Freedom from Fear as We Abide IN Christ — Let US Go On!

 

Doe & twins 2013-web

Newborn twin fawns and their caring mother – Photo by Michael Clark

Jesus foretold the end of the world saying,

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26, ESV2011)

If we watch the news these days we see destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, hurricanes, pestilence, starvation and such in the natural sphere. Then there is the fear of what mankind is doing,–mass shootings, terrorism, wars, rumors of wars (the fear of war) and all sorts of evil and inhumanity being done to the men, women and children of this planet. Lately we even hear that North Korea’s leader has nuclear launch button sitting on his desk to be used at his whim to fire off a barrage of nuclear missiles that can reach anywhere in America. There is no end to the perplexity and feelings of helplessness that distresses the nations. Wherever people are found who have not put their total trust in Jesus Christ there is fear.

Later in this same chapter Jesus says this:

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be weighed down with carousing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luke 21:34, KJ2000)

He warns against carousing and getting drunk and then includes with these actions being weighed down with the cares of this life. Those of you who have never tried “hiding in a bottle” might wonder how these three things could be related. I have taken to the bottle to sedate my mind enough in the past and know that once I sobered up my fears and depression were only made worse! My worried mind might have been numbed for a few hours, but my troubles always came crashing down on me afterwards like the bursting of a dam.

When we let the cares of our lives and this world become our focus we are showing that we have more faith in their power over us than we have in our loving Father in heaven. Jesus said to the disciples,  “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, RSV). We are more than overcomers as we abide in Jesus.

Peter wrote,

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1Pet 5:6-7, ESV2011)

God is mighty, but to be under His care we need to humble ourselves under His hand. All too often we go charging off into the fray in the self-assurance of our own wills, either by focusing on our own strength or on our own weakness in which we are unable to do anything about it. Whether we focus on our supposed might or on our feelings of inadequacy, we still are not humbling ourselves under the covering of our Father’s loving hands. Satan’s greatest ploy with us is to get us to look away from Jesus who loves us and is in constant intercession for us before the Father and focus on our problems as if we had to face them alone. He loves to do this to us that we become totally isolated from God in our fears. Paul wrote:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice… The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:4-7, ESV2011)

The Lord is always at hand! We who place our trust in Him are never alone. Anxiety is a tool of the devil. But when we turn our thoughts to our loving Father with prayer, seeking His solution in these matters, we will finally get our break through. It is in seeing how much He cares for us that we finally well up with rejoicing in our hearts, knowing that He cares for us more even than we do, the enemy is foiled and God’s peace once again comes flowing into our hearts and minds. T. Austin-Sparks wrote about another facet of the obstacle of self-focus causing us weakness in this battle.

The readiness of Paul was constituted by his having settled, once for all, his own personal, spiritual problems. You never find Paul tied up in the knots of personal spiritual problems, going round, and round, and round, and never getting anywhere because his own spiritual problems are all the while bothering him. Paul had that matter settled at the beginning. He got over that fence, and went away into Arabia, and when Paul said he was ready, it meant that he was at leisure from himself spiritually. No man is ready, in this sense, who is not free from himself spiritually. We do not mean that every question that can ever come to us has been answered, and every problem has been solved, but that we are so utterly abandoned to Christ that we know quite well that, if we go on with the Lord, sooner or later all those things will solve themselves. Our business is to GO ON, and get free from ourselves spiritually. Those who are self-occupied in a spiritual way are the unready, the unprepared. Why not relegate your ‘locking-up’ problem to a place where you trust the Lord to deal with it when He pleases, and get on with the business of the Lord and with His interests? Recognize the desperate need that there is spiritually in this world, and give yourself to it? I venture to say you will come back to your pigeon holes and find your problems all solved. You will come back and find that that thing which was laid on the table for the time being has looked after itself and is no longer a problem to you. While you sit there with it all, the Lord’s interests are being suspended, and you, in the meantime, are getting nowhere at all. Abandonment to the Lord in this way in faith is the first essential, the Lord’s interests becoming the predominant thing, the passion of your heart. There is nothing like that abandonment to the Lord for solving personal problems. Christ becomes the Emancipator when we abandon ourselves to Him. That is [spiritual] readiness.

http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/002213.html

 

In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us. (1John 4:17-19, RSV)

Father draw us with your love and free our hearts from all fear. Open our eyes to see that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Amen.

13 comments on “Freedom from Fear as We Abide IN Christ — Let US Go On!

