‘In Christ, James In Christ…’

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.

Speeding along an Italian freeway in an Aston Martin, Mr Bond, James Bond, slams the gas pedal flying dust in his pursuing enemies’ front windscreens. A man with a massive gun leans out his widow behind Bond and begins to pelt the Aston with a hundred bullets.  Rounding a bend coming face to face with two large trucks, they all swerve and somehow Bond’s side door breaks off. Still with bullets firing from behind, without blinking an eye he takes his gun and in one skilful shot fires back causing the pursuing car to lose control and careen off the edge of the cliff to his enemies’ end.

Left with a dusty and busted up car full of bullet holes and no door, Bond smoothly drives the car down a tunnel to his final destination. He stops the car and steps out, his countenance exuding calm. With his tie still perfectly tied and without needing to catch his breath, he moves on to his next task.

Without the movie viewer hearing the actual thoughts of the Bond character, it is easy to see that the way he sees himself affects how he reacts to the situations around him. Whether there are explosions going off or bullets flying past his head, he approaches each challenge with complete charisma, a fearless mentality; un-phased by his enemies. The apparent lack of a sliver of self-doubt in his own abilities makes him worthy to be the main attraction of the film.  The lack of fear is Bond’s most enviable characteristic.

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you.

Deuteronomy 3:22

You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord….[he] will not fear when heat comes…and will not be anxious in the year of drought.

To be completely void of any fear of any kind would really be a dream come true for most of us, if not for everyone on earth. It has been said that there are just over 365 mentions of the phrase, ‘fear not’ or ‘don’t be afraid’ in the Bible. Some have said that perhaps this is God’s way of comforting us knowing that each day of the year we will have fears to overcome. Along with each mention of ‘fear not’ in the Bible God says in one way or another: ‘I am with you and I am for you.’

Reasoning ourselves out of our fears can sometimes be a challenge. Most of us at one time or another has searched for different ways of dealing with the various fears we may have. From the counsel God gives us in His Word, His advice for becoming ‘Bond-like’, fearless is through accepting Jesus Christ His Son into our lives.

Isaiah 54:14

In righteousness you shall be established: you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear.

Ecclesiastes 7:7

Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason.

The Bible explains where fear originally came from and like most things in life, going back to the beginning helps to bring understanding. Fear was not a part of life on earth until Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. After Adam sinned he hid from God because he was afraid. (Genesis 3: 10)  Against God’s loving warning, Adam and Eve chose to obtain ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ a form of the law. This knowledge has been passed to all of mankind bringing with it fear, oppression (stress of every kind), condemnation and death.

King Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible besides Jesus, points out in the book of Ecclesiastes that oppression which goes hand-in-hand with fear – destroys a wise man’s reason. Truth works in both ways so the absence of oppression makes a man reasonable.

When Adam sinned he became unreasonable, for it is unreasonable to hide from God who is perfect love. (1 John 4:8)

Being a dentist, fear is a common occurrence in my day to day work. I had a patient not too long ago who cried on the phone when booking her appointment, cried in the waiting room before she had seen me and couldn’t bring herself to sit in the dental chair, tears streaming down her face I had to give her the nurses chair to sit on. The lady was petrified and sitting there shaking, she kept apologising to me for her fear. She so wanted to not be afraid and get her teeth fixed but couldn’t reason herself out of it to even begin sitting in the chair.

For myself, up til only recently the thought of flying internationally for long flights would cause me increased anxiety and fear, a feeling of loss of control overtaking my reason. Reason would say people fly every day, this is a trustworthy airline, it’s only this amount of time in the air etc. But despite all the ‘knowledge’ and attempts at ‘logical reasoning’ fear held me back.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and of a SOUND MIND.

In 2 Timothy 1 part of God’s solution for dealing with fear is stated. Fear is defined as a spirit that God has not given to us instead He has given us not just one thing to combat it, but three things in one Spirit! – power, love and a sound mind!  Pretty amazing things and all of these are our inheritance by God putting us in His Son, Jesus Christ through our faith in His sacrifice for us on the cross.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24

…Christ was crucified….Christ is THE POWER of God and the wisdom of God.

2 Corinthians 5: 21

For He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [Christ].

The best reasoning we can use to see fear disappear is to receive these spiritual gifts from God. We receive by speaking it out. In Romans 10:6 it says: faith speaks.  We have been put In Christ which is the power of God for our present challenge and circumstance. We receive the spirit of love which never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8) and of which has been given to us by Jesus laying down His life for us. (John 15:13) Receiving His perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18) And last but definitely not least, Jesus gives us the spirit of His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), a mind that is full of love, thoughts void of fear, a mind of peace.

God has put you and me in the One who is perfect love, who is power and who is fearless, Jesus Christ. Looking at James Bond won’t make us Bond-like and fearless but continuing to look at Jesus, God promises we will become Jesus-like and fearless! This transformation is completed by the Holy Spirit working in us without any effort or struggle on our part. Amen! (2 Corinthians 3:18)

When there is no reasonable thought able to be processed in the grip of intense fear, simply look at Jesus in His perfect love for you and fear will begin to be cast out. Even a whisper prayer, barely audible is heard by God (John 11:41, 1 John 4:17). Simply praying, ‘Lord you have not given me this spirit of fear but you have given me the spirit of love, power and a sound mind in Christ’, reason begins to return to our minds and the wisdom and the power of God comes into any situation facing us.

When fear asks us, ‘Who are you?’

We can boldly declare, ‘I am in Christ! [Yours and my name] In Christ!