This text continues to return to me over and over: “I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God” (Philippians 1:27b-28).
In today’s world I find large sections of our Christian society running on fear. I hear it in reactions to proposed or existing legislation, in concern over financial security going forward, in the public exposure of aberrant theologies, in demonstrations at board meetings where faith and unity seem distant, in harsh broad sweeping tweets making mountains out of molehills, and regularly in sermons.
I find too often Christian leaders have used fear to motivate and get people onto the same page with them. In truth this strategy can work, but it has a short-term return.
Absolutely preach the truth! Absolutely share the Gospel! However in the middle of our efforts, as the text says, let’s remember to seek the unity in the Spirit. Let us intentionally make our faith a reality in the midst of what may look like overwhelmingly negative circumstances. Perfect love casts our fear.
We need to remember the three Hebrews facing the king and a fiery furnace when they said, “Our God is able to deliver us, but even if He does not ….” Well, obviously, in their case if God does not deliver them they die. If that is the worst that can happen we still win. They saw past the heat and flames.
Where is this kind of faith evident among Christians today? Why do we not see this today: a faith so strong we can deal with any circumstance while manifesting our faith and while also demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit?
I think to a large degree it is the lack of this kind of faith in today’s believers that has weakened our message. When Christ returns will he find faith on the earth?
If fear is what drives us we are far from the maturity Jesus desires in us.
Let our fears be reminders of our need to be trusting. “Shall not the God of all the earth do right?”
Your co-worker who needs more of this kind of faith at work in his life,