Whenever I feel afraid…

christianflagI’ve had lots of exposure to musical theater in my lifetime. The title of this post comes from “The King and I,” and the advice given in the song from which it came suggests that we should “whistle a happy tune” to overcome our fears. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve got better advice, though.

I am currently reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians every day. I kept coming across verse 28 in the first chapter and feeling a sort of road block. I had to research to find out what it meant.

King James: “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

ESV: “and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”

Looking it up in a modern, conservative translation helps a great deal. What this is saying is that in spite of whatever our adversary (the Father of Lies, the Accuser of the Brethren) or his cohorts may throw at us, we can stand strong.

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. ~Luther

Our assurance and confidence that “his doom is sure” (and the accompanying boldness and courage which is the result of standing on the firm foundation of His truth) will be clear, convicting evidence to our enemies of the futility of their attempts to fight against Him.

How do we equip ourselves for this? The troops and artillery of the adversary seem to be growing every day. The force of them seems intimidating.  We need to grow our faith by remembering Whose banner we rally around.

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34

We must remind ourselves of the bigness of our God, His power, His might, His immutability (He never changes), His omnipresence (He is everywhere), His omniscience (He knows all)…all of it. Praise Him for who He is, often and continually…because this not only gives us perspective on His bigness, but also our smallness. Both are needful if we are to do valiantly. (Ps 60:12)

We are coming into a time when we will be made to stand. There will be no more muddied lines. We are not a “Christian nation” as many claim. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve” will be uttered once again, and we must be ready. The price for being the “bought ones” (1 Cor. 6:20) will be raised as the days progress. Just one more way to enter into the “fellowship of his sufferings”.

Be ready to rally and contend for the faith. Remember that our weapons are not carnal (2 Cor. 10:4)…our mission is not to kill, but to give life. Our “sword” is truth (Eph 6:17). Know it. Grasp it. Trust it. Wield it. Love it. Live it.

Sound the battle cry!
See! the foe is nigh!
Raise the standard high
For the Lord:
Gird your armor on,
Stand firm ev’ry one;
Rest your cause upon his holy Word.

Rouse, then, soldiers!
Rally round the banner!
Ready, steady, pass the word along;
Onward, forward,
Shout aloud, hosanna!
Christ is captain of the mighty throng!

Strong to meet the foe,
Marching on we go,
While our cause we know,
Must prevail;
Shield and banner bright,
Gleaming in the light,
Battling for the right
We ne’er can fail.

O thou God of all,
Hear us when we call,
Help us one and all
By thy grace;
When the battle’s done,
And the victory won,
May we wear the crown
Before thy face.

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