As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been listening to the New Testament during my drive in to work. It’s been interesting to me how, in listening, different words and phrases stand out to me than when reading.
It happened to me just the other day as I listened to Luke, chapter 1. In verse 74, part of Zechariah’s prophecy about John the Baptist, I heard him say, “to enable us to serve him without fear.”
My mind focused on that phrase… those few words.
Many in ministry operate with a fear of judgment or rejection.
Pastors fear the accusation of critical spirits.
Youth workers fear the wrath of the senior pastor or the custodian.
There is fear of being discharged or downsized, or simply pushed aside in favor of the newer, younger, trendier version of you.
And there’s the fear of choosing, or missing, God’s call and best plan for you and your ministry.
I know what 2 Timothy 1:7 says, that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
But those words from Zechariah continue in my heart and mind: that, more specifically, whatever God has called us to, wherever he has placed us, and where ever he may lead us, we can serve him without fear.
Here are those words from Luke 1 in context:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.