Halloween is upon us and fright is in the air. Some are the ones to scare others and some like to be made afraid. Fear comes to us in all kinds of ways, for example, a stranger in a deserted parking lot offers to help carry a woman’s groceries or a fired employee says, “You’ll be sorry.” Will he return with a gun? After their first date, a man tells a woman it’s their “destiny” to be together. What will he do when she rejects him? A mother has an uneasy feeling about the nice baby-sitter she’s just hired. Should she cancel her plans? (These questions came from the book, “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker) These are legitimate reasons to have fear or concern, but the fear I want to talk about is the kind of fear that keeps you from trusting Jesus for your life.
As I stood before the ladies in jail, I was reminded that many of them have not trusted Jesus and are afraid to trust Him. The definition of fear is, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil or pain etc.; whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and love and a sound mind.” Now we know by the Word of God that fear does not come from God. That leaves only one other place. Jesus came to live His life in us so we trust Him for our salvation, which means we can trust Him for our everyday life too.
Here is a quote from C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe: Aslan is a lion, the great lion, “ooh” said Susan. “I thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”… “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver… “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Let’s not get caught up in the fear or being afraid because it’s the opposite of faith. Although, fear and faith have something in common and that is we can’t see either one of them, but we can know they are there. It really comes down to love. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears in not perfected in love.” So, if everything comes down to love, then what is it that we are afraid of? Fear binds us like we are frozen, but love, His love, sets us free!
The same three ladies who asked to talk last week are the same three that asked to talk this week. One thing I have noticed about what God is doing in the three of them simultaneously is amazing. None of them share the same cell with the other, so this is how I know God is up to something. Last week the three of them were going through some type of depression or hang ups. So each of us separately prayed and asked God to intervene and He did. The first girl didn’t complete her 10 day fast as the Lord instructed; so she felt like she let God down and that made her very sad. She realized that God wanted her faithfulness and obedience before sacrifice. This week, she has inspired people in her cell to read the bible and come to church services.
The second girl I asked last week to tell me about the day she got saved. “I have never been saved,” she said. When we prayed I asked God to show her what it means to be saved and to come into her life. This week when we talked she said she has been hearing the other girls say the G. D. word and now it bothers her. A lot! She also told me that she gets a tingle in her right arm as if the Lord is squeezing her for her to listen. She can’t explain it, but she is sure, she got saved on Tuesday at jail church.
This third girl I want to tell you about is not from around here. She hasn’t heard from her family or her little girls since she has been in jail. Last week she talked about how lonely she felt and unloved by God. We prayed and I asked God to reveal Himself to her, and I told her how much God loves her and will always love her. Guess what, she got a letter and some money from her family and got to talk to her little girls on the phone. She was smiling from ear to ear and couldn’t wait to tell me about it. When we prayed before we parted ways I asked her if she wanted to pray and she blushed and said no. Then I asked her “what do you want to say to Jesus?” She began to pour out her heart to Him. Afterward, she said “that was the first time I have ever prayed out loud.”
I smiled and said, “Now you never have to be afraid to pray in front of people.”