FEAR GOD, FEAR NOTHING ELSE
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
The Apostle John repeatedly teaches that loving God (other scripture writers refer to it as “fearing” God) is the antidote to fear. Oswald Chambers explains that when you fear God, you fear nothing else. When you don’t fear God, you fear everything else. Fear is a tactic of Satan which all believers must face. Those under severe persecution often face this challenge early.
Behbaha, an Iranian secret believer from Muslim background (MBB), shares that her aunt went to a house church and she accompanied her. But she was afraid. She knew that the government controlled the church and that scared her.
“At that time I worked in a job that was state controlled. Every time they gave us questionnaires we should fill out, one of the questions is about religion. Of course you have to fill in, ‘Muslim,’ but I could not do that anymore…”
In the house church she attended with her aunt she learned about the Bible and what Jesus taught in a very practical way. Taking a discipleship training course was a great blessing for Behbaha. She says, “I was able to understand the Bible, I saw the good Lord of the Bible, saw His love – and that changed my life.” After six years of searching she gave her life to Jesus.
The good thing is that her family does not have any problems with her changing and going to church. “Neighbors are the problem”, she states. “The government tells on radio and TV that if you know a person who is not dedicated to the government or to Islam you should go to the police and tell them when you suspect someone of being a Christian.”
After she became a Christian she left her job. “Much too dangerous,” she comments. “I am not able anymore to fill out that form [because of the religion question]. Now I am working part time with some small companies, who are not working with these forms asking about faith.”
She does not know if she is observed by the secret police, because of her former job. Behbaha is not aware of being watched. “But I have to be careful, they are able to kill me,” she says with conviction. “Sometimes people are killed; sometimes they have to leave the country. Maybe, if they catch me, I will be killed, but this week of training took away my fear.”
The first three discipleship courses were via internet. The fourth she did in a safe location. After taking the training seminar she wants to teach the course to others—especially church people. Behbaha also wants to pass on the training to her family and friends. “I want to share and show love. My dream after this training is to have house groups with my family members, friends and colleagues to teach them. But…your life should be a good testimony to everyone and Jesus must increase in your life. I am working on that.”
RESPONSE: Today I will focus on fearing God so that I will not fear anything or anyone else.
PRAYER: Pray new believers around the world involved in discipleship training will learn not to fear.
STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM (SSTS) -A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25
Right now millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ. Register to receive the Open Doors USA Weekly Prayer Alert email. Join alongside thousands of others praying for our brothers and sisters worldwide to stand strong in the midst of their struggles. Also learn more about countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe by visiting the Open Doors website today.