Key Bible Verse
But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always…
1 samuel 2:35
Fear stifles Faithfulness
Reread that key verse. God is about the business of raising up – by His intentional means and for His own use – men and women that He can use. Men and women who will “do” – who will not sit and drink in the power of their salvation and neglect the gifts within them which are specially tuned to the needs of those about them. God is training, guiding and leading men and women into roles which He has ordained and blessed – roles grown from two powerful and endless sources – His Heart and His Soul. Now you’ve got to stop and gnaw on that. He is in the business of training you and I to deliberately and faithfully “do” those things which are the produce of His heart and soul.
And when seen in that light, it is no wonder that this promise gains the attention of the devil and his crowd who actively seek to deny and destroy our capacity to remain faithful to our design. The demons do not want you to “do according to what is in the Heart and Soul of God”. And although there are several ploys and tricks they will attempt in keeping you away from being faithful, one trick is most effective as it is also most debilitating… Fear!
We are afraid to Trust, to believe, to do our spiritual duty – to remain faithful to the Lord when the stakes of life and the risks seem so high. There are three areas that fear creeps into fuss with the believer – making them pause and doubt – areas that conjure fear and steal our faithfulness to the Lord. David said that the Lord was his light, his salvation and the defense of his life (Psalm 27:1).
His light – this speaks of an illuminated road ahead: the choices we need to make while we stand at the crossroads – those points of decision where the Believer can easily become confounded, befuddled and an easy victim to feelings of anxiety and fear.
His salvation – this feels like a cry for deliverance – an unwelcome circumstance where the Believer has stumbled into a threatening and uncertain place – a place of great need; a place with an intractable desire to escape. Often in such circumstance we grow anxious and fearful. We cannot see the way out.
The defense of his life – this seems a plea of continuing safety. We are just not plumbed to accommodate long seasons of exposure to difficulties and danger (physical or spiritual). We watch circumstances and grow anxious and fearful against life’s uncertainties. We need the tangible support a place to run and hide – a shelter from the storm. Without such a place – the trials and anxieties pile up and we lose our attentions and capacities to remain faithful to the study of the Word, prayer and gathering together with others.
These three places of fear rob the Believer of energies and focus. Worry binds our reason and chases us into considerations of future scenarios – few of which seem profitable or harmonious. The Psalmist wrote (Psalm 112) that the righteous will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord; his heart is upheld, he will not fear. I like the position and feel of this verse. First it twice says “he will not fear” – not only will fear be out in the open for discussion – but it most emphatically states fear will not remain – it will be driven away. (And as a matter of Bible instruction – I like to really pay attention when God repeats Himself in the Word – “he will not fear” is noted twice.) And what does the verse say is the reason why fear is held at bay? Two reasons. Steadfastness and Trust – the twin-fruits of Faithfulness. Steadfastness conveys deeply rooted, immovable, while trust conveys security and confidence.
Key Bible Verse
Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it...
We just spoke of trust – that certain something that tells you, without a bunch of external evidence, that Someone has your back. Notice also the verse cites that the Believer is to “do good” – that we are to be about doing – that there is no such critter as an armchair Believer. We must be about doing “do good”. See too, we are to dwell in the land. Now that harkens back to the Promise to Abraham about Israel being a world-recognized Kingdom – (check out Pastor Bob’s 164 page Restart Resource on the Book of Revelation to learn more about the coming 1,000 year Kingdom.) In the mean time, Israel must sit content to look forward to the fulfillment of this great promise. Then for us to dwell in the land we must also keep focused on the Promises of God. The Trusting of God and the Doing of Good are fueled and maintained by the direct and intentional meditation on the Word of God. Another important insight from this verse is that Faithfulness (that thing the devil attacks via Fear) is something to be “cultivated.” We must groom, feed and nurture it. Many of us neglect this key Truth and is reason why we are so often incapacitated by anxiety and fear. We must cultivate Faithfulness.
I like the phrase “delight yourself in the Lord.” You don’t need Seminary training to turn that statement around in helpful questions for self-assessment. Do I delight in Him. What should that look like? The thing I like about this instruction is that it holds such promise – such an air of anticipation and hope – such an expectation for hope and joy.
Notice it says He will give us the desires of our hearts. Now some shabby “Christian” practitioners run with this verse and shout “name it and claim it” – you ask for it and God will cough it up. That’s a bunch of hooey (though some have amassed great wealth in this self-serving teaching) The engine of this promise you’ll note, is Faithfulness – upon delighting yourself in the Lord. And yes, the faithful person will receive the desires of their heart because while walking faithful to God, the desires of the Believer become identified and unified with God’s own desires. We change and He gives to accomplish His will through us.
But then, now comes the rub. It says we must commit, we must take a stand, we must remain steadfast, we must nourish and garner our faithfulness to Him so that we might live free from fear, free from anxiety. There just a bunch of action words for us in this verse – things that instruct us to be “about doing” – about trust, dwell, delight, commit and trust again… Here is where we are to apply our spiritual muscle.
This is the message in today’s lesson. We are attacked at the point of our Faithfulness to God as evidenced by fruit of fear and anxiety in our lives. When we walk Faithfully with God, He will give us His light, His deliverances, and His refuge of safety. I hope you will listen in on the video