Summary: This sermon addresses the disabling impact of fear upon our lives and God’s desire that we be free from its troment and enjoy a confident rest in God’s love.
God’s War on Terror
My subject this morning is God’s War on Terror. Terror is a word much in news these days – we hear about the terrorist bombings in the Middle East and all the upheaval that is going on there. There is a war on terrorism going on in Afghanistan even as we speak.
Our lives here in the States have been significantly affected by the events of September 11th. America is at war and the enemy is terror!
God has been at war with terror for a very long time. Terror is not new. The Bible says that our adversary, the Devil, goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. A lion roars to terrorize a heard and get them into confusion and on the run. Then he devours the weak stragglers. Terror is a terrible weapon.
Another word for terror is fear. 2 Tim 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Fear has many faces – sometimes
it comes with a horrific, paralyzing shock. But more often it appears in more subtle forms like worry or excessive stress or an underlying sense of anxiety and dread.
Do we look into Future with hope & optimism? Or is there a subtle dread of what may happen next? Not just in world as whole– but in our individual lives -- Are we being robbed of the joy of present because of a fear of tomorrow? Do worries and anxieties drain our strength and steal our peace?
I’m talking about a fear that carries with it an unhealthy element of torment --that makes life more stressful than it ought to be. There is a healthy, rational kind of fear that causes us to jump out of the way of a speeding truck and stay alive. But there are many fears that have a terribly negative influence on our quality of life and upon our effectiveness in life.
“…God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Notice 3 influences of the Holy Spirit in II Tim. 1:7 that counteract fear:
** Power – strength to face and overcome our fears. David said in Ps 34:4 “I sought the
Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” What an encouraging testimony. What God did for David He will do for you and me.
1 John 4:18 says “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. “
How does love counteract fear in our lives?
Obviously, to know that the almighty God of heaven and earth loves us and is seeking our highest good—that revelation of God’s attitude toward can relieve a lot of fear.
Have you experienced His love? Have you come to know Him as your loving, heavenly Father? If you have, you know the peace that comes in that relationship.
In Matthew 6 Jesus told us to not live in a state of worry – why? Because it does no good. “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (verse 27) But also because you are valuable to God and He cares for you. Verse 26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
That love provokes a response of love in our hearts. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I Jn 4:19) The love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
So that instead of just loving ourselves—just thinking about ourselves –we love God and His love causes us to love others as well.
The basis of fear is self- preservation. There is a healthy attitude toward self-preservation that God gives us. But when we become consumed with self we are
vulnerable to all kinds of unhealthy fears. Self- centeredness is a feeding ground for fear. But when love begins to dominate our thoughts and motives that opportunity for fear is removed. “…perfect love casts out fear..” Instead of being so focused on how events might affect us we gain a broader perspective. We become focused on others and how they are being affected and how we can help them. We become focused on God and how we can please Him.
Fear can not survive in an atmosphere of love.
** Sound Mind
is the other result of the Holy Spirit in our lives that is mentioned in
II Tim. 1:7. The real foundation for tormenting fear is wrong thinking. When we’re thinking right- when we’re remembering God – when everything is kept in proper perspective—then fear can not dominate our lives.