Acts 4:25-26, 31 "Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed" -- . . . And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.
Easter is about victory, won by Jesus Christ and by his suffering and death on the cross. We know that by his death, Jesus has conquered sin, death, and the devil. We know that the call to faith, the call to salvation, brings with it a share in Jesus victory. For those in Christ have been given power over sin, over death and over the devil. In Christ, these things have no power over us. And yet God has seen fit to warn Christians, that the devil is still present, still seeking to tempt, that he is a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. It is something we continue to sing about each time we pick up the anthem of the reformation - A Mighty Fortress is our God.
Any fortress we would build would seek to, as much as possible, take us out of the world, and remove as far as walls can separate, us from all the evils and the devil and all the temptation that is constantly raging around us. But if God is our might fortress, we find that we can be in the world, but not of the world. If God is our refuge, and a very present help in time of danger, we trust in Him, and in the defenses he gives us.
Ephesians 6:13-16"Therefore take the whole armor of God,. . . having girded your loins with truth,. . . and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, . . .and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; . . . taking the shield of faith, . . .And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
It all goes back to a simple question, are you in Christ? If you are, even though the nations rage, and powers gather against you, Jesus will keep you safe. Which brings us to the problem, oftentimes we are not "in Christ." Being in Christ means that in all things we follow our Good Shepherd, we go in his paths, we obey His word, we do His will. Being in Christ means that there are words we donít hear much, I, me, mine; these are words that are spoken either by the world, or by sheep who have wandered. I, me, mine, mean that I am not fully in Christ, and that I do not have the full armor of God. So what do you do? REPENT! Drop what ever it is that you are pursuing, and quickly run back to your Savior. Why? Well, remember that roaring lion seeking someone to devour? Heís right behind you, and he wants to make you his - his dinner.
Given the difficult situation, you might think that Christian would be quiet, shy, and silent, for that is the way of the word in facing danger, if you are unnoticeable and quiet, perhaps it will not see you, and pass you by. But we have not been called to be frightened sheep, or hiding sheep, for as long as we are in Christ, we have nothing to fear. We have been called to go forth, 2 by 2 to tell all the world about this victory which is ours, about the faith by which we stand, about the armor which keeps us safe, and about the everlasting life, which is ours, because the blood of Jesus Christ has washed away all our sins, we have been made a new creation, given a clean heart, and a right spirit has been placed inside us. And we want all to know that all this, that God has done for us in Jesus Christ, God would also do for all the lost and wandering sheep. And so protected by the armor of God, and made bold by the indwelling Spirit which gives us the words, we go out into the world with the gospel of salvation, seeking to save the lost, and rescue those who are perishing, with the power of the Word of God.
Is it normal to be frightened? Yes, we see that even the apostles were frightened, but they did not remain in fear, but they brought their fear to God in prayer, and they prayed for the things they were lacking, and the wonderful thing is that, God heard their prayer and granted their request. God sent forth his spirit, and the Spirit filled their lives, bringing with it everything that was needed, and God gave them words which they spoke with all boldness, because they knew their mighty fortress, the rock and their salvation, they knew that their Good Shepherd was with them and would guide them, and at the right time, give them the words which needed to be said. They put their lives in Godís hands, and God kept them safe, and used them to build the church. And God would do the very same things for us, for God is calling us to tell of all we have seen and heard, of God at work in our lives, and of the power of the Word, which is ours in Jesus Christ.