  1. Amen,Michael.

    One of my favorite verses that kind of captures the essence of your words is Jude 1:9, “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

    We always get ourselves into trouble when we first think we ourselves can fix things, and second, when we take our eyes off of Christ. The “cares of the world” tend to entice us into trying to do exactly that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Gabrielle, it is interesting that you bring up this verse from Jude. I originally had included that near the end and the Lord had me take it out. Railing against principalities is a dangerous business. Even Satan has the right to operate inside the parameters of God’s eternal plan. Only the Lord can rebuke Him when he is not. And when we get too high and mighty in our own self-righteousness with His saints He says, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.” (Rom 14:4, RSV)

      He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6:8, KJ2000)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kenneth Dawson Dawson says:

    I like the way TAS puts it—-GO ON and get free from ourselves,spiritually—-That says it all—or as JBT says—Instead of directing people with which is the right or wrong action to take,the first and foremost thing is to direct people to Christ so that we might share by the Spirit in His intimate relations with the Father and let Him handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An excellent message to begin the New Year, Michael. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judi says:

    * Like 🙂
    The picture of the mama and her twins is so precious! What a wonderful contrast to all the troubles and turmoil going on around us at this time.

    I look forward to not just having a mental assent to the verses you shared in 1John 4:17-19. Fear can get such a hold on us. Often it is unbelief hiding deep inside. If we do not believe God loves us we can’t help but fear death in its many forms and be tormented. (KJV uses “torment” for “punishment” in the RSV)
    Our question becomes, “How do I escape the torment?”

    I can relate to self-medicating – whether by alcohol or drugs or food – a temporary hiding place like sticky fig leaves covering one’s nakedness. The fears come back multiplied since we often do very foolish or evil things “under the influence”.
    Only the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus can make us free from the law of sin and death…

    Amen to your prayer Michael! Amen!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Judi, I took that picture of the deer from my house. They were in the neighbor’s back yard. We live on a dead end street and it is quiet most of the time which is a real blessing.

      As for fear of judgment, as long as I rest in Christ and His love and follow the nudging of His Spirit in me, I have no fear. As Paul told Timothy, ” I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

      May you abide in Him always, dear sister,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Adriana Patricia says:

    Amén Michael. Nada debe eclipsar la presencia de Cristo en nuestra vida.

    J. R. Miller dijo: “Cuando las luces terrenales desparecen, aparece la faz de Cristo”. Cuando todo es oscuridad y desconsuelo a nuestro alrededor, el Resplandor de Cristo ilumina nuestra vida.

    No importa si estamos al borde del precipicio, si nos apegamos a Cristo con todo nuestro corazón, Él mismo nos recogerá y nos sostendrá. Todo es necesario para entender lo que decía Austin Sparks: “Los intereses del Señor se convierten en la cosa predominante, la pasión de tu corazón”. Todo es necesario para que nuestra única pasión y motivación de levantarnos cada día sea Cristo.


    Patricia wrote,
    Amen Michael. Nothing should eclipse the presence of Christ in our lives.

    J. R. Miller said: “When the earthly lights disappear, the face of Christ appears.” When everything is darkness and sorrow around us, the radiance of Christ illuminates our life.

    It does not matter if we are on the edge of the precipice, if we cling to Christ with all our heart, He will pick us up and sustain us. Everything is necessary to understand what Austin Sparks said: “The interests of the Lord become the predominant thing, the passion of your heart.” Everything is necessary so that our only passion and motivation to get up every day is Christ.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Patricia,
      One time while I was in the darkest time in my life on a remote wilderness island in Alaska, I was climbing a steep mountain in an attempt to get back to my camp when my foot slipped and I cartwheeled down the mountain. Everywhere was loose shale rock and I should have slid all the way to the bottom, but it was like an angel caught me and planted my feet on a solid rock. I stood there trembling, seeing how close I came to death, but was finally able to get back down to the bottom and He showed me a better path that had good footing and I got back. I was quite shaken by the whole thing, but I think it was a turning point in that I was able to see that He had not left me alone to die but was saving me from myself in that wilderness.

      “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Ps 91:9-12, KJ2000)

      Thanks for your Spirit led comment, dear sister. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Adriana Patricia says:

        Wow, qué experiencia tan bella que tuviste en esa montaña. Hoy el Señor me estaba enseñando acerca de la senda de Cristo, que es como una subida a una escarpada montaña y tu testimonio es una confirmación muy especial a esta enseñanza de mi Señor hoy a mi vida. En medio de nuestra subida, de nuestra muerte diaria y de cargar la cruz cada día, el Señor no nos abandona, nos transforma. Nos despoja de todo para depositar su vida en nosotros.

        Patricia wrote:
        Wow, what a beautiful experience you had on that mountain. Today the Lord was teaching me about the path of Christ, which is like a climb to a steep mountain and your testimony is a very special confirmation to this teaching of my Lord today in my life. In the midst of our ascent, of our daily death and of carrying the cross each day, the Lord does not abandon us, it transforms us. He strips us of everything to deposit his life in us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Patricia, Yes, dear sister, He never abandons us no matter how alone we might feel at times. it is always a blessing to find out that the He has used my words or one of the experiences He has taken me through as a confirmation to what He has been saying to another one of His precious saints. Thank you for sharing this.

        “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov 4:18, KJ2000)

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s