Saturday’s Column: Learning From Lehman
The fear I’m talking about is not the kind that tells us be cautious or keeps us from harm, it’s the kind that fills our hearts and minds with doubt, apprehension, and anxiety. When this fear keeps us from doing things that please God, things that he expects from us and commands of us, it is a big deal.
When preparing for this I was given the advice that we should speak about things we are familiar with. I say that because fear has kept me for a long time avoiding opportunities such as this. I have never given a devotional before tonight. It is because of that Fear I mentioned. This type of fear convinces us of things that aren’t true. It convinces you that you’re not good enough to get up here and speak. You are not qualified or educated enough to speak to a group of people; you care too much about what people think of you and the things you say. It convinces you that you are terrible at public speaking, you won’t speak well, or say the right things. This is my personal fear, but all of us here tonight deal with fears that keep us from doing what God wants us to do and what pleases him.
A great biblical example of this is:
- Moses, in Exodus 3: 8-10 when God called him to go lead Israel out of Egypt and speak to pharaoh.
- In vs 11 you can tell he is afraid because he says, “who am I that I should go to pharaoh and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God is quick to reassure Moses “I will certainly be with you.”
- He continues in chapter 4:1 to make excuses to God “what if they will not believe me or listen to my voice” So, God sent miraculous signs to help convince the people.
- In 4:10 he basically said I can’t speak “I’m not eloquent, I’m slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So, God reminded him who made man’s tongue, have not I?! He then said He would be his mouth and teach him what to say.
- And finally in vs 13 he even asked the Lord to send someone else. We should never get to this point.
- We should always look to God, put our faith and trust in the Lord, because fear is not from God. He is a God of love and fear does not have to consume us.
- We should always trust in God when we are afraid. If we draw near to God, he will cast out that fear. In Isaiah 41:10, God reassured Israel – “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”
- II Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God gave us a spirit NOT OF FEAR, but of power and love and self-control”.
- “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So, we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” in Hebrews 13: 5-6
- Ultimately, we can’t let fear keep us from doing what God has commanded of us – we are to go into all the world to spread the gospel with everyone. How can we do that if we carry around the burden of Fear.
- In closing tonight, I want to ask each of us to think about what gets us out of our comfort zone when it comes to doing the will of God? Is it speaking to someone about Christ? Is it inviting our friends or co workers to come to worship service with us? Maybe having a Bible study with a complete stranger? Perhaps leading a devotional for the first time, or maybe leading singing.
- Whatever those things are, we should set aside our fears, put our trust in God, let our hearts be full of Love, not Fear. We should be on fire for God as Jeremy said last week. We as Christians are capable of much more than we realize but how will we ever know those capabilities if we are too afraid to try.
- Philippians 4:13 doesn’t say I can do some things….it says I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.
- How amazing is it that we serve a God that loves us so much, and says he will always be with us, that he will never leave our side. He tells us time and time again we have no reason to be afraid.
(From Travis’ first-ever devotional delivered at Lehman on Wednesday night, 2/16/22)