"...do what is right and do not give way to fear." 1 Peter 3:6 (NIV)
These cold winter days, when I look out my windows or walk out my back door, I feel such a twinge of sadness. My bird feeders are empty. The birds, that were such a joy to behold...through their beauty and their song, have no reason to come. They've moved on to other feeding grounds. Sigh. So, if you're thinking, "well...duh...go fill up your feeders and get happy", I have to encourage you to click onto some of my posts from last winter and read about my battle with the squirrels. Yes, and a battle that I fought armed with a Red Ryder BB gun! (My husband called me Annie Oakley.) Now, you must know that I didn't want to hurt the little critters...they're kin to groundhogs...which I'm a little partial to. (Go to http://www.graciesgrounds.com/) if that seems to be totally out of the blue!) I just wanted them to leave my bird feeders alone!!! So...fear of the enemy...the squirrel has kept me from enjoying God's gifts of cardinals and chickadees and finches and other feathered friends.
Hmmm. That can happen in other arenas of our lives as well. Fear of the enemy can keep us from rising to new heights of joy that can only be found through obedience to God...and through service for Him. Is there anything that God has called you to do, yet you are paralyzed by fear? Well, it is time to "Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!...Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. [Do you hear that all my writer friends???] The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:14, 16b-17) Are you with me??? The LORD your God!!! He is yours, and He is mighty to save!!!! He is all powerful!! You don't have to do a thing on your own! The power is from Him!! And when you do what He's called you to do, He...the LORD...is going to "take great delight in you." "He will quiet you with His love" (give you peace...calm your fears). And then, my favorite part of this passage..."He will rejoice over you with singing." Imagine that!!
Here's more, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come...to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days." (Luke 1:68a, 74-75) In Romans 8, there are so many encouraging words! "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. (v. 15-16) "...the Spirit helps us in our weakness." (v.26) "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (v.28) "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (v.31)
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10) And "Pray also for [each other], that whenever [we] open [our] mouth[s], [or write with our hands] words may be given [us] so that [we] will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel..." (Eph. 6:19) (brackets mine)
Friends, let's fill up our feeders! Let's nourish ourselves in the Word! Let's arm ourselves for battle! We have the Victor on our side!!! He is powerful and mighty!!!
Lord, show us Your plan. Lead us in obedience...without fear. Work powerfully and mightily on our behalf! Oh, may we delight You to the point of singing over us!