This morning was my usual Tuesday morning gathering with Men here in Durango. I love it when I’m here in town and getting to meet up with some of the most interesting people in the city. Dads come with their sons. Construction guys come with their employees. Mechanics come with their friends. It’s just an awesome time to get together and hear how God is moving in and around the lives of the people who are living in this little Mountain Community.
When we get together, we start with updates on upcoming events, usually we have a speaker who gives a short talk, and then we break up into small groups to talk about whatever the issue of the day may be.
This morning, in my group, we started talking about Fear. In light of the recent ISIS debacle going on in the Middle East and my work making friends with all sorts of people, I just asked the guys, “Why do we Fear so much?”
It’s almost like we’re watching the news, or reading about the barbarism in Libya this weekend, and we just CONSUME that stuff. We eat it up. We invite into our living room. And before long there are people thinking they’re the next one’s who are going to be lining up in the butcher’s bullseye. “But it happened in Libya!” I retorted. Libya might as well be on the moon for all practical purposes.
“And you know it seems like Christians are the one’s who are the most afraid.” one of our group commented.
I asked, “So where are the leaders in the world who have the moral courage to stand up and stay STOP!!! Where are the Christian leaders who can speak with authority to a religious group of people and say ‘Perfect Love Drives out Fear’ (1 John 4:18)? Have we just given into so much death and destruction that we’ve given up hope?”
And a wise man sitting at my table made some interesting comments. For fear (no pun intended) I might misquote him, I’ll just list a few ideas I walked away with that are compelling.
We’ve made our government our god
He started in on how people who call themselves Christian have a strange intermingling notion of fear that the country once founded on Godly principles is fading away. They stand to lose that cultural identity and when it goes, what else do you have? So they hold on tight to what was in hopes that they don’t lose the very existence they’ve built their lives on. So anytime there’s a threat in the government world, fear isn’t far behind.
We don’t believe in a Big God
We’ve reduced our thinking of God down to something that can be managed. We can sneak around and manage our lives, and when we need God to come in with some sort of grand fix, we don’t really believe He’ll do it. We’re comfortable to say, we can handle it. We don’t really believe God has everything under control, so we’re fearful that some of the phrases we use to elevate God to the “Creator of the Universe” may start being called into question. We just don’t believe what we say we believe.
We’re just like the people in the Bible. Things aren’t as bad as we think they are
And then he went on to tell the stories of people found in Scripture who faced great odds. From the Israelites who stared down the Red Sea while an army of Egyptians were chasing them down, they were able to see God work. And then on to the Shadrach, Meshach, Abendego, who were thrown in the fire and four were walking through it ultimately untouched; we’re human. We fear. That’s that. We have so little faith.
I left our group a little more informed, but a lot more confused. Why do we want to watch evil perpetrate the world, and then consume it to the point of anxiety? If God is in control, shouldn’t we be able to claim as David did, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16) We don’t have to worry or fear, you’re days are already counted. Whether you leave this life at an old age in the arms of loved ones, or you step in front of a bus today; that’s GOD’S Deal.
With power like that, who can stand in our way?
We need not be afraid!
The God we believe in is BIG, and THAT God is in control.
Take some time today and do a little research on how many times God commands those who follow him, “Don’t Be Afraid.” And let’s stay close to the words of Jesus, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)
You don’t have to stick your head in the sand, but you certainly don’t have to consume the media racket on fear. Turn the news off, and go spend time with people you love and care about. God’s in Control. He’s big enough.