During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (6)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 1:8, 7; Matthew 5:14-16; Judges 6:1-16; 7:7-22.
MAY YOUR PROGRESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)
Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!
Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!
Fear is a natural, powerful, and unpleasant emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined. Fear affects the body and the emotions. When under a threat, the body reacts in a specific way. The level of adrenaline increases, the body gets tense, the mind is more alert, ready to fight or to flee. It is a good survival response. But fear has an emotional component too. Each person reacts in a unique way when afraid or worried. But these are some common symptoms: dry mouth, trembling, chest pain, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, or stomach cramps. Fear makes the victim feel overwhelmed, like drowning, like losing control, fainting, or feeling like dying. Fear focuses on something, real or imaginary. Anxiety is a general form of fear that has no particular object in mind. The most common types of fear are fear of spiders, of snakes, of heights, of crowded places where escape is difficult, and fear of dogs. Other fears that affect your life in society are these: fear of poverty, fear of loneliness, of sickness, of old age, of connecting with people (timidity), fear of success, of rejection, or being abandoned (by God or people).
Relationships are some of the most difficult and dangerous works we do on earth. It is easy to be hurt by people. Most people pretend to be someone else. Hypocrisy is rooted in fear. Many are afraid to be themselves in their relationships with others. For example, because you have opened your heart to somebody, and that person hurt you in your vulnerability, you now close your heart to others. You are afraid to connect and be intimate even with your spouse. Another example: you have been successful in life, but you now feel guilty because your success has made others fail. You then decide to remain in the shadows, not making progress anymore. This position is difficult to maintain, and it creates emotional tension and anxiety. You feel that this world does not allow you to fully display your gifts, and creative ideas. You then chose to live ‘a simple life’ of safe mediocrity. But this type of life never brings joy, and it lacks fulfilment. To be free from fears is a great achievement. Only a mature Spirit filled believer in Christ can achieve that!
TYPES OF FEAR
There are different types of fear recognized in the Bible. Some are good and others are bad. These are some examples:
*The holy fear of God. This is the necessary fear and reverence of men towards God, their Creator. It produces godly wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (PV 9:10).
*The unholy fear coming from unforgiven sin. It comes from hearing God’s Word but refusing to repent. Adam said to God: “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen 3:10). Felix was afraid when Apostle Paul was preaching (Ac 24:25).
*The fear and terror of the wicked towards God. “There they are in great fear, for God is with the generation of the righteous” (Ps 14:5).
*The unbelievers fear God’s obedient people. This fear is to protect the believers. It is a blessing of obedience. “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you” (Deut 28:9,10).
*The good fear of man, respecting people in authority. “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom 13:3,4).
*The bad fear of men, being intimidated by others. Joshua and Caleb said: “Do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them” (Num 14:9). “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe” (PV 29:25).
*The bad fear of man as Timidity. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).
I WAS AFRAID
“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So, he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen 3:9, 10).
The first-time fear entered humanity was in the Garden of Eden. The original sin brought along fear, shame, and guilt. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command. They listened to the devil’s lies and sinned. Fear entered their hearts. Adam thought that by hiding behind the trees in the garden, God will not see him. He forgot that God is omnipresent and sees everything. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me” (Ps 139:7-11).
Sin was a disappointment to Adam. He thought that by obeying the devil, he will be free from God and His commandments. Lesson: Many people still believe that. They think that by running away from God, from the Bible and from church, they will be free in life. That is a lie and a deception. Only in an intimate relationship with God, your Creator, you can find freedom as a man. Sin always brings bondage. Being right with God, is called righteousness. Righteousness is found in Christ alone and it is the only way to find peace, joy, freedom, and fulfilment in life.
Like Adam, men fear God and hide from Him behind ‘trees’ of worldly pleasures, philosophy, and material prosperity. But none can hide from God. As you can see, God is seeking Adam in the Garden. He will not leave him alone, even in his fallen state. Before sin, God and Adam had a wonderful intimate relationship with one another. Adam was happy and fulfilled. It was not the flowers and the fruits. It was not even his marriage with Eve. It was Adam’s relationship with God, visiting in the cool of the day, in the garden. That made Eden a paradise. Adam never felt naked in God’s presence. God’s glory reflected on him, covered him with garments of light. He felt safe and loved. He felt accepted by God. He felt free to dream and to talk. That was strength to live well! Out of this overflowing power, Adam could love his wife. This was paradise. The devil hated it. He was jealous on Adam. He deceived Eve and Adam broke the command. Sin entered humanity. Since then, nothing is exactly the same. All men have inherited Adam’s sin and fears. We are born naked, ashamed, hiding behind trees, hoping that God will not come to ask us questions. This is the sad story of man. The only way out of it is to become born again, by God’s grace and thru faith in the Gospel of Christ.
