Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fear Can Be A Prison

Chuckle: A drill sergeant had chewed out a young cadet, and as he walked away, he said to the cadet, "I guess when I die you'll come and dance on my grave." The cadet replied, "Not me, Sarge! I promised myself that when I got out of the Army, I'd never stand in another line."
Quote: "Fear is never a good counselor and victory over fear is the first spiritual duty of man." --Nicolas Berdyaev
"And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ" (Philippians 1:14 NLT).
I read about a woman who never shared her faith at work because she feared repercussions from her superiors and possible rejection by her own workmates. She was even afraid she would lose her job. She was encouraged by a friend to entrust her fear to the Holy Spirit and be bold in sharing the love of Christ with others. She did so, and in her case, there were no negative consequences as she had feared.
In our passage, Paul was in prison in Rome and his boldness to proclaim the gospel, even while in chains, served as encouragement to others. Paul saw his circumstances as an opportunity to spread the good news of Christ. He looked for ways to demonstrate his faith even in the most difficult of times. Because of his boldness, Roman soldiers of the palace guard heard the gospel as well as other Christians and they were encouraged to put aside their fears of persecution and be faithful witnesses for Christ.
Fear of being rejected or persecuted is a major factor in the failure of many Christians to share their faith. I dare say we have all experienced such fear at some point. Fear can become a prison far stronger than the chains that held Paul. Fear can literally paralyze and prevent us from doing anything for our Lord. If you are imprisoned by fear when it comes to sharing your Christian testimony, you are depending upon your own strength rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ Himself will unlock the doors of you prison of fear and give you the bold words He wants you to say if you are willing to trust Him.
Another important deterrent to your fear is the strong conviction that God has given you a message to deliver that your audience needs desperately to hear. Such a conviction will help free us from our prison of fear. When commanded by Jewish religious leaders not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus or face punishment, Peter and John replied, ". . . we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20 NIV). Later they prayed, "Now, Lord consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness" (Acts 4:29 NIV).
Let's pray together that our fear will not imprison us and that we will be courageous enough to speak fearlessly in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home