Arise, And Do Not Be Afraid

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There are times in our life when we hear the voice of God speaking a Word to our hearts that commands obedience. Sometimes, this brings a fear into our hearts that can paralyze us. In Matthew 17:5-8 We read of the first time that Peter, James and John had audibly heard the voice of God, declaring Jesus to them. They fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. There is a right and good fear of the Lord that we should have in His presence. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, declare Proverbs 9:10 We live in an age where many who profess lack this fear of the Lord and therefore sin easily and lightly excuse their sin. We read of Israel’s response to their first hearing God’s voice, in Exodus 20:18-26 They responded by standing at a distance and begging the Lord to speak them through Moses, instead of directly to them. Notice that God granted them this request, and they continued to sin against the Lord over and over again, until all over the age of 20 died in the wilderness, except for Joshua and Caleb. This was a terrible price to pay because they reacted to the voice of God in fear. In Hebrews 2:14-18 We read that Jesus came to deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. The cross of Jesus Christ that He brings daily into our lives, will deal directly with this fear in our hearts towards God’s commandments. Hebrews 12:18-24 tells us we have come to Jesus who is the mediator of the New Covenant. If we come to Him in faith, and lay down our own will, fears, and anxiety, He will resurrect us with Him to a new glory, and thereby we are changed into the same image from glory to glory. 2 Cor.3:9-18 So the greatest fear we must overcome in our life, by dying daily with Christ and being resurrected by His life, is this fear of death. Secondly, the other great fear that can grip us is the fear of man. Jesus said in John 5:44 ” How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” We can not. As long as we are enslaved to the opinions of others and our reputation we cannot be a bond slave of Christ. Galatians 1:10 We may be able to serve Christ in some capacity, but this fear of man will rule our service and consume us with thoughts and motives that are purely selfish. We will not be able to be a bond-slave of Christ, meaning there will be areas of our life, we are not willing to trust Him enough to obey fully and completely. This can be called the “Saul syndrome” King Saul is an example of this to us. When the Lord called him to be anointed as King, in 1 Sam.10 we read he hid himself. It seemed this fear of man plagued him until the day of his death. We read how this fear caused him to disobey Samuel and God in 1 Sam. 13. Again it cause him to not fully obey the Lord’s command to completely destroy Amalek for their sin against Israel. This fear of the people and seeking to be honored by them, caused Him to lose what the Kingship, His inheritance in Israel. So it is with us. If we do not overcome this fear of man in our life, we will eventually lose our inheritance in Christ. It will lead us into many half obedient experiences with the Lord, and so allow sin to still reign over us, enslaving us to our own pride. But the Lord Jesus has come to set the captives free, to become His bond servants of righteousness. His voice will speak into our every fear, “Arise, and do not be afraid.”

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