Google+ 12/19/13 When We Conquer Fear, We Can Then Hear God's Voice!

Luke 2:8-11

 

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them,

And the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.

They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said.

“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.

The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

 

In part four of our nine-part devotion series entitled, "Taxes, Travel, and Temptations!" Luke describes a scene that is all too familiar to us.  Today, I am going to ask all of us to look at this well-known part of the Christmas story in a different way.  I lobby that one of the most important parts of the Christmas story surrounds the courage and blind faith exhibited by the shepherds.  At this point, my New Jersey friends are all saying, "Really?"  My response is "Really!"  Being a shepherd was indeed a full-time job in Biblical times.  Shepherds never left their sheep.  It was their job to make sure they didn't lose even one of their flock.  Sheep, being not the brightest animals in the world, always needed tending so they didn't wander off on their own.  Our Scripture lesson today tells us that the shepherds were in the nearby fields doing their jobs.  Remember there were no street lights for flashlights.  The only light would have been the stars and the moon.  It would have been very dark, most nights, in those fields.  This night the Lord's glory is manifested in a visible light that shown all around them.  We would have all been terrified, also.  Most of us would probably have run away to some kind of safety.  Here comes the major point for all of us to learn.  If we let ourselves become consumed by fear, we will most often miss God's message.  Look what the shepherds would have missed if they had not conquered their fear.  They would have been running the other direction when the angel of the Lord spoke to them.  The announcement of Christ's birth was targeted, by God, to the shepherds, not royalty or people with great status.  God knew that these simple shepherds would be obedient and fully embrace His message.  God knew that they would rise above their fear.  Because the shepherds listened, they are the first recipients of an incredible miracle.  As we walk through our daily lives, let's not forget this very important fact.  "When We Conquer Fear, We Can Then Hear God's Voice!"