Fear Not For God is With Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve never been a fan of scary movies or Stephen King novels. Nope. There is enough to worry, fear, and fret over without deliberately adding something else. And what I have found to be true is whatever our troubles, we need fear not for God is with us.

During a recent conversation with a friend the topic of being fearful came up. Whether others consider our fears rational or real doesn’t matter. What matters is the things that make us fearful are real to us.

All throughout the Bible God and Jesus tell those who are listening to fear not.

Joshua was told to be bold and courageous multiple times. He was told to fear not for God was with him.

The Babylonian captives were told to fear not for God was with them.

Esther was told not to fear. Ruth was told not to fear. Christ’s disciples were told not to fear.

Don’t you think if the Bible says fear not so many times, then we humans are a people with things in our lives which cause us to fear? Don’t you also think if the Bible tells us to fear not for God is with us; to cast all our cares – fears – on God because he cares for us; to not let our hearts be troubled; and be anxious for nothing, then we need to turn our fears over to God right away, and rest in his love and care?

Easy to say. Difficult to do.

Just as I choose not to watch slasher films or read King’s books, I must also choose to run to Jesus at the first moment fear begins to grab hold of my heart, and not wait until I am totally paralyzed by it before I seek his help.

Fear is a liar. God is not.

We have the freedom to choose who and what we will believe.

How about you?

Do you thrive on the adrenaline rush and enjoy being scared out of your wits by fear? Whether you do or not, one thing is certain, we need not be afraid of what happens in our world, because we know God will never leave or forsake us in the midst of all the scary stuff that surrounds us.

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Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you. Isaiah 41:10 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Obedience Over Ritual

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lately I’ve thought how instead of placing obedience over ritual, we sometimes allow the chains of ritual to enslave us.  I’ve mentioned the power we have in Jesus to free us from the chains Satan throws on us. And I’ve talked about praising Jesus as he removes the shackles that bind.

Throughout the Bible there are instances where people valued the chains of ritual over obedience. Before we go pointing fingers, though, I believe it would be safe to say there are times we may do the same thing. We may not realize it, but if we take a hard look, we may find it’s true.

I know it’s true with me.

If I’m not careful, I can allow my quiet time with God to become bound in the chains of ritual, where I go through specific steps of do this first, then this, then this … and leave little, if any, space to respond spontaneously to God.

Or maybe we argue and fight with our kids or spouse to get them out the door for church on time. We go through the ritual of sitting in the worship service, and feel anything but worshipful. We performed, but didn’t listen when God spoke to our hearts, and told us to take the time to place people above ritual.

Jesus is the one who can break the chains of ritual that sometimes become so deeply ingrained in us, we unintentionally allow them to take something good, and turn it into something not so good.

Are there any chains of ritual you’ve allowed to enslave you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Samuel replied, “Has the Lord as much pleasure in your burnt offerings and sacrifices as in your obedience? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. He is much more interested in your listening to him than in your offering the fat of rams to him. I Samuel 15:22 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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