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Living Life In 3-D | Discover, Develop, Deploy

Generating a Little Fear

It’s the day after the white supremacist, the Jew and Black hater, opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in DC. I’m in DC today helping my daughter with the twins. As Jackie and Amy head to the grocery store, I decide to walk to McDonald’s, two blocks away. Amy’s not happy. That location is notorious as a center for drugs and gangs. I’ll have to walk by the place where, in broad daylight a few weeks ago, a young kid was shot dead. I’m a man, after all, and thus too stupid to know anything. So, I walk. But, I gotta say that I was on high alert and the eyes behind my Oakley’s didn’t miss a thing. I soldiered through because I was hungry, pressed ahead despite the risk. Got my burger, walked back the two blocks, and downed it safely.

Reminds me a smidge of lifegroup this week. It’s the early chapters of Acts. Peter and John heal a lame guy, and the crowd goes wild. But the authorities don’t and haul them off to jail for the night. All the brass gather the next morning, which, for all Peter and John knew, could be their last. They give an impressive testimony that Jesus Christ was behind the miracle. Unable to crack these guys, worried about the crowd reaction, and reconciled to the fact that an actual miracle had occurred, the brass let Peter and John go, ordering them to not mention Jesus’ name again. Implicit in the order is “Or else.” Peter and John say “No way, dudes” and head off to meet with the church.

What happens next is interesting to me, because in the face of the threat, the whole church unifies behind this prayer, and I’m paraphrasing: “Help us overcome our fear and testify boldy of You, Jesus.” And to the 1,000s already saved since Pentecost, multitudes continued to be saved.

So I’m thinking, maybe we’re not afraid enough yet to pray for boldness. Maybe that’s why we’ve not filled our auditoria yet to the brim. The church in China, under attack and underground, is and has been experiencing exponential growth for years.

So, I’m thinking, can we get a proper fear going without having to rely on the government to persecute us? Can we be fearful of our family members spending an eternity in misery? Can we be fearful of our friends spending an eternity in misery? Can we be fearful of our neighbors spending an eternity in misery? Can we be fearful of Americans spending an eternity in misery? Can we be fearful of the nations spending an eternity in misery?

Can we be fearful of people living lives of misery and purposeless right here on this planet? I mean, fearful enough to get on our knees and pray for boldness to testify of Jesus Christ?

Our lifegroup took on the challenge this week, with a commitment to hold ourselves accountable. I’ve got to go into that room next Tuesday night, and as the pastor, I’d better have a story. And the pressure just got worse. One guy in the group told me the very next day of a “boldness” story. Geez, who’d have thought they were all serious???

So, ok, I’m not afraid for my life, but I’m hoping the fear of being embarrassed at not living the life I say I believe in will propel me to my knees and that the Holy Spirit will lead me into action. Cause it’d be cool if this turns out not to be just a fad, but a lifestyle.

Dwaine Darrah, McLean Campus Pastor

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