Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Do Not Be Afraid"


I got a kick out of my granddaughter, Kendall, mugging it up for the camera by pretending she was being attacked by an alligator. We were at the N.C. Acquarium in Manteo.  She did a pretty good job of looking afraid. Thankfully, she was never in actual danger and knows to run the other way in the presence of a real alligator.

When we belong to God and trust Him for our safety, He says that we do not need to be afraid. The Psalmist quotes God as saying, “You shall not be afraid…A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” 91:5 & 7. That's an amazing promise that encourages both peace and trust in Almighty God.

While He promises to keep us safe, that doesn't mean we should put ourselves in harm's way just because we can. In real life, putting your hand inside the mouth of a live alligator would be foolish and not the type of behavior pleasing to God. In such cases, guarantees of safety are off the table.

Even Jesus Himself, when challenged by Satan did not fall for such a ploy (in Matthew 4). Satan said to Jesus, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"

It's true that God made that statement (as written in Psalm 91:11-12) offering safety, but it was not given with the idea of testing how far you could go with it. Jesus, of course, knew this, and answered Satan, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"

Rather than test God by seeing how far into danger we can go (like driving too close to the car in front of you), we should live (and drive) responsibly, trusting God to take care of the unknown and uncontrollable aspects of our lives.

I love the verse in Psalm 4:8: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” God alone is in control and knows every aspect of our lives. I'm so thankful His love can cover every fear -- and take care of our every need.

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