“Fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” (NKJV)
If our time here in the Middle East and the things learned could be summarized in one verse, it would be Psalm 118:6, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” This lesson has been coming at me from a new angle these past weeks.
As a leader I have repeatedly had the responsibility of telling people news which was not pleasant for them to hear—fellow workers, locals and family members. These were unrelated events, but the basic task was the same: relate a truth I didn’t want to tell and they didn’t want to hear.
With each occurrence, I had a struggle with fear: what would the person say? Would I lose their friendship? Would there be negative repercussions for me personally? Would they become angry and tell me off?
Obedience, however, is not to be predicated on how easy or comfortable the assignment is. God leads us firmly and clearly. He is as gentle with us in His guidance as we let Him be! If I quench the Spirit by refusing to follow His lead, then I force God to use a stronger way to get my attention. He faithfully disciplines those He loves, including those who resist His leadership. But when we obey, fearing Him, not people, He can reward us right way, taking us to the next step up in growth.
Knowing this, in each case, after much prayer, in fear and trembling I obeyed what I knew to be the Lord’s desire. And, in each case, in the end it worked out well.
Obviously obedience is the best path, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, it requires faith in God and His ways, denial of self and love for the other. It is so good to obey in spite of the possible problems and pain, for the Lord can always handle those, working them out for good (James 1;2,3). Our job is simply to trust Him and obey. This life with our Lord is tough at times, but so very good!
Prayer: “Lord, today as you will bring me opportunities to trust you, to deny myself and love others, help me to obey you, thereby bringing you glory and providing blessing those around me. Amen.”
–from the devotional book EDIFIED!