Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advent and fear

Fear paralyzes us and makes cowards of us all. I speak here of fear as in cowardice, turning me into a numb skull so to speak.

We read in 1 John that perfect love drives out fear, and this has been, in my life, a rather perpetual problem- even if not so much as of late. Though it did return very recently for an unwelcome visit.

But when God comes on the scene in the Person of his Son, he does so in a sense that ends up driving out the fears of those prepared to receive this gift. The shepherds were terrified at the angel of the Lord appearing to them, but they end up running to the manger and finding the baby Jesus just as the angel had told them. They were not fearful, but excited and active in a new found faith.

Fear as in cowardice is never of God. This fear paralyzes us- just the opposite of what God wants to do, though right down the alley of the enemy of our souls. We need to ask God to let us see the cause of fear and then repent of it. It is almost always unbelief in letting ourselves be taken in by the problem, whatever problem it is, so that it becomes larger than life. Larger in our minds, even than God!

Instead, we need to hear God's word to us in Jesus. And run to the manger, acting in faith.

Fear should not be a factor in our lives in Jesus. Let's remember the Christmas story in light of this. In spite of the different reasons that various people in it could have been stymied by fear, they responded in faith to God's voice, and acted accordingly. We see the end of fear and the beginning of something new taking hold of them, and of us. And not letting us go, as we have something in Jesus that the world cannot give or take away.

(in case you don't understand some of my posting times, you might say it's UK time, or just any time I feel like posting- since I have to get up so early on the morrow)

8 comments:

Martin Stickland said...

Thanks for waking me up Ted! I am glad it was just a bad dream, the old man and the seagull should be flying over your head right about..... now!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thing I'm indoors.

NaNcY said...

"We see the end of fear and the beginning of something new taking hold of them, and of us. And not letting us go, as we have something in Jesus that the world cannot give or take away."

these two sentences are better that 100 books that i could read. it speaks to my heart, now, and gives me comfort. thanks, brother.

The Walk said...

Thanks so much for this post. It's just what I needed. And what a comfort it is to know, too, that regardless of what happens tomorrow, that God will be there, too.

Mike said...

Perfect love drives out all fear. Jesus is the one place we can go have have real peace without fear

Mike

http://theupperroom.typepad.com/

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Amazing how simple words can help us along the way. And we keep needing them. Part of what makes Scripture amazing and needed as well, as the word of God to us.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk,
So true, and so needed by all of us, in so many, really every way.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
Amen. And we need to keep going to him time and time again, and learn to stay there more and more. But in the nature of things, we have to keep going back to him.