Grand Sweep Daily Reading: I Samuel 13, 14, 15
I Samuel 14:6 (NIV)
6 Jonathan said to the young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
Luke 22:41-44 (NIV)
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but your will be done. 43 An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44 And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Fear has held me back more times than I can count. I grew up with an overwhelming fear of animals. Anything that had four legs, teeth and claws scared me to death. My mother used to say that I would run out into the street in front of a moving vehicle before I would let a dog come near me on the sidewalk. I can speak about this fear now, even though I do not understand it. The Lord has helped me stand up and face the things that scare me, even to the point of death. Have you ever been so frightened that you felt totally frozen with fear?
Jonathan took one look at the narrow pathway between the cliffs of Bozez and Seneh, and he was scared. He knew he would have to eliminate the Philistine soldiers if he and his armor bearer were to survive passing through. There were so many soldiers waiting to take his life. Jonathan knew in his heart that His God was greater than any human power, and He placed total trust in the Lord’s ability to win the battle.
Whenever I feel fear, it is always good to have an encourager; someone who I can trust to walk with me in faith. Jonathan turned to his armor bearer said, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” As Jesus went one last time to the garden to pray, He took His armor bearers, the disciples whom He loved, and told them to keep watch while He prayed. Who are the armor bearers in your life? Who watches your back while you are fighting the fears that keep you from receiving God’s best for your life?
Jesus experienced internal combustion that long night in Gethsemane. His flesh wanted out. He did not want to endure the hours of pain and anguish that were imminent. More than that, Jesus knew that bearing the sins of the world would separate Him from a holy and sinless Father. The victory was always His. Still, Jesus began to sweat blood, as he cried out to the Father for help. Our Lord was obedient to the Father’s will, even to death on a Roman cross. When I think of the courage our Lord showed in the face of fear, I find strength to face and conquer the fears in my life. I may not always understand why things happen the way they do, but I know who in whom I place my trust. And He is more than enough to inspire me to lay my fears aside and step up in His will and go.
Have you ever heard the Lord calling you to speak up, and you hesitated for fear of what others may think? How will my family feel? Will my friends run and hide if I share my heart and soul with them? How do I find the courage to share what the risen Christ has done for me? Am I willing to go and spread the Gospel to perfect strangers; people who are “not yet” Christians, just waiting for someone to introduce them to the Lord and giver of new life? What if God calls me to risk my own life for Him? Will fear hold me back or will faith move me forward?
When Jesus prayed for help, the Lord sent an angel from heaven to strengthen Him. Like the armor bearers in our lives, God sends angelic intervention just when we need Him the most. This weekend is a holy moment waiting to happen in the lives of Jews and Christians around the world. We remember and rejoice in the blood of our sacrificial Lamb, and the courage of our forefathers to follow in faith. We have an opportunity to speak up, to reach out, and love our neighbors the way Jesus Christ loves us.
If you find yourself on your knees this morning, praying to the Father for help, look up! Allow the strength of Jesus Christ to become your strength and voice today. If you ask Him to help you, He will do it. When the Lord calls you to go, and He will call you, if you hesitate and allow your fears to keep you back, be prepared to internally combust. He will not let us sit idle. Friends, there is a lot of work to do out there. People need the Lord, and we need to share His love now.
Grace and peace,
Pray for: faith to conquer fear. Don’t allow anything to get in the way of doing your Father’s will. Choose this day whom you will serve. Internal combustion is not a pretty sight. Let it out! Share Jesus every day in every way. May the Lord bless you and keep you, as you seek to serve Him with your life.
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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