(I'm on a mission trip right now in Africa, I would appreciate your prayers) We all have some type of fear no matter how big or small. The question is whether we will give into fear or find courage through a relationship with Christ?
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23
This passage of scripture is one of the most often quoted and best-loved in the entire Old Testament. However, despite all this, there is a section in this passage that has been widely misunderstood. The attitude that was portrayed must be one that represents and focuses on missions. Understanding God’s protection in our lives, we are freed to serve Him and be provided for everything we need. A life of no fear results in reckless service to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. Missionaries all over the world have to live outside their own comfort zones and culture to reach the lost and that comes from not succumbing to the status quo.
We Should Ask God to be our Shepherd and make it personal. We know that He is always with us (Isaiah 41:10). If we are his, we will never been in need because He is our shepherd. Paul wrote that he is our "Abba father" in Romans 8:15.
The love and protection God gives will fuel our courage to follow at any cost. We will be rested and refreshed in our lives daily. Our souls will be restored and this will lead to steady, committed service to Jesus not because we have to, but because we get to! The sheep must stay close to the shepherd if they are to be fearless. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment, but he who fears has not been made perfect in love” 1 John 1:18.
In today’s world with reliable transportation and secure bank accounts we sometimes do not see much need in depending upon God. However, we must look back and see the results of David’s reliance on God. David was able to truthfully say that he would not fear even though he walked through a valley that was in the very proximity of death itself. The end result of David’s dependence upon and trust in God was a confidence that he was going to the “house of the Lord” after he died. In order for us to be able to experience the same results we must do as David. That is to be under the control of the Shepherd and be led by Him. To walk with the Lord is to think, act, and believe in Him with all of your heart. If we truly do this then we can truly say that no matter what happens, we will have no fear. Eternal hope is in Jesus and His power and guidance can help anyone live and glorify Him.
Will you live your life just to meet the status quo of culture, or will you seek the heart of Jesus? Will we deny ourselves and follow His command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? God’s power is always in full supply and we have been received a biblical mandate for missions in order to glorify God.