Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peace and Fear: A Beautiful Melody...

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it become stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. ~ Acts 9:31

Have you ever stopped to think about what it must have been like for the early Church to grow spiritually--into an increasing head and heart knowledge and intimacy with Jesus? No canonized [New Testament] Scriptures, only scant dispatches of verbal testimony from the apostles as their remembrances of Christ's teachings trickled out from Jerusalem and occasional eye-witness evidence of those same apostles' transformed lives. Try to imagine their dependence on the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God in their lives. A holy niggling worked at their souls' level, urging them toward Christ-likeness and conforming them to His image--validating the new life that Jesus promised.

As far as we can tell, miles of distance and the scrambling that results from fleeing for their lives had to have broken down the lines of human communication. Yet, once again, we see the essence of being a believer--the indwelling and affirming presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ in heaven, just as he promised, spoke into their hearts, confirmed His promises, encouraged them, and urged them forward, through the Spirit in them that was the exact likeness of Himself.

Beautiful and paradoxical, is it not? Peace and fear seem to be in such discord. Yet, think about it...their spirits were fine tuned to a complex melody: Chords of the fear of God harmonizing with the chords of the peace of God and orchestrating a spiritual symphony in their souls. Reverence of God expanded, and a crescendo of strength resulted. Peace that passes understanding, and fear that speaks to reverence toward the unseen God, equalled growth in their innermost being, and their worldwide influence, as the Church that Christ was building, expanded...

  

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