The Most Common Command?

The Most Common Command?

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,

but of power, love, and self-discipline.

(2 Tim 1:7 NLT)

If you ask a Christian what Jesus said were the most important commands, chances are you’ll get a quick answer: “Love the LORD your God and Love your Neighbor as yourself!” But if you ask them the most common command, both from Jesus and from Heaven in general, you might send them scampering to their closest computer or concordance. I didn’t know it myself until doing some research while reading Max Lucado’s latest book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear. But I do now!

Twenty-one times in the Gospels, Jesus tells someone, “Don’t be afraid!” or “Take courage!” or “Be of good cheer!” In comparison, the Greatest Commands only get repeated 8 times. Think that’s a fluke? Check the Old Testament; at least 80 times, people are told some variation of, “Do not be afraid.”

Do you think it might be important?

In the world we share today, security and safety are the most commonly accepted obsessions. Homeland Security. Social Security. Safety seats. Safety belts. Safety seals. Security systems. Security guards. Food safety. Safety training. You could tack your own additions to the end of the list! One of the funniest chain letters circulating the Internet pokes fun at this by reminding us of all the things people of earlier generations survived: water from the hosepipe, biking without helmets, riding on long trips sprawled across the back seat, being kicked out of the house after lunch and told not to come back before dark. You know the one! Now, some of those things have changed because we live in a different and more dangerous world, but let’s be serious for a moment: has all of our fear done anything good for us? Really?

In another place, Paul tells the early believers (and us!) that, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal 5:25) That if is more of a because: “because we live by the Spirit…” Do you hear what he is saying? We survive by air and food and drink; we live by the Spirit of God! Now, look again at what Paul told Timothy: what kind of Spirit gives us real life?

A Spirit of POWER!

A Spirit of LOVE!

A Spirit of SELF-DISCIPLINE!

Our world is being torn apart by fear. The Bible says it doesn’t have to be this way! The only true and trustworthy antidote to fear is total surrender to Christ Jesus our Lord. Storms will come, but the answer’s not to stare at the storm, but to follow the command of the Storm-Silencer! Don’t be afraid!

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About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 15 September, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

    I think a lot about that “held in slavery by their fear of death.” Fear is such a powerful, negative force.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  2. That is amazing…I never realized that it was the most common command. What I have noticed is that I’ve been watching less CNN and FoxNews, and contemplating my own walk with God. And guess what – I’m a whole lot more comfortable not knowing what the future holds than I was when I obessesed about what was going on in the world. Thanks for the uplift. I’m a less fearful man after reading your comments.

  3. DearStruggler,

    Welcome! I’m thrilled that you’ve found some solace here, and I look forward to sharing in this conversation together. I pray that the Spirit of God will strengthen and encourage you according to His will, and that the Father establish His kingdom in the midst of your life. Amen.

    In HIS love,
    nick

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