BY Femi Awodele
Acts 9: 26-27
” WHEN he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the LORD and that the LORD had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
My second son is naturally a risk-taker or boundary tester, as a child he removed the padding on the bricks by the fire-place and hit his head on it (mom stitched it without anaesthesia), he touched the stove-top while hot after being told not to and he just reminded me of how he had concussion (avoiding a car) after he rode his bike on the street instead of sidewalk.
Fear is an emotion given to us by God (just like other emotions), what happened is that the enemy has perverse the intent, by using it as a tool against obeying God. The original intent of FEAR is to protect us from what might cause harm (or danger) to us – height, hot stove, bad guys/gals with no inhibition, wrong teaching, etc.
It was natural “good fear” for the people of the Way, to be weary of Saul of Tarsus, who had persecuted them, to the point of instigating the murder(s) of their friends (he was placed at the stoning of Stephen). The problem with FEAR however, is when it starts to hinder (stand in the way) of God’s instruction?
For the disciples (turn apostle) and people of the Way, they have to manage their FEAR, do we accept this bad guy or do we accept his story that he had an encounter with Christ? Joseph of Cyrus (Barnabas) was the first guy to overcome that natural fear, to hear Saul’s (now Paul) story, he then brought him to everyone else.
Please note that leaping from natural fear, to doing what God says is NOT a haphazard or risk-taint venture, it is discernment and confirmation that this is what God would want me to do (and in-line with written word) – then i’ll do it. Many saints went through this, Daniel, David, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, etc and WE WILL TOO, the issue is knowing it is God’s will before we leap.
I tell folks, when you have a child who test boundaries – don’t break their will, simply help them know when to leap and how to manage whatever it is in them that act on impulse. I pray for discernment, when to leap from our natural fear to obeying God even when it seems risky or life threatening.
– Femi Awodele is the Executive Director of Christian Couples Fellowship International, Inc., a marriage ministry with chapters worldwide based in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States
-The opinions and views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer/author, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Headline News Nigeria.