Last night, I was unable to sleep for several hours, so I was in communion with the Lord. One matter that I was discussing with Him was my fear. I had been battling some fears that have reared up from time to time: first, fear of entertaining false and deceptive spirits and assuming them to be the true Holy Spirit; second, fear of whether I am doing all that I should to prepare my family for the coming days–should I be searching for a place of refuge; should I be storing up more than I am? With these fears having begun to grip me the day before, the Holy Spirit began to rebuke me and gently remind me of where my focus ought to be: on Him! I have had a flash of an image come into my mind on multiple occasions in the past several days. It is the image of a person walking along a very narrow beam of light toward a door from whence comes the light, and on either side of that person are chained lions lunging toward him, yet just barely unable to reach him, so long as he stays in the very narrow beam of light. Thus, fixing his eyes on the door, and not on the lions, he ventures forward as if walking a tight rope of light. This image reminded me of the narrative given in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress:
“Thus he [Christian] went on his way. But while he was bewailing his unhappy miscarriage [he had fallen asleep and dropped his scroll, thereby having to retrace his steps and having lost valuable daylight], he lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him, the name of which was Beautiful, and it stood by the highway-side. So I saw in my dream that he made haste, and went forward, that if possible he might get lodging there. Now before he had gone far, he entered into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off the Porter’s lodge, and looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two lions in the way. Now, thought he, I see the dangers that Mistrust and Timorous were driven back by. (The lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them; for he thought nothing but death was before him. But the Porter at the lodge, whose name is Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt, as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Mark 4:40. Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none: keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee.
“Then I saw that he went on, trembling for fear of the lions, but taking good heed to the directions of the Porter; he heard them roar, but they did him no harm. Then he clapped his hands, and went on till he came and stood before the gate where the Porter was.”*
In this image that Bunyan paints for us, the Porter represents our ever-faithful Shepherd, Yahushua, and His Spirit who is given to us to keep us focused on the goal. The Holy Spirit reminded me last night that if by faith I fix my eyes on Him through His Word and prayer, that I need not fear, that He will prompt me to do what He calls of me, and that He will protect me from the wiles of the Evil One. Thus, I should never be acting in response to fear. All that I do must be done in faith and obedience to His leading.
Hebrews 12:2 (NASB): “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Mark 4:40: “He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'”
Matthew 14:28-33: “And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.'”
1 Peter 5:7-9: “…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
All Scriptures are in the ESV unless otherwise noted.
-Rachel, daughter of the King