Thursday, October 10, 2013

Walking in confidence

Romans 13:3
2 Timothy 1:6-8
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What do you fear? My list of fears, like most people's lists, is way too long. Normal stuff mostly, like snakes and robbers and car accidents. God doesn't invite us to fear such things. He gives us confidence in His ability to overcome each one of them. But if the things we fear are caused by our own wrongdoings, then the path to overcome them lies in repenting of and avoiding sin. God doesn't give us a spirit of timidity: He gives a spirit of courage, of repentance, of holiness, and of purity. When we have His spirit, we have no reason to fear ourselves, other people, circumstances, or evil spirits. We can move forward with confidence, knowing that we are on the winning team.
Paul was quite aware of the ability of governing authorities to misuse the power entrusted to them. Rome was not exactly a perfect government. Even the original recipients of his letter were aware of the likelihood of martyrdom, not because they were doing wrong but because they were believers of Christ Jesus. Yet there is a difference between fearing an authority because you've committed a crime and the government has a legitimate reason to punish you (followed eventually by The Judge's punishment...), and confidently doing what you know is right without fear of the repercussions of your actions. When we commit wrongdoing, we find ourselves living in fear of punishment by the government. When we choose rightly, we live boldly in God's spirit, unafraid of governmental authorities or anyone else.

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