ early 30s walked in my direction on her cell phone with tears in her eyes. She sat down in the waiting room chair directly across from me. She proceeded to tell the person on the other line that the doctor found a cyst on one of her ovaries and a mass so large on the other that the ovary couldn’t be seen. The doctors were about to call her back again to determine what the mass was. She mentioned not telling her dad because he would worry and that her mother had mentioned the possibility of her having a hysterectomy. she had told her mom that would mean she wouldn’t be able to have kids anymore. Her mom replied by telling her she had at least been blessed with one child. Now after hearing this conversation and staring at this girl in tears, I got up and went and sat in the chair beside her. Oh wait, no I didn’t. I didn’t get up. I didn’t sit beside her and put a hand on her shoulder and proceed to tell her that everything will be ok. I didn’t speak Scripture and tell her that Isaiah says, “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” I didn’t tell her that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I didn’t ask if I could pray for her. I didn’t pray, “Dear Jesus, I come before you now knowing that you are sovereign in all of your ways. You have a plan for this young woman who sits before you not knowing her future. You are in complete control and you love us and work for our good. You tell us not to worry, because our lives are in your control. Lord, I pray that this mass will not be anything serious and the doctors will be able to operate on it without any side effects. Better yet, knowing the power of Jesus and his Name, Lord I ask in Jesus’ Name that when the doctors fire up the ultrasound to look at this mass that they won’t be able to find a thing. There will be no more mass and even no cyst. Lord, we humbly sit before you not knowing your plans, but knowing that you are sovereign. We thank you now for everything that you have blessed us with and know that you remain in control. Amen.” I didn’t get her a glass of water or a Kleenex. I just sat. in. my. chair. But, clearly knowing what I was being called to do, I prayed. On top of that, I sent a text message to my girlfriend telling her to pray right now for this young woman, too. I made sure I did everything else I could think of just short of making contact with this girl. And I’m sure my prayers were heard, maybe even answered with a resounding “yes.” But the love of Jesus isn’t a subordinate prayer. It’s action. Obeying the Holy Spirit leading us to meet the needs of others. Being Jesus in the flesh.

B of all:
We also exhibit ungodly fear when “we, without basis, are convinced that something dreadful will happen.” I have often thought of situations such as 9/11 or being in a plane that is inevitably going to crash. What would I do, think, or say? There are two options that are both equally based on fear (either ungodly or godly). I might think, or even scream, “Oh no! I just know this plane is going to crash. I can’t do this. I don’t want to die!” Rather likely, as I succumb to the fear of losing my life. Or I would pray, “Thank you Lord, that I am in your hands. I am just as safe up here as I am on the ground. You are in control of all things. I can trust you to help me with whatever happens.” It’s all based on how we control our fear. If you can’t definitely answer one way or the other, I’d recommend studying fear and how to control it and transform it into a Godly fear. Ask I will do everything I can to provide any resources. Or what if there’s a gun in your face and your denial of Christ will save your life? I pray that I would boast in Christ. But if I denied Him, how Awesome is a God that claims ownership of me even when I refuse to acknowledge Him? If God could turn denying Peter into a courageous apostle, He could surely change me, too.

11Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13

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