For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 1 Peter 3:5-6 (NIV).
For the last few verses, Peter was talking mostly to women. Even as there are lessons for us all, let’s make no mistake: Peter’s advice was predominantly for women; here he’s obviously talking about and to an audience of women. Submission and modesty were foundations of faith, yet key in on the very last word of verse six and you’ll find the theme that underlies the entire section. That applies to everyone.
Our church is in a series discussing fearlessness. In a nutshell, we, as believers in Jesus, need not live in fear, especially during these times of political upheaval and supposed viral pandemic. Even when the world around us is falling apart, we need not live in fear, anxiety, and dread over what’s happening. Faith is more powerful than fear.
Idolatry is really at the heart of every sin. If you murder someone, you aren’t just wantonly taking a life: you’re doing that and putting yourself in God’s place. If you steal, you’re both stealing and putting your desires ahead of God. If we curse or lie or sleep with someone else, we’re doing those things but also giving the proverbial finger to God. Every sin is one of both action and idolatry: expressing our adoration for something other than God.
I’d submit that happens because of fear.
Because we forget our reverence for God. Because we cast off our knowledge that He is God and we aren’t. Because we misplace the sometimes distant love of Jesus to embrace the lie of temporary satisfaction right now. Because we are afraid of what might happen if we’re caught but we’re caught up in the thrill anyway. Large or small, every sin we do has an element of fear wrapped around it.
The antidote for fear is faith. Jesus always beckons us back, even in the middle of sin.
We’re talking on Tuesdays (and Sundays) about ways to confront our fears, about what the Bible says about it. Listen, lament, pray; seek, reflect, listen, act: all these are actions that Jesus’ Spirit enables us to do to suppress fear. No matter where we are in life, Jesus ALWAYS abides with us, especially when we’re challenged by fear to ignore Him. Our modesty should reflect our reverence for God but also display our confidence, through Him, to defy the pettiness of fear. Yet each of us must face our fears. We must stand up to them to defeat them. The only way to overcome them is by living through Christ.
For further reading: Genesis 18:12, Esther 2:15, 1 Timothy 5:5, 1 Peter 3:7
Lord Jesus, help me face fear today.