Eve was deceived by the serpent. When she gives the forbidden fruit to Adam, he takes it. She is not seducing him. Adam raises no questions. He puts no resistance. This is strange. Both fell to the same manipulation of the devil. They were not satisfied with God provision in the Garden. They wanted something more. They wanted more wisdom, and more freedom. They broke the law and they sinned. Immediately, they felt ashamed because they were naked. Light can be clothing for the righteous. Once they sinned, that light went off. That is how they felt ashamed and afraid. After the fall, everything looked worse. Backsliding is shameful. Jesus says: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15). Sin destroys the covering. It brings fear of punishment, guilt, and shame.
When God created Adam and Eve, they did not experience fear. But through sin, fear entered. Lies always bring fear along. We see that God gave Adam and Eve them much freedom. God allowed the devil to possess the snake and to tempt them. They broke the only law God gave to them. God said: don’t eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Once they broke the law, ‘their eyes opened’, not to more wisdom or freedom, but to the truth that they are now lawbreakers. They have offended their creator and the pastor who married them. This revelation brought fear, shame, and guilt. Before now, they were naked, but they did not feel ashamed. Now, they feel the need to cover themselves. They try to cover their nakedness with aprons made of fig leaves. But this cover is useless. The fig leaves stand for the human wisdom of salvation. It never works. It is not strong enough to atone for sin.
Adam hides behind the tree. That hiding does not work. Adam is afraid. He has never felt that emotion before now. In the past, Adam was happy to meet with God. But now, Adam did not come out happily showing God the fig leaves apron that he had made. He knew that it was not sufficient. The leaves probably covered their genitals. This area is now seen as a most sinful part of the body because sin will spread thru it. That is why they covered it. Why was Adam afraid? He was expecting God to be angry and to punish him. This is how children behave who offend their parents. Adam was afraid that God will shout at him or punish him. But God did not do that. God knew what Adam did. He still comes as before, in the cool of the evening, to have fellowship with Adam, to talk to him as a father and friend. This is called Christophany. It is the Lord Jesus Christ in human form who appeared to them in the Garden. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (Jn 1:18).
Just imagine this scene… Jesus comes with open arms knowing that Adam has broken His heart thru disobedience, and knowing the mighty price He will pay to restore God’s relationship with man. Jesus asked Adam: ‘Where are you?’ This is not the shout of a military commander. It is the question of a father whose son broke his heart. ‘Where are you, Adam’? Of course, Jesus knew what has happened. But He still asked the question. Why? The question was meant to reveal that Adam has sinned and there is now a gap between God and man. Their relationship will not be the same again. The question requires an answer, which must be repentance from sin. It means man is responsible for his sin. The question also reveals the pain in the heart of Jesus, the Savior will ‘came to seek and save that which is lost’ (Lk 19:10). See the way God confronts sinners: He came personally. He came in the evening when is the best time to relax and listen. He told Adam and Eve the truth in love. God the Father sent God the Son to die for sinners. It is God the Holy Spirit who convicts sinners of sin and guilt. God does not delegate this mighty work of salvation to angels. God is the God of personal salvation!
Adam replies: I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid: Sin made Adam afraid of God’s presence and afraid of God’s voice. Ever since that time, men run from God’s presence and don’t want to listen to His Word. For the righteous, in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy’ (Ps 16:11). But for the sinner, the presence of God brings bad memories, guilt, fear, and shame. Jesus asked Adam: Who told you that you are naked? Adam could have repented at that moment. Adam should have said like the prodigal son: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Lk 15:21). But he chose not to. Adam blamed his wife for their sin. He even blamed God who gave him Eve as a wife. Lesson: until we take responsibility for our sin, openly confess, and repent of it, we can’t be free from fear!
