That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! (Luke 2:8-10 NLT)
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Have you ever noticed God is always telling us to not be afraid? For instance, in the Bible, whenever an angel showed up with a message from God, the first thing the angel said is: «Do not be afraid.»
There are all kinds of reasons we might be afraid to receive a message from God: We’re afraid of change, afraid of losing control, afraid of sacrifice, afraid of not being good enough, afraid to face the fact that we’re not good enough – and would prefer to live in our pretense.
And, I suppose, any us would be afraid if a member of the heavenly host suddenly showed up next to the receptionist at work, or in the middle of the laundry room at home. Ha!
Perhaps our fear comes from this sudden moment when we realize that what we say we believe is really true, with all the implications of what that means. Is a lukewarm faith sustainable in the face of an angel?
Our response to this is not only fear – we have a bad habit of telling ourselves: «Try harder!» It doesn’t help that, frankly, there is so much Christian literature that re-enforces this «Try harder! You should be doing better!» mentality.
Yet the Good News of Great Joy is that you don’t have to be good enough. You don’t have to be good enough because God is enough!
The Bible teaches us to fight fear with faith – faith that Jesus will cover all our sins and shortcomings.
What does this mean?
· Replace your fear with faith – Ask God to help you. Remember, «I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.» The apostle John tells us God’s perfect love drives out all fear.
· Chase God, not perfection – You will never reach perfection, but Jesus, through his death and resurrection, is your perfection. God doesn’t love you because you’re the best kid in the class, or because you try really hard. God loves you because he loves you. Slow down, shake off your anxiety, and meditate on that.
· Expect God to speak to you in the routines of life – The shepherds weren’t on some spiritual retreat seeking God. They were by their flocks, following their routine, maybe even a little bored – then suddenly …. Look for God this week as you go about your routine.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org