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Fearless in the Lord

The objective of a sound fear of the Lord is not so that we cower but rather that we are emboldened to act. To have the Lord as our very dread only means that the fear of man would never be a restraint upon our obedience.

Chalcedon Editorial
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To be fearless in the Lord does not require us to be great and powerful men, but only to believe in the great and powerful God.[1]

It is the greatness of our God that empowers us to be bold, and it is the weakness of our worldview that robs us of that power. God is powerful, but it is our belief that limits us from acting in terms of God’s power, and oftentimes one of our greatest limits is our fear of man:

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. ~ Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man is more than being a “people pleaser.” It’s the antithesis of the fear of God. Fear in this sense is a form of worship and should therefore never be directed at men. Our fear is reserved for the Lord:

Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. ~ Isaiah 8:13

If God is both our fear and our dread, then there is no occasion in which we should direct such emotion to men, institutions, ideologies, or anything else that is less than God Himself. The fear of man makes us servants of men, and as Paul noted, this disqualifies one from being a servant of Christ:

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. ~ Galatians 1:10

When Faith Becomes a Fire

When the young prophet Jeremiah was first called, God said, “Do not be afraid of their faces” (Jer. 1:8). When God called Ezekiel, He said, “son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words … nor be dismayed at their looks” (Ezek. 2:6). Even the disciples who first cowered and hid after our Lord was crucified would become fearless in the face of Rome and apostate Israel after being empowered by the Spirit of God (Acts 1:8).

The objective of a sound fear of the Lord is not so that we cower but rather that we are emboldened to act. To have the Lord as our very dread only means that the fear of man would never be a restraint upon our obedience. This is why the fear of the Lord is tied to faith because such an abandonment to only act in terms of obedience means we must believe God thoroughly.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

We can see and feel the resistance and hatred of men, but faith is required to be moved only by a fear of the Lord. We must believe that God is, and we must believe that He will reward us with dominion if we act in terms of our faith. To do that, however, requires something more than a faith that we possess:

When the faith is more than a possession but a fire in our being that possesses us, we are governed by it. It commands and compels us as nothing else can, because we are in the hands and power of the living Lord.[2]

To Whom is Our “Amen” Given?

In our time, the cultural and political pressure are significant against the church to compromise God’s revealed will in Scripture in order to comply with the West’s changing moral landscape. In essence, the fire from the world system is more intimidating to contemporary Christianity than the fact that the Lord Himself—a consuming fire—has given us a Kingdom for which we bear responsibility:

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. ~ Hebrews 12:28-29

This is our weakness. We do not live in the awareness of the Kingdom of God and the responsibilities that it brings. Throughout churches men routinely say, “Amen,” but it’s the last thing they mean. They are not hearkening to their Lord in the face of a wicked world seeking to silence the voice of God. If anything, their “amen” is given to the latest moral depravity being leveled on our culture because the fear of man is their starting point.

We are a fearful and unbelieving generation. We are always fearful where we should not be, and indifferent to God and His power and Word. We are summoned by all of Scripture to believe in the Lord. To believe means to say Amen to, to put our whole life on the line in terms of God’s Word. To believe means that our waking and sleeping, our eating and drinking, our work, rest, worship, and play, the whole of our lives, in brief, is governed by the Lord and His Word.[3]

How much will the church bend in order to placate fallen man? We have yet to see the end of it. And where are the fearless in the Lord? If they are hard to find, then we know the work we must do. The great task of Christian education continues, and may you be encouraged and emboldened to pray for, and speak with, your brothers and sisters in Christ to join you in the great mission of Christian Reconstruction.

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Volume 1 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2010), p. 117.

[2] R. J. Rushdoony, A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life, Volume 2 (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2011), p. 11.

[3] Rushdoony, A Word in Season, Volume 1, p. 116.

Chalcedon Editorial
  • Chalcedon Editorial
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