Please observe that up to this moment, God only talks to Adam. He does not address Eve. This is because Adam was the head of the home and must take responsibility for their sin. Eve gives an explanation, but she too does not repent. At last, God judges them. Here you see grace in action. They will not die immediately. They will live to have children. But they must leave the Garden. They will work the ground and eat its fruits. Then, in the midst of sin, sorrow, shame, fear and failure, God introduces the hope of the Gospel: From the seed of the woman a Savior will come that will bruise the head of the serpent. The Christ who came to judge them in the Garden, will one day die for them! Praise the Lord!
The fear of punishment was Adam’s main fear. This proves that sin has killed Adam’s love for God and for Eve. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 Jn 4:18). The word ‘torment’ means suffering, chastisement, or punishment. Even now, demons fear future torment. They told Jesus: “And they cried out, saying, “What business do You have with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt 8:29). After King Saul disobeyed God’s Word, God punished him thru a tormenting spirit. “Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him” (1 Sam 16:14; NIV). Saul became depressed, jealous, and afraid of David. Until he died, Saul refused to repent of his sins.
Love and fear are opposites. Love attracts and fear separates. Fear can only stay in a heart that is not filled yet with perfect agape love. The word ‘perfect’ means mature, or fruitful. This is a known fact: fear of punishment may deter men from committing open sin, but it cannot make them righteous or loving. Only God’s grace can do that!
The devil is not mentioned directly in Genesis 3. But he is there, using the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve. We are told that God created the serpent and man had dominion over it. God created the snake to be ‘more cunning’ that the other animals. In Hebrew, the word ‘cunning’ is not always a negative word. It means to be wise, prudent, or sensible. The devil used the serpent, manipulated, and controlled his God given wisdom. The serpent became a symbol of evil and God cursed it. The serpent/Satan tempts Eve to disobey God’s only command. He does not talk directly to Adam. But Adam sinned and brought death upon humanity. The cure for this sin is nothing less than the Blood of the Son of God!
“Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt 19:8). Jesus says that thru sin, man’s heart became ‘hardened’. Before Adam and Eve fell into sin, their hearts were ‘soft’, loving, and kind. The hardness of the heart attracts fear of punishment. In Greek, the word ‘hardness’ means ‘lack of sensitivity’. It is a stubborn and wicked heart that refuses to listen to God’s Word. Adam did not obey God’s only law in the Garden. He refused to repent. He blamed Eve and even God for his sin. Through sin, Adam became hardhearted. Like Cain killed Abel, a sinful husband can kill his wife. Therefore, it is better to divorce than kill her.
GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF FEAR
“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:6, 7).
The command ‘fear not!’ is God’s most common command! It is found 365 times in the Bible, one for each day! If something appears many times in the Bible, then it is very important. To reject fear is God’s command. To obey God’s command is possible only thru faith in Christ alone. The unbelievers cannot stop being afraid or anxious. The believers need to do spiritual warfare to defeat the evil spirit of fear. Timothy tended to be afraid of people in general. That affected his ministry. Paul tells Timothy that he should reject the ‘spirit of fear’. This ‘spirit’ is a demon of cowardice, of timidity. It made Timothy shrink from visibility, from responsibility, from doing his ministry among men. Timidity is defined as being easily frightened, to be shy or nervous, to lack confidence, especially when found among men. A timid man lacks courage and confidence in himself. It is a stronghold in the way of progress in life and ministry. Lesson: the desire to hide from serving God is of the devil.
The spirit of fear must be identified, confronted, and rejected. For as long as this demon has access to your heart, you remain weak, selfish, and anxious. The devil attacks with fear before he attacks with sickness or poverty. Fear is one of the devil’s weapons of choice. Once you become free from fear, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit who manifests as ‘power, love and sound mind’. This power strengthens especially the will. Free from fear, the believer is ready to pay the price for spiritual maturity. This agape love rules the former emotions of selfishness and cowardice. Love is a fighter and a champion. ‘Love never fails’ (1 Cor 13:8 ). The sound mind is a mind that is disciplined, that has self-control. The Christian lives in the world and faces trials and temptations. He displays self-control and rejects all sinful things. He is able to avoid and overcome all obstacles, making progress, spiritually and physically. He is not afraid, confused, or deceived. He knows the truth of God’s Word and he applies it daily growing in faith and wisdom. Boldly, ne makes progress that is evident to all!
