Brent Silberbauer – September 26, 2021
Intro: Story of Mike Whalen
We all struggle with fear. There are times when God himself has called us to do things that are scary, or we don’t understand or that could have negative consequences in our life.
I think of God asking Moses to stand before Pharoah and say “let my people go.” Moses was afraid.
I think of Gideon being asked by the angel to lead an army and tear down the ashera pole.
I think of Esther who had to stand up for her people on the brink of mass genocide by and evil man.
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
As I search the scriptures I see in almost every major character in the Bible that inspires my faith, there was the necessity to overcome fear. There was the indispensable character quality of courage. In the face of danger and risk God has called us to take action.
As we define fear, let me say. Some fear is logical. I probably shouldn’t jump off this huge ramp on my mountain bike because I can get seriously injured. However, fear is also a weapon used by the enemy to get us to shrink back from the opportunities that God has given us, and to rob us of the joy and peace that God wants us to have.
This may be why the phrase “do not be afraid” appears well over 300 times in the Bible. It is the most repeated command in the entire Bible. Do NOT BE AFRAID. I haven’t verified this personally, but one resource said that “do not be afraid” appears exactly 365 times in the Bible, one time for every day in the year.
It is evident that God does not want us to live our lives in fear. Living and giving into fear has tremendously harmful effects on our mental, emotional, and most importantly our spiritual lives.
This is especially difficult in our day in age when we have the news media who has been fully understanding the more fearful people are, the more they watch the news, the higher the ratings. Essential they profit off of our fear. We government also understands that the more afraid it’s citizens are the more power the are able to exercise over them for “emergency purposes.”
We are living in a time where the opportunity to live in fear has never been greater.
Interestingly enough we are also living in a time where our culture is becoming more and more separated from the values and truths of scripture. The culture here in America, probably since the sixties has been progressively slipping further and further away from the light and friendliness of the gospel. We are currently living in the most Biblically illiterate generation that the US has ever seen. And it shows.
So what do we do? How do we overcome fear, in order to do the full work of God in our lives?
Let’s dive in:
Isaiah 41:10 – “Do not fear, do not be dismayed, for I am with you. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
1) Understand that God is with you.
May times “Do not fear, is coupled with the statement and reminder that God is with you.”
- Psalms 23:4 I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
- Whatever you focus on in your life becomes big. If you focus on the news, on the bad stuff, on what the enemy is doing, it becomes big.
- We need to be informed in what’s going on in our schools etc., but we do not need to fear about it.
- One thing that helps me practically when I am facing fear is just saying. “God is here!” Try that, “God is here!” He is here. Or you can say God, you are here with me. There is something about that that is comforting.
- Jen listened to biographies about Christians who lived inspiring lives. Through WWII. Seeking Alah Finding Jesus, they all have a similar story arch. The biographer is put in a peralas situation, they have to decide to take action in the midst of great risk, they trust God and step out in faith, God comes through in powerful ways. Sometimes they survive, sometimes they are martyred, but every time God comes through. These people have an unshaken confidence and they know God is with them and close to them.
- For whatever reason the weekends that I preach can become a little more stressful. It just so happened that a funeral for one of Jen’s family members was this weekend and she said “sorry you gotta take the kids.” okay no problem I’ll work it out. Then the car lost power and stopped. So Friday Jen says, two kids, a car that may or may not work, a lot going on in my personal business with showings etc, no message yet. And God, you are with me. You are here!
2) Understand that God loves you.
- There is something that happens when we understand how much God loves us. We are safe, we secure in the midsts of intense situations.
- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Powerful!
- Perfect love casts out fear.
- There is something about the Love us God that causes us to love others. It’s incredible. As I have loved you so you must love one another. It’s almost like a currency.
- The purpose of God always involves other people. We don’t live in a bubble and us answering the call of God includes a focus on others.
- If you love me, feed my sheep. There is great humility in focusing on God and focusing on others.
- This is what Peter needed to do. Paul needed to do. Those who appear to be great and fearless inspirational leaders generally you’ll find a focus on God and on his love, and also a deep understanding of a greater purpose to help others.
- Walking on the pier in Capitola, looking down. A little scary. But when I’m with my kids it’s completely different. If any of my kids were to fall off the pier, I would loose all sense of fear, and jump in after them instantly.
- When we understand the love of God, when his love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit there is not getting away with it, we will begin to love others. And it is this type of perfect love that casts out fear.
3) Understand that God is sovereign
- God has counted the number of days. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalms 139
- We want to be men and women who are not afraid to take risks.
- He doesn’t call us to do anything that he doesn’t give us the resources to accomplish.
- There are great rewards. He has ordained the times and places that we would live.
- Don’t live in fear. Live by faith. I trust the God who ultimately controls all things and he will give everything I need to do what he has called me to do.
- Things may not pencil out, they may not make sense on the outset, but we can trust in an almighty and all powerful sovereign God. He is in charge and he will make a way.
- He can do what we can’t do and he has resources that we don’t have.
Example of someone who took a huge risk inspired by faith. Jordan Nassie story.
You: What is God calling you to do?
- School board that wants to teach kids things that are not true.
- Speaking the truth in love in areas where there is error.
- Stepping up.
- Giving money in faith.
- Could you image a bold church standing firm in the faith. Stepping out. Standing up.
- Free from fear, and living out the calling of God.
- The kingdom would be advanced.