“…for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9
Let’s start this article with a confession. For a long time, I have allowed fear to silence me and hold me back on doing all of the ministry that I believe the Lord has called me to do. Fears such as the fear of man, the need for the approval of man, the fear of missing God, the fear of letting out words that cannot be taken back, and the paralyzing fear of becoming vulnerable in front of the whole (critical, mean-spirited) world which unfortunately includes some Christians.
I remember in the early days of my walk with Jesus when I asked, (no, I begged) God to put me in the game. “Please God put me on the field! I’ll do whatever you say.” And in my defense, I did a lot of things that I didn’t want to do for the sake of being obedient to what I believed God was telling me. Somewhere along the way, though, I became fearful, and in the context of that fear, I realized that I was not being diligent in my service to God. Even now, between social media, the internet, and the real world, there are countless doors wide open for me to minister. Still, being as quiet as a “church” mouse, sometimes I feel immobilized and bullied by my adversary of fear.
The other day, a friend of mine said that the spiritual law of this world is fear. I agreed. It’s like the physical law of gravity. It cannot be changed…unless, you have something stronger than that law to override it. My friend was just about to board the first of several planes to Brazil. All of a sudden, I got a revelation that I’m sure others have had too. How does that 450-ton collection of metal we call an airplane get up into the air? Well, it’s by raw power. Just as the power of the jet engine trumps the law of gravity, so the power of the Holy Spirit trumps the law of the spirit of fear.
In Acts, chapter one, Jesus made a promise to His disciples that they would receive power that would overwhelm their fears and fill them with boldness to be His witnesses to the whole world. In Acts, chapter two, we find this promise materializing. It’s glorious! God had begun to pour out His Spirit (power) upon all of mankind. Well, that was more than 2000 years ago, and here I am still waiting on the proverbial runway.
Speaking of power (in a different sense), what are some of the first things a kidnapper does with his victim? He will tape his or her mouth shut and tie them up so the victim can’t get help. In some ways, I think that’s what has happened to many of us in the Body of Christ. God has given us so many talents—wide open doors of service and we are sitting on our chairs feeling tied up, muzzled, and unable to get help or be a help.
The truth is, before we knew Christ we had been kidnapped. We had been tied up and held captive, but Jesus rescued us from that dark, silent hidden place. He set us free to be His witnesses. We now hold the key to every captive’s prison. We even know where the enemy is holding them. All we need to do is push through the fear, give the Holy Spirit control, and walk right through the open doors that are before us.
As for me, I will no longer hold still. I will stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I will be still and know that He is God, but I will no longer be held still by fear. As the song says, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child a God.”
Church, let’s get out there and do what we’re called to do for the Kingdom of God and for His glory while the doors are still open.
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