An ancient Sunday School song said, “be careful little ears what you hear.” We’d do well to abide by that rule. Today, ubiquitous news sources produce a steady hum of the negatives of our world. The relentless drumbeat of cynical political “opinionators” and news flashes on the ongoing reign of terrorists across the Middle East and Africa, are punctuated by tragic news reports of hundreds of Christians murdered, drug wars, missing planes, environmental disasters, women and girls abused by predators.
Fear wants your heart. “Fearmongering” politicians attempt to influence our views and votes. News sources attempt to keep us tuned in past commercial breaks to influence our purchases. The result? A sense of fear has gripped our world. You see it in the headlines on video screens and in the very real faces of people you encounter everywhere.
Here’s the mistake to avoid: Don’t just listen to those who speak fear instead of faith! I’ll tell you exactly how…
The Bible teaches about the very real “spirit of fear.”
Paul said, “You have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Luke recorded Jesus teaching on the spirit of fear in the last days, “And men’s hearts will fail them from fear, and the expectation of those things that will come to pass” (Luke 21:26).
How do we overcome fear and the “spirit of fear”? We redeem our expectations through the spirit of faith from God’s Kingdom. Fear is the expectation that what you think will happen will come to pass…Faith is the expectation that what you think will happen will come to pass. Same definition—different sources, different outcomes.
How do we defeat fear? We make the presence of God, the Word of God and the life of Christ our source for decision making, thought life and wisdom. Our power source for upbeat life and thinking as men of God is, “Christ in us the hope of glory!” (Colossians 1:27).
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things” (Philippians 4:8).Why did he make a strong imperative to think on the positive characteristics of God and His kingdom? Because we are surrounded with and hit by a daily barrage of negative impressions through so many wars, tragedies and calamities. If we’re not diligent we will think of nothing else…and adopt a spirit of fear. We are negative by nature and must be “converted” daily to the life of faith. Faith is the characteristic of the Kingdom of God. Fear is the characteristic of the world.
Paul tells us to “renew” our minds, to fill our hearts with God’s presence. God’s presence in our lives is the only antidote for a world in chaos. The Prince of Peace must be the center of our lives and the source of our faith. Faith is not the absence of war, but the presence of God in the middle of the war.
Fear is a normal reaction, an emotion, but should not be the center of our thinking, the inducer of our will. Faith is not the denial of what we observe, but the realization that God is sovereign in all things, and that our trust is in Him. Previous generations have endured the same or worse. But in God we trust!
I look forward to seeing you in November at the CMN Global Summit. There is a seat waiting for you. Here’s where to register and all the details – www.CMNSummit.com