"Not To Flee, Not To Fear"
Just as "the wicked flee when no man pursueth", born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are often tempted to unwarranted fear and insecurity (Proverbs 28:1). Rather than looking behind to see that "goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life", we may rather perceive enemies closing in (Psalm 23:6). Of course, it is sometimes the case that our foes pursue us. However, a clear perspective in the rear view mirror reveals that they themselves are being chased by the God who uses both friend and foe in our lives to fulfill His good purpose of conforming us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, recall that a pack of savage wolves once overtook our Savior, ravaging Him with shame, ridicule, torture, and death. The end result?
"God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things on earth, and things under the heart, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11).
Did the cross result from the attacks of enemies or "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God"? (Acts 2:23). The answer is both, but far more, the latter. Thus, the Lord Jesus did not fear Calvary because by faith He saw His Father's purposes far more vividly than His foes' pursuit. He realized and affirmed a preponderance of "goodness and mercy" as the ultimate result of His suffering and death - "For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2). The same reality of grace characterizes our experience as His trusting children. Our Heavenly Father calls us to confidence regardless of whether the perspective of faith looks behind to see no pursuer, or to see our enemies seemingly closing in. He is ready for either contingency, calling us to the assurance that He really does work all things together for the good of conforming His trusting sons and daughters to the image of His beloved Son (Romans 8:28-29). Thus, we determine not to flee from imaginary enemies, and not to fear the real ones.
"God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
(II Timothy 1:7)
Weekly Memory Verse
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.