Nike Chillemi is my guest writer today. I’ve “known” Nike for many years–well maybe not many but several. Like me, she writes suspense novels,. She is the self-proclaimed Crime Fictionista! Sure wish I’d thought of that title.
Anyway, thanks Nike for this devotional.
He Said “Do Not Fear” by Nike Chillemi
The King James Version of the Bible says “fear not” 103 times. Other versions have a similar amount of fear nots or say “do not be afraid.” In fact, scholars have said it’s the most repeated command in the Bible. Since He has said it so many times, it must be important to God that we fear not.
Right at the beginning, God tells Abram (before the name change to Abraham) not to fear. Genesis 15:1 [NASB] ~ After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying: “Do not fear Abram, I am a shield to you.”
As far as I can determine, Jesus says “fear not” eight times in the Gospels. One of these sayings touches me deeply every time I read it in the Bible. Luke 12: 32 [NASB] ~ Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
As a writer of detective stories, I’m well aware of fear. I’ve researched fear, written about fear. However, the point of my novels is never to glorify fear. Rather, I strive to create main characters who are flawed, ordinary people facing many personal issues, yet they manage to overcome their fear and anxiety to fight evil when they come upon it.
Of course fear is not a thing of fiction. Fiction takes fear from real life. We hear daily of the almost unimaginable terror of ISIS, an entity deliberately striving to create world-wide fear as a tactic to achieve tyrannical power. Ebola seems to never go away. There is nuclear threat.
On a personal level people face fear every day: fear that they won’t be good enough, attractive enough, smart enough, that they will fail. I think fear is a tactic of the enemy to steal our faith. If the enemy can create fear in believers, he can steal faith right out of our hearts. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It will steal our faith in God’s great and powerful ability and have us focus on our puny inability.
Christianity is a faith that teaches love. Believers grow and come to know that love, God’s kind of love, overcomes fear. First of all, we must each receive and deeply know how much God personally loves us. He loves us so much He gave His Son for us. His love for us never ceases. He is there whenever we call on him. When we overcome our fear and are able to walk in love, it opens the way for God to bless us. God is in the blessing business (good health, the right mate, secure finances, and so much more). And when we walk in love, we are able to pass the blessing on to others. And believers are indeed to pass the blessing on. We are God’s hands and feet on the earth. Where the blessing flourishes, fear has trouble getting a foothold.
A little more about Nike…Like so many authors, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press has finaled in the Grace Awards.