There was a robbery on a farm in our area today. The news report said that farmer was tied up and he was robbed of weapons and a vehicle. I also heard on the news that two elderly residents of a retirement home were murdered. Then there is going to be a memorial service at a school for a 17 year old girl and a teenage boy. The girl was attacked and killed in a street at night and the boy was stabbed and killed on the school grounds by other students. In South Africa there is so much of this kind of thing happening daily. It is shocking to say the least. I am refusing to live in fear because I cannot allow the enemy to steal from me in that way. To give up the peace in my heart will mean to give up my salvation. I am serious. Jesus came to give us life.
John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
You might ask if we can take this verse literally, and I really think we should. If we want to have life we cannot be living in fear. What kind of a life is that? Living in fear is the plan of the devil. He wants to make us believe that we have no alternative, or that the alternative is to hop on a plan and find a better life elsewhere. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. If God tells you to emigrate or go and live in another country for a while that’s great and He will provide and there will be a purpose. He told Joseph to take Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt for about two years while Herod wanted Jesus dead. We cannot judge people who choose to move to other places because we aren’t in their shoes and we do not know what their convictions are.
I do think however, that if people move away out of fear it might not be the best thing that they can do for themselves and their own well-being. The thing about fear is that it stalks you. Fear is a spirit and it isn’t going to go away because you move. It is going to stick to you like glue and as soon as a situation arises where you are threatened it is going to resurface and start to torment you again.
2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Isaiah 41:10, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Psalm 118:6-7, The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
There are, in fact, 365 verses in the bible which instruct and encourage us not to fear or be anxious. If you are living with fear, you are going to have to seek God’s face and go for counselling if necessary because it is not just going to go away by itself. I’m reminded of a story I heard about a travelling preacher in the times where it was illegal to sell alcohol in the USA. When he preached he named people who were selling alcohol. Some of these people ambushed him and were going to hang him. All he said to them was, “Do you think you can scare me with heaven.?”
We are going to have to become Kingdom minded if we want to survive in these times. We are also going to have to be so sure that we are going to heaven that the thought of death won’t be able to scare us.