(Isaiah 41:10), “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
As we enter this New Year, there are some troublous and despairing times, ahead, that if believers don’t anchor some things in their lives, they are going to lose their fellowship with God that will result in negative effects and consequences in their lives. I want us to look at some “nots” found in the Bible that are important for believers to tie down in their lives so they do not lose their fellowship with God.
- FEAR NOT
(Isaiah 41:10), “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Psychologists tell us that we are born with two basic fears, the fear of falling and the fear of noise; but we soon develop many more such as the fear of death, rejection, ridicule, loneliness, misery, disappointment, pain, etc. We live a world that is gripped with fear and when a believer lives in fear it has a negative effect upon their lives. Fear causes a person to doubt God, His love, and His Word. Fear stifles a person’s thinking and actions by creating indecisiveness. When a believer is dominated by negative emotions, they cannot achieve the goals God has in mind for them. A lack of self-confidence stymies believers’ belief in what the Lord can do in their lives. Fear steals believers’ peace and contentment. When believers’ are always afraid, their life becomes centered on pessimism and gloom. Fear drives them away from obeying the Word of God and into destructive habits. Fear is destructive to the lives of believers and God know this. That is why He says in the above text, “Fear not.” Believers do not have to live in fear but can live victorious faith if they will tie the “not” of “fear not” in their lives by realizing that: (1.) God is Present with Us (fear thou not; for I am with thee); (2.) God is Personal to Us (be not dismayed; for I am thy God); (3.) God is Powerful within Us (I will strengthen thee); (4.) God is Practical toward Us (Yea, I will help thee); God is Permanent in Us (Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness). (Romans 8:31), “What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
- FRET NOT
(Psalm 37:1), “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Fret not means “to burn, to be kindled, to be inflamed, and is often applied to anger as if under its influence we become heated.” What the psalmist is telling us here is, “not to be envious or angry because others are prosperous and successful and we are not.” Sometimes believers may fret when they people of wicked character prospering while they, endeavoring to do right, are left to poverty or disappointment. However, believers are not to fret or be envious at the fact that God allows wicked men to live and prosper. Fretting like fear brings negative consequences into believers’ lives. Believers can tie the “not” of “fret not” in their lives by: (1.) Realizing the Shortness of the Evil Workers that shall soon pass away; (2.) Realizing the Sovereignty of the Eternal God, Who is over all, in control of all, and will the last say in it all.
- FORGET NOT
(Psalm 103:2), “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” One of the most dangerous and besetting things for a child of God is to forget God and his benefits. The Psalmist in this passage challenges believers to remember what the Lord has done for them because a lapse in memory causes a believer wander and has negative consequences upon their lives. Forgetting God’s benefits leads a believer into, “self-determination and doing what they want instead of what God wants; self-deception of having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof by living in pride, ungodliness, self-righteousness, etc. To avoid this path, believers need to tie the “not” of “forget not” by remembering God and all His benefits that He has extended in: (1.) Redeeming us as Slaves; (2.) Regenerating us as Sinners; and (3.) Raising us as Sons and Daughters.
- FAINT NOT
(Galatians 6:9), “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Believers have a call not to faint and not to quit. There is no place for fainting and quitting in the life of believers because this will have negative consequences upon their lives. Fainting leads to “feeble hope (discouragement); and feeble hands (no raising of hands in victory, praise; and limited or no service to God). To keep from fainting, believers must tie the “not” of “faint not” in their lives by: (1.) Taking control of their Thoughts (don’t think negatively but think in faith which is positive); (2.) Taking control of their Temple (disciplining the body to what is right and not to quit).
- FORSAKE NOT
(Hebrews 10:25), “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The word “assemble” means “to gather together in a group.” Born again believers and members of the living body of Christ are called the church, and believers are not to forsake, layout of, abandon, desert, or fail to attend church regularly, but are to gather with the other members as often as the church meets. Sometimes there extenuating circumstances such as sickness and death in families that prohibit people from attending a service or two but that is not what the writer of Hebrews is dealing. He is dealing with those who have a habit of not going to church except when they feel like it or when it fits into their schedule. Failure to attend church regularly has negative consequences upon believers’ lives. (1.) It leads to Spiritual Ignorance (church is for education and instruction); (2.) Spiritual Immaturity (can’t grow as a Christian apart from the church); (3.) Spiritual Impotence (won’t have victory over sin and will not enjoy the Christian life); (4.) Spiritual Isolation (no fellowship with other believers and no exhortation); (5.) Spiritual Infliction (hurts the rest of the church). To avoid this, believers need to tie the “not” of “forsake not” in their lives by: (1.) Determining in themselves to be Faithful to Church (settle it in their mind and heart); (2.) Dedicating themselves to be Faithful to Church (put it into action); (3.) Determining themselves to be Faithful to Church (unless providentially hindered by sickness or death, not letting anything hinder them from attending church).
Pastor Allen Jackson