Monday, June 7, 2010
At Church they have been playing a song by Chris Tomlin titled “Our God”. The lyrics go like this.
Water you turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like you
None like You
Into the darkness you shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There is no one like You
None like You
Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer
Awesome in power
Our God, Our God
and if our God is for us
then who could ever stop us
and if our God is with us
then what could stand against
As we sang this worship song I could only contemplate how God wants us to be fearless, to trust him in everything or as King David would say “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2.
Being fearless is a hard thing to do because we are selfish; we have an instinct for self- preservation. So many times in order to protect ourselves be it from physical or emotional pain, we let fear rule our lives. Yet, the Word tells us that believers did not receive a spirit of bondage to fear, but received the Spirit of adoption through which we cry out to God, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
Our western society fears everything, from natural disasters, to weapons of mass destruction, to diseases, pain, terrorist attacks, crime, economic collapse, etc.. Not to mention the biggest fear of them all. The fear that underlines all of our fears, the big D, DEATH.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Heb 2:14-15.
If we are Christians, truly believing that there is one God, putting our faith and trust in the redeeming Blood of his Son, Jesus Christ, and expectant of eternal life in his presence, why do we live afraid? What should we be afraid of? I believe that by being afraid and living lives full of fear, we dishonor God. As believers our fear and lack of trust make God seem weak, as if the promises in his Word can’t be trusted. Believers could stand to learn a lot from two of the greatest warriors that ever lived. King David and the Samurai!
Everyone knows that King David wrote:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. Psalm 23
Many believers and even unbelievers can recite Psalm 23, but do they believe it? King David did. He meant it! He faced Lions, Bears, Giants, armies, enemies within and outside his Kingdom, yet he never feared because he trusted God. David is at times portrayed as reckless. But he was not reckless, he was fearless because of three things: 1) He knew he served a mighty Master, a powerful King, the Creator of Everything, who is in control of everything. Including his destiny!; 2) David knew that as long as he served God, whatever happened, good or bad, was in his hands. That is why David could charge into battle head first, because he knew the Lord would give him the victory; 3) and if for some reason the Lord where to allow him to die in battle, David knew exactly where he would dwell for in eternity! Thereby, he did not fear death.
This lack of fear, specially the fear of death itself, allowed David to do many mighty things. He was not reckless, he was faithful and truly trusted on God’s promises. King David also wrote:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:1-4
Believers could also learn a lot from the Samurai. Of course I am not talking about the spiritual nonsense they believed. But the Samurai can teach us a lot of how to serve our King and Master, Jesus Christ.
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1Co 6:20
Samurai means “To Serve”. A Samurai promised complete loyalty to his lord (usually a wealthy landowner). A Samurai would rather die, even commit suicide, before dishonoring his Master. What made a Samurai a deadly opponent was the fact that they would contemplate death regularly, to the extent that they no longer feared death. Defeat and death itself was irrelevant compared to their desire to fight with Honor on behalf of their Master. The Samurai’s concern when facing an enemy in battle was that if slain his corpse would be facing the enemy!
Like King David, the Samurai were brave because they were fearless and they were fearless because they did not fear death. Unlike King David, the Samurai’s lack of fear was based on an empty concept of dying honorably in battle. But, King David’s lack of fear was based on a substance called Faith; a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, among others, were all great warriors who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. See Hebrews 11. These heroes of faith, who lived out their faith in truly fearful times would say “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6. Shouldn’t we do the same in our, comparably, insignificant trials.
Paul exhorted us to be live a fearless life, fearing nothing, including death.
…"Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corintians 15:54-58.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me (Paul) His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,… 2 Timothy 1:7-10.
When it comes to living out our Christianity, our faith in our Lord and Savior, the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all men, we should be fearless. Give, serve, share, live fearlessly. Don’t fear the economy, don’t fear the weather, don’t fear the times, don’t fear war or rumors of war, don’t fear persecution, don’t fear ridicule, don’t fear disease, don’t fear being obedient to the Word of God in a secular world, don’t fear anything when you are in his will. After all he has defeated the biggest fear of all, death.
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled." 1 Peter 3:13-14.
The Samurai feared one thing, not to serve his master with honor. Like the Samurai, let us fear just one thing, not serving our Master, Jesus Christ, with Honor.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:28-29.