14. The Separation from Fear: "I will fear no evil"

Psalm 23:4c

March 16


 
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:
 
    I like what Oswald Chambers said, “When you fear God, you fear nothing else. When you don’t fear God, you fear everything else.”


    The name I go by literally means fear, “timos,” the Greek word from which we get words such as timidity or intimidation. But my full name, Timothy, means fear of God, with the latter part coming from the word “theos.” Without God, I am simply afraid. Just like my full name, today’s and tomorrow’s devotional are intrinsically related--fear and the presence of God.

    The basis for our ability to not be afraid is the presence of God, and yet in the first instance of fear, the reaction was to hide from God. “I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:10). Adam was afraid not because he was naked but because he realized he was naked. And his solution was to hide from God, obviously out of shame because of his sin.

    Standing without pretense, or “naked”, before God is the only solution to our fear. Yes, we have sinned, and yes that leaves us exposed, but we should run toward God’s presence in those times, not from Him.

    Franklin Roosevelt said fear itself is the only thing we have to fear, but I disagree. The Bible calls us not to be afraid of sudden fear (Prov. 3:25). The quote from Corrie Ten Boom in the picture today reminds us to trust the engineer, the shepherd, when things get fearful. She also said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”

    Are you looking too much at our world? Are you looking too much within yourself? We cannot help looking a little bit at “fightings and fears, within and without,” but we cannot look to God too much. And the closer we draw to Him, the smaller our fears become.

    The song, “Just as I Am” is known by many, but few know that it was originally published in “The Invalid’s Hymnbook.” Written by Charlotte Elliott, who for most of her life was in such poor health physically that she felt utterly useless to the world and to God’s work. She saw others doing great things for God but she had been physically confined to a sofa in her living room at for much of her 45 years in Brighton, England. Distressed and depressed, she penned her heart out to God, writing these words to express her limitations…and the sufficiency of a Shepherd who became a Lamb of God.  

Just as I am - without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
- O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am - and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

Just as I am - though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without, 

Just as I am - poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,

Just as I am - Thou wilt receive,Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,

Just as I am - Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,

Just as I am - of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,

- O Lamb of God, I come!

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