The Thing I Really Fear – and It’s Not Named Donald or Hilary

person-1205140_640There’s something wrong with me.

If you know me, you’ve probably started a list (comment below with your add-ons), but one thing I’ll admit that’s wrong with me is that I fear the wrong things. Well, at least if I’m to identify as an evangelical Christian in America. Specifically, I’m not afraid of who will become the next president. God sets up kings and deposes them. (Daniel 2:21). He puts the governing powers in place. (Romans 13:1)

I don’t trust the American voters as far as I can throw a tantrum but I trust God completely. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He has the first and last word on my life – not Barak Obama, Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, not even Dr. Ben Carson.

I study the issues and watch the debates. I form opinions. I vote. But, honestly, doesn’t it feel some days as if we’ve been blindfolded and told to choose a prom dress from a selection at the dollar store? Voting in the days of spin and social media takes the discernment of Solomon. I certainly don’t want to judge other believers based on which horse they back in this race.

Listen, intercede for America. Speak absolute truth in public arenas. Share the biblical standard for leadership. However, those of us who follow a God who commands us not to fear shouldn’t give in to fear nor foster it in others. The Bible is true and Jesus is present in countries where dictators rule as well as in countries where democracy is in place. My soul cannot be in a state of unrest or at ease depending on who sits in the Oval Office but only at who sits on the throne of my life.

You’ve heard it told that the command not to fear appears something like 366 times in the Bible. Okay, that’s true, but God’s our Father so, just like earthly parents, it’s not so much that He wants us to be completely unafraid as Him wanting us to fear the right things.

Fear of the Lord is healthy and good for the soul. You know how I know? Red letters. Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!’” Luke 12:4-5

In Deuteronomy 31, Moses instructed Joshua to teach the people not to fear their enemy but to learn to fear the Lord. I taught my children not to fearfear-617132_640 monsters under the bed or people who judged them based on their clothing but I wanted them to fear running into the street and running afoul of the Lord’s commands.

So yes, I do have fears.

I fear losing connection with the head of the Body of Christ, Jesus. I’ve seen a chicken body flapping frantically around a farmyard without its head. Not a pretty sight.

I fear lapsing into disobedience by allowing my own selfish desires to blind me to the right choice.

I fear underestimating the power of prayer and under-utilizing it when the world could be a much different place if only I hadn’t chosen an extra hour of television or Facebook over an extra hour on my knees.

I fear losing my hunger and thirst for righteousness.

I fear caving into the pressure of the world, compromising truth, or choosing boldness over meekness, hardness over love, self-protection over forgiveness, and greed over sacrificial giving.

I fear falling prey to false teaching and leading others astray by repeating it.

I fear the slow paralyzing creep of spiritual sloth affecting my time in His Word and the power of His Spirit within me.

I fear being the cause of disunity among brothers and sisters in Christ and thus disrupting our witness to the world.

I fear that my love will grow cold in these times.

I take these fears to the Lord. They’re not crippling feelings but goads toward spiritual maturity. They are guardrails. They are a shepherd’s rod and staff. These are the fears of a daughter who lives in dangerous times and knows to stick close to her Father, to rely on His counsel, to follow His lead, to seek His face. These are fears that motivate me to keep my head in the game, to stay alert, to remain in God’s Word, in the Spirit, and in obedience body, mind, and strength.

These are fears that rule lesser fears. These fears send earthly fears running for the shadows. I’m not a brave woman but when my fears are properly ordered, I can live courageously. In Christ, courage is mine.

During these days of candidates shouting and pundits spouting, pay attention, loved ones but don’t allow the headlines to dictate the state of your mind or soul. Don’t let the talking heads determine your agenda.

There were eternal headlines set in place in ancient times that still rule those who walk by faith. Jesus engaged with opponents publicly but He never allowed them to set the agenda or determine His response. We follow Him.

I leave you with these words from Isaiah: “For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” Isaiah 8:11-15

Can I get an Amen?

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11 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Paula Wisdom says:

    Your words are so god for me! Amen.

  2. Lori,
    You hit the nail on the head. How often lately have I had to sit back and ask God to show me how to fear Him without living in fear. What a great post. Thank you.

  3. Carla Allaire says:

    How often I have used that Daniel scripture when talking to people lately, Lori. The worldly ‘church’ are all out campaigning, whether actually IN their churches or on the streets. They HAVE forgotten that, no matter what WE think of the leader, God has put him in place for such a time as this. Now is the time we walk by faith, not by sight. I pray Godly wisdom for us all.

  4. Lisa Evola says:

    Amen! Well said Lori!

  5. Jackie says:

    Thank you Lori! Amen!

  6. Amen, Lori! I hear so many Christians bemoan our current elected officials and fear the ones who might be elected. When I say that God has appointed leaders for this time, they get frustrated with me. I don’t fear our elected officials – God is more powerful than any man on earth. One thing I do fear is the consequence of our people straying, even turning their backs on God.

    I believe God has appointed these leaders to shock the church into recognizing it’s sad state and into standing for Jesus. We should live in faith, not in fear. Easier said than done, right?

  7. Melanie Gibson says:

    I am a member of the First Baptist Church in Wickford and we have been studying your book, Running from a Crazy Man, in our adult Sunday school. Anyway, last week we were discussing a chapter that had to do with honesty and not faking it as a Christian. The conversation kept veering around to the current political climate, but the general consensus was that while it was easy for us all to be on our Sunday-best behavior while we were there, we had to remember during the week that we are Christians before we are Democrats or Republicans and not let ourselves get carried away by the media frenzy.

  8. Brenda says:

    Amen, amen, amen! Thank you! I needed this.

  9. Andrew Chiu says:

    Shared = amen

  10. Denise says:

    Psalm 46:10~”Be still and know that I am God” alleviates all fear for me. It is my mantra~