Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fear Not

I am scared. I understand that is not the nature of God because "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind", and with that said, I am still scared. I am quoting the Word of God to calm my spirit, "Greater is He that is in me"......., "I can do all things through Christ"......, God is our refuge and strength"............, and yet I still remain scared.

I have the honor and privilege of hosting The 88th Session of The Original General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Indiana Inc., here at Macedonia and therein lies the source of my terror. I am scared. What if we fail? What if we don't have enough? We are not a large church like other sister convention churches, maybe we can't do it, our town isn't as large or great as Gary or Indianapolis, maybe we should just be part of the state but not host the state. We can't do it like other cities do it so maybe we shouldn't even try.

I have been around convention work my entire life from a young man, associate minister, assistant Pastor and now as a Pastor/Teacher. I understand the demands, the pressures, the attitudes and arguments that can happen when a church hosts a convention. I have been around the ministers who publicly praise you but privately won't to see you fail. I am scared.

It is this feeling that over took me last night in my bedroom. There is no worse feeling in the world then being in the bed you bought on the mattress you picked out with comfortable sheets that you discerned would be perfect for sleeping and you can't go to sleep. I would rather someone take a hammer and hit me upside my head than to lie in agony waiting for sleep to come but never arrives because your brain won't shut off.

Henry David Thoreau said ,"Nothing is so much to be feared as fear". Fear is that internal warning cry that signals danger is nearby and we better do something quick. It is so unpleasant of a feeling, it motivates us to take action and remove ourselves from whatever is threatening us. Flee or fight, hide or hunker down, trust or throw in the towel, watch God or watch your enemies.

John Ortberg in his book, "If you want to walk on water you've got to Get Out of The Boat", says Fear that ceases to be sporadic and becomes habitual moves to a category of worry and Ortberg says, "Worry is a special form of fear; Worry is fear that has unpacked its bags and signed a long-term lease. Worry never moves out on its own, it has to be kicked out".

If fear and worry has to be kicked out, how do I kick it out? I am not strong enough! My foot isn't large enough! My words aren't powerful enough! Thanks be to God He already took care of it for me! Lloyd John Ogilvie says in his treatment on the subject that the most common command in Scripture is God's way of taking care of it.

The most common command is not to be more loving although God wants us to be. God wants us to walk with integrity, holiness and humility but even those virtues are not the most frequent imperative found in the Bible. Ogilvie says, "The greatest command in Scripture that occurs more often than any other is formulated in two words: FEAR NOT.

There are 366 "fear not verses in the Bible--one for every day of the year including leap year. Last night instead of a hammer to the head or a late night hoagie to the lips or a sip of hennessy to the liver ( I realize that no one eats late at night or drinks anything other than water, I was just on a H kick, please forgive the references,) God gave me a fear not and I went to sleep. I look forward to the convention because God has got it all in His control.



Ronald said...

Praying for you and your congregation’s success in hosting your annual state convention.


Rev. Barney said...

Brother, I feel you on the subject of fear, it can be paralyzing. But isn't good to know we serve a God that can calm any fear. I will be praying for the spiritual success of the convention and for your nightly sleep.