Be Courageous Oh Ye Dregs!
"The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted." Proverbs 29:25
- When we put the opinions and attitudes of men above God's we are like a wild pigeon who wanders into a snare.
- When we look anxiously at man's threats and intentions more than we trust in His providence we flail as a downed hog in the hunter's pit.
- When we worry about how others perceive us when our behavior is not contrary to God's Word we step into the loop.
In short, fear is a snare.
The Devil is a whisperer in your ear telling you just how lame your boldness is and just how silly your confidence seems, but we must never listen to him lest we lose our effectiveness for the cause of Christ.
Remember Timothy. Remember how Paul instructed him. He reminded his young apprentice that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but rather one of power and love and of soundness of mind and discipline. [2 Timothy 1:7] He encouraged Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. [2 Timothy 2:1] The fear here described by Paul (deilia) is moral cowardice. But we are not a people born again to timidity; we are new men raised up to bear witness to the world of the greatness of God in Christ. Our surety rests and is rooted in His promises, character, and history. He is the One who empowers us to live victoriously in uttter confidence tempered by grace.
We are courageous because of who He is and what He has done not because of ourselves. God specializes in raising up the dregs to prominence of faith and making what seems right and sensible in our eyes rubbish. [1 Corinthians 1:25-31]
Hear the pen of Jay Adams when he writes, "The enemy of love is fear; the way to put off fear is to put on love… Love is self-giving, fear is self-protecting. Love moves towards others; fear shrinks away from them. But… we must remember that love is the stronger since it is able to 'cast out' fear. In dealing with fear nothing else possesses the same expulsive power." The Christians Counselor's Manual, p. 414
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18