Before the Cross, the Lord reminded His disciples not to be afraid. The Holy Spirit will teach them God’s Word. “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:25-27). The natural heart is always troubled and afraid. The word ‘troubled’ means to be easily shaken by trials of life. The Holy Spirit gives peace, strength, and courage to face all circumstances and overcome them.
The spirit of fear in the heart of man is the main reason for failure in life. Fear is a mighty stronghold blocking the way to progress. You cannot ignore fear if you desire to experience success in life. Why do men fear? One reason is that man is so small in this big universe. Looking at the sky, living among million of people, man feels insignificant. Life itself is intimidating. Man may pretend that he is someone great, but deep in his heart, he is afraid because he sees no purpose in life. He knows that life is short, and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. He fears the future. He fears death and the judgment of God. These fears are all real and makes men anxious and restless. Man has peace with God, with himself and with others only thru Jesus Christ, our Lord!
COWARDS GO TO HELL
“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning, and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev 21:5-8).
The Resurrected Christ promises to make all things new. The pain, sorrow, weeping and fears we experienced on earth will end one day. Thru Christ, we have overcome. We are God’s children, and we shall inherit all things God has promised. The sin that separated God and man in the Garden of Eden, is destroyed. Thru Christ, man and God are reconciled forever. This is a wonderful picture of paradise restored. But not all people will experience this future bliss. The unbelievers cannot enter through the pearly gates of heaven. Among these people who are rejected by God are the cowards and the unbelievers. These sins are hidden in the heart. A coward is a person who lacks courage and easily runs away from opposition, danger, or pain. A coward cannot be trusted as a friend and cannot be a leader. Even the believers may sometimes fail in times of danger. But the cowards spoken here in the Book of Revelation are in bondage to the spirit of fear and unbelief. This is a spiritual state and not some occasional falling. A coward avoids working for God or for man. They are full of excuses when it comes to work. Cowards are lazy. They are afraid to make hard decisions. They always postpone doing the right thing. A cowardly leader is afraid to discipline the people. He avoids confrontation. The cowards fear progress. They do not mature. The greatest damage cowards make is in their contact with people. Relationships are difficult and they take time. A coward does not open his heart. He does not understand people. He makes mistakes, he hurts, and he disappoints people. A coward is a bad loser. Once he fails, he becomes bitter spreading division and hatred among others. A Christian learns to love people. He takes the risk of receiving pain, but he does not hate people. Thru pain and disappointments, the believer perseveres in his relationships with people. A true Christian leader is humble, courageous, faithful, wise, and loving. He loves God and he loves people.
THE FAITH OF GIDEON (Judges 6 and 7)
Gideon is one of the great men of faith in the Bible. His name means ‘great destroyer or warrior’. He is a hero. He was a weak man who became strong thru his faith in God. Some people are surprised that his name is found in the hall of fame of people of faith. But he is there. Read this: “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon… 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” (Heb 11:32-34).
He was from a poor family. He was a nobody in his family, in his tribe. Lesson: God uses nobodies and make them somebodies!
Gideon has many fears and family problems. His father became an idol worshipper. He is afraid of many things: of the Midianites, of his father and his family, and of standing as a man of God. But his faith in God overcame his fears. His only negative stain upon his character was that his prosperity and fame contributed to his downfall later in life. He threshes wheat in a winepress, probably in a cave. This is an example of a useless business. Gideon has lost his hope in God. When God calls him, he complains because of the circumstances. Then God says: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!… Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Jdg 6:12, 16). Lesson: when God tells you “Surely, I will be with you”, that is all you need! But Gideon needs more reassurance and graciously, God gives it to him.
Gideon rejects fear and destroys his father’s idol. This is his first victory as a man of God. His family are afraid to punish him. Having more courage, Gideon calls volunteers to the army. But God says that the people are too many. When they win the battle, they will boast that it was because of their great army. Gideon commands that whosoever is afraid should go home. Twenty-two thousand cowards leave the army. Lesson: cowards may come to the army and hide their fear. But God cannot use those!
