April 15         
Today's Bible Readings
     Leviticus 19
     Psalm 23, 24
     Ecclesiastes 2
     I Timothy 4
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4)
            The Psalmist had no fear even in the valley of the shadow of death. Do you ever have fear?
            In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said these immortal words; ''We have nothing to fear but fear itself.'' These are beautiful and memorable words, but I don't agree with him. There is a lot to fear besides fear. I am still afraid of two kinds of snakes - live ones and dead ones.
            Fear is a productive, protective mechanism that God had put into all of us, and there is nothing wrong with that kind of fear. The instinct that God had given us to protect us and to preserve us is not only good, it is vital. So, when I talk about fear, I am not talking about good fear.
            Jesus actually told us to fear. He said, ''Fear not him who is able to destroy the body but is not able to destroy the soul; but rather fear him that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." If you are not a child of God, you really have something to fear. If you are facing a future without God, you have a lot to fear.
            The Bible also speaks of the fear of the Lord. Now that's a very good fear. The writer of Proverbs said, ''The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It is sad that there is so little ''fear of the Lord'' in the modem church. The fear of the Lord does not mean that you are afraid of God. The Bible word for fear means, ''reverence." It means you have a holy respect for God. So why does the Bible constantly tell us to ''fear not?'' We are talking here about something the Bible calls a spirit of fear. As believers, we are in intense spiritual conflict. The enemy wants us afraid. The spirit of fear is from the devil himself.  God says He has not given His children the spirit of fear.  (II Timothy 1:6-8)
            Consider some steps to cope with the spirit of fear in your life.
Realize that fear is not of God, but of Satan and take authority over it.
Replace fear with power, love and a sound mind.
Reclaim the promises of God concerning His presence.
Renew your awareness of the presence of God.
            Following World War II, a Japanese soldier lived in the jungle and in caves on the island of Guam for 28 years. He did not know the war was over, and he was afraid. For 28 years he lived as a prisoner of his fears. The war was over, we were driving Toyota's, watching Sony's, taking vacations in Tokyo, and this man was living in caves because of fear. He didn't know the war was over. I have some good news. The war is over and Jesus won! It is finished. He has offered amnesty and forgiveness. We can all come home. The devil doesn't want you to know that. People don't come to God because they are afraid of Him. The war is over, and Jesus is the victor and you are free. You don't have to be afraid!
            As you continue your prayers for India, it needs to be realized that there is already in place a young army of witnesses that could be the group that brings India to God. Many ministries with which we are affiliated, and support, have orphanages. These young children who are brought in from the streets and the alleys of the urban areas of India, from squalid poverty, and small villages and towns, represent the numbers that could make a difference. These young children are taught from the very beginning to know and love the Lord Jesus. I believe that we can see India changed within our lifetime through God's orphan army, but it will not happen accidentally or coincidentally. It will happen providentially, only as God's people pray fervently for these orphans to know and love the Lord and have the commitment level to make a difference in this very needy nation.
            ''The fear of being alone can be traced back to birth when the umbilical cord is cut. It is then that we are no longer vitally connected with another human being. Recognize that and face what you fear, naming it and confronting it." God is able to deliver you from that fear."
Catherine Rawlings