I have been feeling a little run down and sick for about a week now but I wanted to post some notes from my last part of my sermon series. You can listen here if you like. The series was about freedom and freedom from fear being the last was a huge one for me. I wanted to expressed how deeply the Father wants us free…I’m hoping you see that in the words He gave me.Bless you! – JC
“A good society is able to face the schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.” -FDR
There is an enemy of our souls that wants to dominate the world we live in. And one of his main weapons is fear.
The dictionary describes fear this way…
An unpleasant (no kidding) emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
It seems to me…that it takes a certain amount of faith to accept fear…in order for fear to affect us…we need to believe in it. That’s not freedom!
Everybody, if they’re honest with themselves, feel afraid sometimes. Feeling afraid is not the issue…being controlled by that fear is.
In 2 Timothy verses 16-17 it reads…
“Therefore I remind you to inflame anew the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands. (17) For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Really…then why are we so afraid? Why do we give more strength to our fears than the truth?
We fear for our safety, our security, our position, our health, our family, our processions. Fear affects our choices and the decisions we make. We get afraid to stick our neck out…to take a risk…to believe God has our best interest in mind.
Yoda (from Starwars) was always saying “Anger leads to the darkside….yes” Sorry the little Jedi was wrong…anger doesn’t lead to the dark side…FEAR DOES! It leads us to the darkness of doubt…of unbelief. Fear seeks to keep us in the dark and not see God’s goodness.
Fear paralyzes…it keeps us from freedom, from the Father’s purpose for us. It lies through its teeth to us…it lies about God’s goodness.
I believe we’re afraid because there is a fundamental misunderstanding of His goodness… In Romans 8:28 we read this…
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
This verse bothers me sometimes… it’s saying that whatever comes into our life is a part of God’s purpose to bring about our good and His glory. Hardship, trials…pain…God’s uses all these things to work character into us and to free us. It may not seem that way…but it’s true…its part of our freedom path. God uses these “all things” moments…these challenges, to shape our character. He wants us to be free in this manner because freedom without faithfulness is a bad combination.
When we are set free from fear, we are finally free to lo live. Jesus didn’t raise us from the dead spiritually, to have us hang around the gravesite the rest of our lives. In the Gospel of John is the story of Lazarus, now this is a freedom story! Lazarus has died…Jesus tells people to roll away the stone, he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and he has people release him from his grave cloths saying…unbind him…let him go.
We get to do this…we get the privilege of speaking life into people because of the Gospel message. It takes a strong and courageous spirit…setting captives’ free angers the enemy. The Pharisees were ticked off when Jesus raised Lazarus, so much so they wanted to kill Jesus and Lazarus…he was alive…he was a testament of freedom. Jesus picked a fight….and so should we.
Free people do this…