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Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid

Well, slowly but surely, I’m settling into the idea that my days of corporate aviation are over.

After almost 20 years of ‘tent making’ while pastoring GHCC, it is finally time to hang up my wings. Not for good mind you…I know and am convinced aviation will play a major role in our ministry again one day!

I have been putting it this way: “My days of driving other people's buses are over!”

My first priority this year is building the local Church. Goffstown Harvest Christian Church. And focusing my time on only a few of which is writing.

I have been going back through ten plus years of notes and articles I have written. I’m filing them a bit more orderly so I can have access to the material more easily. I know I have a lot more books to write and I’m starting now getting my 'desk' in order.

While going through some older files, I found notes from about eight years ago concerning a particular principle regarding faith. Those notes are the impetus for this article. As I went through them, they seem very appropriate for the season myself and my church are in as we prepare for and expect great things for the next year.

Here we go.

In this study, we are going to take some time discussing one of just a couple things the Scriptures inform us…actually ‘warn’ is a more appropriate word…that we are to have a healthy fear over. That's right. As the title says..."Be very afraid."

It is certainly true that “…God has not given us a spirit of fear…” and continually from Genesis to Revelation we are encouraged, rebuked, even commanded, not to be afraid.

In most cases, fear is absolutely off limits to the child of God!

We are prohibited from being afraid!

Having said that…there are some things we are without a doubt supposed to have a healthy, sober, fear of.

Let’s talk about one of those.

“And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see then that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world...Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience..." Hebrews 3:18-4:3,11 (italics mine)

And for a little later:

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…” II Peter 1:3-5

Based on the above quoted Scripture from the Letter to the Hebrews, I'll start off with this statement to get the ball rolling:

“It appears based upon the above passage, there is one healthy fear a Christian should have. After the fear of the Lord of course, it is that of being in it is the primary reason given for not participating in the promised graces of God!"

Continually the Bible warns us about fear and how detrimental it is to experiencing the various graces of God. Yet in this instance, the Bible informs us that there is something to actually be in fear over! For reasons we are about to discover, ‘unbelief’ must be so terrible, harmful, and debilitating, that we are told to be afraid with a goal to avoid being in that condition.

Notice in the above verses (3:18, 4:11), how unbelief and disobedience go hand in hand! That is a statement that ought to sober us all right up. The definition of 'disobedience' is: "failure or refusal to obey rules or someone in authority". Simply, we are given instructions and expectations, and for whatever reason, we refuse. The conclusion we should come to is obvious. Faith in believing God and His Word is not optional.

'Faith' is both a command and an expectation. As serious as "thou shall not commit adultery" or any other command. In the same way our kids disobeyed when we told them to keep their hands off the hot stove, and paid the price for not following our instructions, the Lord considers unbelief and lack of faith, in a similar way.

It is quite evident throughout the Lord’s interaction with men that both He AND His people have roles and responsibilities within His Kingdom. Believing Him is a responsibility we all share as we co-labor with Him. Faith is as much a main ingredient in the Kingdom of Heaven as yeast is to having a big loaf of bread to dip in that seasoned olive oil…with balsamic vinegar of course!

‘Exercising’ Faith