Monday, March 15, 2010

Fear Not, Neither Be Dismayed

I was reading a sermon from Carter Conlon this week and it encouraged me and the title of it was fear not and neither be dismayed. I won't go through it point by point but will use the first of it in this post. To read the entire message you can go to the web site and look under Sermon Newletters.

Deu 31: 6-8 - Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes before you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of a good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord He is the One who goes before you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed".

Mr. Conlon wrote, "Fear and dismay! The devil will always come against the children of God with these two weapons. But if we recognize them for what they are and understand that God has given us a remedy to defeat them they will never take us down". He goes on to define fear and dismay and I will include these definitions here. "Fear is the anticipation that we may suffer harm or that things might go wrong. Dismay is discouragement. Fear comes when we are opposed by something of strength superior to our own. Dismay comes when we consider our own resources. We look inside ourselves and come to the conclusion that we are not strong enough to fight the battle that is before us." This is so true and is something the child of God is fighting on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

The children of Israel given an inheritance, the promised land. As Christians we also are given the promise of an inheritance and that inheritance is Jesus. He is our promised land. Our lives are being plunged deeper into Christ, His word and His Spirit. Everything in his word that He has promised is ours. Every fruit of the Spirit belongs to to the child of God. He has given us His Holy Spirit as a downpayment to that inheritance and through the power of the Spirit brings us into our inheritance. 2 Pet 1: 3-4 " As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which have been given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may become partakers of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust". Man what a promise. Our promise form God is that through the His divine power (the Holy Spirit) we become partakers of His Divine Nature which is the means by which we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. The deeper we go into our promised land (deeper into knowing and loving Christ) the more we become like Him. But on the other hand the deeper we go the more we see ourselves and our fallen nature. We see a besetting sin that we didn't see before. It could be a sickness or circumstance that has caused fear to rise up and that fear has turned to dismay. I've heard this statement so many times when people describe their failures - well that just who I am and I cannot change. This is a similar statement the ten spies gave to the children of Israel just before they were to go into the promised land. Num 13:31 "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger then we." The people were the giants in the land of their inheritance. They saw their inability to conquer these giants and it caused them to fear which turned to dismay (they cried all night and refused to cross over). Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We cannot gain our inheritance in our own strength. The only way we can inter into this promise is to go deeper into Christ. As we go deeper with and into Christ the more He drives out the giants and the things that are impossible for us to fight and win. The Lord goes before you to drive them out. We will fight but it will not be in our own strength or with our own weapons. Jesus has and will conquer and disarm every foe in our inheritance as we, by faith lay, hold of his promises and His word. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Fear and dismay is not a part of our inheritance in Christ. We must press through our fear by faith and lay hold of that which Christ has laid hold of for us. We must know the bigger the giant, the bigger our God is. We must not accept any ting other than the display of the divine nature in our lives. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world".