“In my early days as a Christian,” Stan began, “we were involved with a fellowship group from our church.”
“Fellowship groups can be great,” I replied. “How was your group?”
“As a general matter,” Stan replied, “I thought it was excellent. It provided me with a great way to be around more mature Christians. It really helped with my spiritual growth and my faith walk.”
“However,” he continued, “there was one woman in the group who had an outlook towards evil that almost got me off track.”
“How so?” I asked.
“She had an absolute fear of evil,” Stan replied. “She dreaded evil to such an extent that her intense focus on it seemed to really interfere with her relationship to God. She seemed to be afraid of most everything. Evil and her fear of it was about all she talked about in the fellowship group. I was beginning to think that she might be right and I had better be afraid.”
“Sounds kind of like she had an Irrational fear,” I responded.
“That’s what it seemed,” Stan said, “and the leader of the fellowship group was really able to shed some valuable light on the subject. Light that not only helped the woman, but light that certainly helped me in my fairly new faith walk.”
“How so?” I asked.
“As I remember it,” Stan replied, “the leader focused on wisdom and what it says in the Book of Proverbs about dreading evil.”
“What’s that? I asked.
“Basically three things,” Stan responded. “First, to know that God is the source of all wisdom. Secondly, I am to listen to the voice of His wisdom.”
“Then,” he continued, “there is the third part that struck me as probably the most important. I am to absorb the listening of His voice into the innermost parts of my being so I live the life He intends. And that life is not to include living in fear.”
“I am to recognize evil as a fact,” he added, “but I am not to fear it or live in dread of it. No, I am to listen to the voice of God’s wisdom and know, as the apostle John said also, that the Spirit of God is in me, and that He is greater than anything else, especially Satan.”
“To live in fear or in the dread of evil,” Stan concluded, “is, I think, the exact opposite of what God intends for those who are His.”
But he who listens to me (the voice of wisdom) shall live securely, and shall be at ease from the dread of evil. Proverbs 1:33.
Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your absolute goodness and holiness. I confess that I do not understand why there is evil, but I thank you for showing me that evil does indeed exist, and while I am to avoid it, I do not need to dread it. Thank you for the provision of life eternally with you when it is time for me to live in your holy presence forever. Thank you, too, for your provision of all you have for me on this side of eternity, including the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, who is in me to help, lead, guide, and counsel me in all things, including the fact of evil and that I am not to live in fear. Thank you that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. Please help me in following every step of your lead in being totally at ease from the dread of evil while not ignoring its existence. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Evil in this world a fact. If we ignore it as a fact, we are foolishly in danger of being caught in its web. Awareness is not to cause fear or dread. Where are you in that? What does it look like to be aware of evil, but not to be afraid of it or to dread it? Are you living in fear or in the confidence that He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.