Perplexed, Not Despairing (3)







Source: Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling (p128)


“There is a fear that causes you to be watchful and to protect the people in your ministry from the dangers of the real evil that exists both inside and outside of them. Eyes-wide-open, gospel-driven, sin-warring fear that at the same time rests in the grace of Jesus is a very good way to live in a world that itself is still groaning, waiting for redemption.

[But] Fear can overwhelm your senses. It can distort your thinking. It can kidnap your desires. It can capture your meditation so that you spend more time worrying about what others think than about what God has called you to be.

Fear can cause you to make bad decisions quickly and fail to make good decisions in the long run. Fear can cause you to forget what you know and to lose sight of who you are. Fear can make you wish for control that you will never have. It can cause you to be demanding rather than serving. It can cause you to run when you should stay and stay when you really should run.

Fear can make God look small and your circumstances loom large. Fear can make you seek from people what you will only get from the Lord. Fear can be the soil of your deepest questions and your biggest doubts.

Your heart was wired by fear, because you were designed to have a life that is shaped by fear of God. But horizontal fear cannot be allowed to rule your heart, because if it does, it will destroy you and your ministry.”

Comment: Fear has been lurking around my heart during this last week of change. In my better moments the fear involves a rightful concern for the church – one that even the Apostle Paul might have resonated with (2 Cor 11:28). More often, however, my fears arise from a less devout source. “The fear of man will prove to be a snare” (Prov 29:25) and I’ve caught in it’s trap more often than a godly man should have. The levels of stress I’ve felt around video messages, and worries around the opinions of others concerning the leadership calls we are making, are evidence of my own weakness. But these fears “that make God look small” mustn’t rule my heart. The fear of man (or of anything else) must be overwhelmed by a greater fear: the fear of God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *