Acts 18:9-10 NASB And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; (10) for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”
We all need encouraged from time to time and the Apostle Paul was no exception. Entering Corinth, Paul immediately experienced some pretty stout rejection to the Gospel of Christ. Heading to the gentiles he gained some traction, then the ruler of the synagogue believed and was baptized. Still, the rejection Paul faced initially had caused him to experience some fear.
Then one evening the Lord appeared to Paul in a vision and told him to Fear Not. He actually told Paul 4 key things that we can glean from to help us live free from fear. He told Paul:
- Don’t be afraid. Fear Not! (This is a command from the Lord.)
- Do not be silent, but confront your fear. (For Paul that meant preach the Word)
- I am with you.
- You are not alone. “I have many people in this city.”
Jesus told Paul to stop fearing. This is a pretty common message from Him (Mt 10:26,28,31; Mt 14:27; Mt 17:7; Mt 28:10; Mk 5:36; etc…). Thankfully He also gives us some instruction on how to stop.
He told Paul to preach the Word and not to be silent. Paul’s fear stemmed from the many painful rejections and the opposition he had face as a minister of God’s grace. It was triggered by the hostile interaction he had shortly after arriving in Corinth. Jesus encouraged Paul not to quit but to face his fear. When fear grips us we must face it, we cannot remain silent and let it run rough shod over us. Stand up. Declare your freedom. Then take a deep breath and confront your fear.
Next Jesus reminded Paul, the very one given the revelation of the mystery of Christ in us, that He was with him. If you’ve been born again, then you are never alone. Jesus is always with you by His Spirit. But He didn’t stop there. He went on to say that there were other people who loved God and would be a support and strength to Paul. You have these people too. They are found in your local church.
Jesus is always with you and is ready to walk with you as you confront your fears. There are also many people in your city church that will support you, encourage you, and stand with you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be silent. Jesus is with you. You don’t have to be alone. There is a whole church waiting for you. Fear Not!
Mark 11:28-33 NKJV And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?” (29) But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: (30) The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.” (31) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ (32) But if we say, ‘From men’ “—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. (33) So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
People lie for all kinds of reasons. People lie to try to obtain favor. People lie to make themselves look better. People lie to get stuff, to hurt others, and people lie because they are afraid. These guys didn’t really care about the answer or what the truth was, they were afraid of being wrong and losing prestige. They were afraid of the Truth so they didn’t tell the truth.
Never be afraid to speak the truth. People that are afraid to tell the truth are often also afraid of the truth. A commitment to honesty, honest interactions with others and living a life of transparency devoid of deception is a surefire way to destroy the power of fear in your life.
Isaiah 31:9 NLT Even the strongest will quake with terror, and princes will flee when they see your battle flags,” says the LORD, whose fire burns in Zion, whose flame blazes from Jerusalem.
God’s people are to be FEARLESS! There is a lyric in a song written by my pastor Virgil Stokes that goes, “When fear and doubt assail you there’s no need to fear. The secret that makes the difference ain’t no secret at all. It’s hearing and obeying God, with Him you’ll never fall.” Hearing His voice, being willing to obey His Word, and knowing He is with you will help you rise up in the midst of any situation.
It is the enemy and the circumstance that causes that will run in terror when they see you running at them with your battle flag flying, because our battle flag is JESUS! In Exodus 17:15, Moses refers to the Lord as Jehovah-Nissi or The Lord Is My Banner. With that statement he said the Lord would be his battle flag, because he knew the Lord was his victory.
We fly our flags to show when we are under attack to say, “I’m still in the fight and I’ll never quit.” We fly our flags after the battle to say we won and have the victory. Praise God, our banner is more than just fabric and colors. Our banner is THE VICTORIOUS ONE! You have nothing to fear.
No matter how intimidating or scary your situation may be. Sickness? Debt? Depression? Jobs? Tests at school? The Victorious one, Jesus is with you and there is no need for you to fear. Simply keep His banner of victory up, listen to Him and follow His commands. Even the strongest of foes will fall and shake with fear when a FEARLESS Believer raises the Victory Banner of Christ. If the Lord is your banner, fear not, you already have the victory.