After that, God reduces the army to just 300 soldiers. God does not want man to take the glory, so He reduces man’s strength. God encourages Gideon again. Then God gives the battle plan: use torches, trumpets, and human shouts. Like so many times in the past, only God could have recommended such a strategy. It looks so foolish. No human being could have invented this battle plant. But Gideon trusted God! The plan worked! The enemy became confused, and they fought one another. Gideon and his 300 men broke the pitchers, shone their light, and blew their trumpets shouting, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon’. They stood as the enemy ran away. God caused confusion in their midst, and they destroyed themselves. It was a mighty victory. Peace reigned in Israel for 40 years. Gideon became a famous leader in the land.
Lesson: Stand your ground and the enemy will flee! Your weakness is not your problem. You need faith to believe in an all-powerful God. When you trust your wisdom and strength, you start worshipping idols. That is why God became angry and gave Israel into the hands of Midian. God’s Grace in enough! Rejoice and boast in your weakness so that the power of Christ will rest on you! (2 Cor 12:9,10). All you need is found in these five covenant 5 words: “I will be with you!” This is a powerful weakness. This is the weakness of the Cross, stronger than man’s strength. May we always trust God in our weakness! May we have peace in our hearts during trials! May we serve God! May there be peace in our land!
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16). We must do like Gideon and his soldiers. We must break our pitchers and shine our lights in this dark world. Do not be afraid to stand for Jesus. Do good deeds that none can reject. And blow your trumpet. preach the Gospel!
Jesus says that the world in is darkness. The world lives in fear and ignorance of God. Jesus says that the believer is ‘the light of the world’. Light here means the knowledge of truth. The unbelievers too say that ‘knowledge is light’. But their knowledge is only of science or philosophy. They do not know God. They do not believe God’s Word. Therefore, they still do not have light. The believers are the only people who know God, and His Word, which is truth. They are the only people who understand life and who can give wise counsel to others. This is our great privilege to know and share the truth. The youngest illiterate believer in Christ knows more about life than the unbeliever who is a university professor.
The first thing light does is to expose the darkness. Faith exposes fear! “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Eph 5:8-14).
Once light exposes the darkness, the evil people will react and attack the light. But they cannot win against it. Light exposes the darkness and shows its prisoners the way out. The unbelievers who repent will come to the light. Thru you, they have seen that it is possible to live a better life and to make peace with God. Light always wins! Light attracts and saves! The proof that you are out of darkness and that you live in the light is that from now on, you love to praise God! “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). Glory to God!
The light is not supposed to be hidden ‘under a basket’. Why are we commanded to shine our light for Jesus? We were created for that. Jesus is light and we are like Him. It is the destiny and function of the light to shine. A light hidden under a basket is the picture of failure. If you say that you are a Christian, but you keep quiet when you are supposed to talk about Jesus, then you are failing in life. Stand and talk. You must openly serve God! Persecutions may come but God will protect you! This is fulfilling destiny. It is a powerful life that defeats all fears. This is how you make progress evident to all. A silent fearful Christian is backsliding. Repent and come out of that foolishness! You become famous but in a good way. You do not attract people to you! You attract people to the Christ in you! A Christian cannot be hidden. He cannot be a nobody. He is created to shine his light, to preach the Word, to praise God with songs and dances. He does good deeds of kindness that cannot be ignored.
Dear Believer, Christ in you is Life, Light and Hope of Glory. The Darkness and its fears are totally defeated in the presence of light. If you are a child of light, you stand for Jesus without any apologies to the darkness. We are more than conquerors. No devil can quench the Life/Light of Christ in us. “In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it]” (John 1:4, 5; AMP). The Light is always a mystery to the darkness. The darkness cannot understand or control the light! The Word has come to give us Life and to open our eyes to the Light! “Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life“ (Jn 8:12; AMP).
Darkness hates the light but has no power to fight it. Darkness and fear shrink from the light and runs away. “This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For every wrongdoer hates the Light and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him]” (John 3:19-21; AMP). Glory!
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching“ (2 Tim 4:2).
Gideon broke the pitchers and exposed the lights. He then blew the trumpets. They shouted: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
Lesson: By doing good and by preaching the Gospel, God will defeat your enemies. You become strong in faith and fear runs away. You need both swords combined! God’s sword is His Word spoken in faith! Gideon’s sword is his mouth used for preaching and praying. This is the secret of victory and destruction of fear. The sword of God alone will not work. God has decided to use men to preach His Word. We are weak, but in Christ we can do all things! God and man! Victory is spiritual warfare to His glory! Worship the Lord!