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Does the world see a fearless church or a fainting church?

Updated: May 26

A W Tozer once said: “A scared world needs a fearless church”.  We praise God that there are, even in this late hour, many remnant and fearless churches and ministries worldwide that the Lord is using to stand against the tide of evil and proclaim the hope of the gospel.  However, we must also recognise that not all of the church body is fearless - there are a good many who are fainting.    


Do you remember the account of Elisha and his servant?  The king of Syria (some translations will refer to Aram) was becoming increasingly frustrated that his invasion of Israel was continually being thwarted.  They would repeatedly send raiding parties against Israel and each time their strategies failed. Yet, they were relentless and would not give up.  Sound familiar!  Anyway, the king was convinced he had a traitor in his midst, until somebody informed him that Elisha was receiving information directly from the One who sees all. So, he sends a great army to capture Elisha.  2 Kings 6:14: Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.  One man against an entire army doesn’t sound all that fair.  But here is where the story takes a dramatic twist, summed up in three words: panic, peace and prayer.


I think it is fair to say that the events of the world can be overwhelming to a lot of people.  That is certainly how Elisha’s servant would have felt.  He went to bed probably thinking all was well, only to rise early the next morning to the fear-inducing reality that they were completely surrounded.  2 Kings 6:15 records his reaction: And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots.  And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  In these few words, you can almost feel the panic of Elisha’s servant.  But Elisha does not succumb to panic - he introduces the peace of God.  2 Kings 6:16: So he answered, “do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 


So, peace overcomes panic, but there is a third and most important element to remaining fearless: prayer.  Sometimes we miss that vital step.  If we allow panic to set in, we are tempted to forsake the prayer which provides the peace that passes all understanding.  2 Kings 6:17: And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.”  Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw.  And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  When Elisha prayed for his servant, he did not ask God to give them what they did not have.  He prayed that God would reveal to him what they already had and the opening of his eyes led to the silencing of his fears.


So, with that in mind, in this present age, how can we encourage a fainting church to become a fearless church?  Remind them what they already have and pray they will see it!

  1. Faith will keep a church from fainting.  1 John 5:4-5: For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

  2. The truth of the resurrection will keep a church from fainting because it constantly reminds us of the victory won by Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57-58: But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  

  3. The desire to glorify God by enduring suffering will keep a church from fainting.  Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  

  4. The desire to grow in spiritual maturity will keep a church from fainting.  2 Corinthians 4:16: Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

  5.   The anticipation of eternal life with Jesus will keep a church from fainting.  2 Corinthians 4:17: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

We face an enemy who loves nothing more than to kill, steal and destroy.  But no matter what the enemy tries to take from you, no matter what the world tries to take from you, you can stand upon the sure promise that you have an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled and will never fade away.   After the great Chicago fire of 1871, evangelist Dwight L. Moody went back to survey the ruins of his house. A friend came by and said to Moody, “I hear you lost everything.” “Well,” said Moody, “you understood wrong. I have a good deal more left than I lost.” “What do you mean?” the inquisitive friend asked. “I didn’t know you were that rich.” Moody then opened his Bible and read to him Revelation 21:7: ”He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God.” 

Fear not, faint not my friends.  God’s sure promises will be fulfilled soon and for the saved, it is going to be a wonderful eternity.  Why should we fear when we worship the God who is: Elohim (Creator, Mighty and Strong); El Shaddai (God Almighty); Yahweh-Jireh (The Lord who provides); Yahweh-Rapha (The Lord who heals); Yahweh-Nissi (The Lord our Banner); Yahweh-Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts); Yahweh M’Kaddesh (The Lord who sanctifies); Yahweh-Shalom (The Lord of Peace); Yahweh-Tsidkenu (The Lord our righteousness); Yahweh-Shammah (The Lord is there); El Elyon (The Most High); El Olam (Everlasting God); El Gibhor (Mighty God); and El Roi (The God who sees me).

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