“Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11 NLT)
Have you ever been really scared? When I was a boy, I had a clown about four feet tall that stood just inside my bedroom door. It had sand or something in the base so when I hit it, it would bounce right back up. I must have watched a scary movie or something, but when I turned to go into my room one night, I saw a shadow and it scared me so badly I immediately raced back down the steps, skipping most of them.
Apparently, the dim hall light caused the clown’s shadow to appear larger than it was, but for whatever reason, I was terrified. Can you even begin to imagine how the guards must have felt who were guarding Jesus’ tomb? And that was just an angel! Do you even want to contemplate what it will be like to come before the King of kings and Lord of lords on judgment day? I love Jesus with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, but I don’t think there will be anything casual about coming into His presence when this life ends.
Fear is a legitimate emotion given the right circumstance, but I’m convinced we give fear far too much credit when it comes to our obedience to the Lord. Rick Warren wrote: “There is a myth that godly people are never afraid. That’s nonsense! Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving ahead in spite of your fear.”
Is there something the Lord has laid on your heart that is causing fear to paralyze you? The most frightening thought for me is that someone in my spheres of influence will miss heaven because I was too frightened to share Christ with them.
The Old Testament book of Nehemiah finds Jerusalem’s wall destroyed, leaving the returning Jews very vulnerable. This news set in motion a series of events that began in Nehemiah’s heart and mind but led him to courageously share his burden with the King for whom he was his cupbearer.
Being a cupbearer wasn’t a job many would seek because their job was to supervise the staff that prepared the king’s drinks. And though it was on some levels a prestigious position, it required, at least on occasion, tasting the king’s drink before giving it to him. Why? Because not everyone loved the king and some would try to take him out by poisoning him, thus, the need of a cupbearer.
Nehemiah had reservations about sharing his people’s needs with the king, but once the king asked, Nehemiah described his dilemma in detail and, much to his delight, the king provided everything he needed to help his people rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.
Sometimes we have fearful reservations when it comes to sharing our needs with the Lord, uncertain as to how He will respond, or even if He will respond. We may already have in mind a plan to address the project the Lord has laid on our heart but are getting conflicting advice from those with whom we speak about it. Ask yourself: “What’s the basis of the fear I have in light of the possible outcome if I do what I believe the Lord is leading me to do?”
Are you more concerned about what YOU will look like if you fall flat on your face, or that it might reflect badly on the Lord you’re seeking to represent? Or is your fear based more on the possible consequences for the person or persons who will be affected by your decision? Whatever your fear, wait patiently before the Lord. Do your homework thoroughly, pray specifically, listen carefully, then move forward boldly, being confident the Lord is with you, for you, and will use your willingness to follow Him faithfully as a means of increasing your faith and furthering His purposes to His honor and fame.
Blessings, Ed 😊