Summary: So often believers suffer and live lives of struggle because they are living in FEAR and that FEAR is based on their misperception of who God is...
Date Written: October 10, 2009
Date Preached: October 11, 2009
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: FEAR – A Believers Worst Enemy
Sermon Title: FEAR – bad perception of who God is…
Sermon Text: 1 John 4:17-18 [NKJV]
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 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.
He was a professional thief. His name stirred fear as the desert wind stirs tumbleweeds. He terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line for 13 yrs. In journals from San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with FEAR and danger.
During this man’s reign of terror between 1873 and 1885, he is credited with stealing the bags and the breath away from twenty-nine different stagecoach crews. And this fearless bandito did it all without firing a single shot.
How could he do this? Well his weapon WAS his reputation and his ammunition was his intimidating presence… He wore a black hood to hide his face and NO victim ever saw him. No artist could ever sketch his features and because of that there was NO sheriff who could ever track his trail.
This man NEVER fired a shot… and he NEVER took a hostage simply because he didn’t have to. His mere presence was enough to paralyze those protecting and guarding the treasures he took and all other bystanders… NO ONE dared to challenge him because of his reputation!
Who was this masked man? He was the infamous Black Bart. A hooded bandit armed with the most deadly of weapons… and that weapon was NOT a Colt .45 or a Smith and Wesson revolver… BUT it was in a word FEAR!
This morning I want us to look at fear and how it paralyzes the believer and prevents many of us from experiencing the blissful happiness that Jesus describes in His Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5-7.
We have a fear of almost EVERYTHING… a fear of death, failure, tomorrow – the list could go on and on. The ultimate goal of the enemy of God is to deceive and pervert the truth so that it creates a cowardly, joyless believer!
Satan will use FEAR to shake any and all believers at the very foundation of their faith. You see it is his desire to get you to take your eyes off the goal of serving Christ! It is his desire to get you to settle for merely a dull existence in this world, instead of the fullness of life Christ wants us to experience!
Do you remember the man I used as an illustration to begin this sermon? That infamous and terrifying bandit named Black Bart? When he was finally caught, it turns out that he wasn’t anything to be afraid of...
You see when the hood came off, there was not this MONSTER behind the mask… there was NOT this maniacal maniac who was on the verge of killing all in his path! When the authorities finally tracked down this wanted and much feared thief, they didn’t find a bloodthirsty bandit from Death Valley; they found a mild-mannered druggist from Decatur, Illinois.
This man who the papers had pictured storming through the mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses he rode to and from his robberies in a buggy. He was Charles E. Boles – the bandit who never once fired a shot! Why? because he never once loaded his gun...in fact he was terrified of guns.
Now this morning I want to ask you the question, “Why is it that believers can read about all the wonderful promises we find in the Bible, but for whatever reason we just can’t bring ourselves to TRULY believe that they apply to US?”
Is it that we just don’t see them as something REAL? Or is it that we may believe that we are not worthy of God answering our prayers?
With our words, we can SAY that we love and trust God, but when we begin to go through difficult circumstances and times of testing and trials… it seems as if our WORDS betray us and all of our faith seems to go out the window!
Today if you are here and you feel like the promises of the Bible seem unreachable or unattainable to YOU… If they seem like lifeless words on printed paper… then you have a problem! Either you don’t know God as Savior… OR you are saved but have the wrong perspective about WHO He is!
Your problem is NOT with the promises of the Bible BUT the problem YOU are having is with the One who makes those promises! I am here to tell you that your problem is with God! Now preacher, don’t go off the deep end…I don’t have a problem with God! It is that I just can’t seem to grasp any of these promises from God’s Word!