Another word about agendas, which are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Agendas can help you keep organized. In a meeting, working from an agenda can ensure that objectives are satisfied. Having an itinerary – or an agenda – on a trip helps you ensure you see and do the things you want. Agendas need not be bad things.
So here’s a generalization: by and large, those who have negative agendas have them because of some kind of fear. If this is wrong, please tell me how. Name one dictatorship or tyranny that didn’t control the nation because it itself was based in fear. Name one controlling boss who isn’t, themselves, controlled by insecurity (which is suppressed fear) or outright fear itself. Name one bully who isn’t afraid of something, so they bully lest someone else learn their weakness.
Imagine if someone from X side of the political aisle began espousing Y’s beliefs. The X people would dog-pile them in order to silence, discredit, and vanquish that person. Imagine if a righteous person began to advocate crime. Imagine if you switched sides in an argument, fight, or war: what do you think would happen?
Paul was saying that those who preached the “requirement” of circumcision were afraid of being abused by the Jews who wanted to quash the nascent Way. The Judaizers said and did what they did because they were afraid of being called out, of being persecuted themselves. Perhaps, too, they were self-promoting, wanting the glory of being recognized for the kill. Indeed, the people who wanted to control, then destroy, the new church of Jesus wanted it killed the same way they had killed Jesus.
And it failed. Isn’t it ironic how efforts based in fear and control nearly always, eventually fail? Every iron-fisted kingdom or empire of the past is gone. It isn’t because of chance or even confronting the fearful bullies. It’s because God is just. It’s because Holy Spirit can penetrate even the most fearful heart. It’s because Jesus forgives and transforms all hearts who let Him in.
Even now. Just this week, Communist China announced it was rolling back some recently re-imposed Covid controls. Why? Because the billion-plus population wasn’t going to allow it. The dictators who rule China are small in number. They’re afraid of what the nation might do if their true numbers were known. Imagine what could happen if we each confronted fears wearing the full armor of God, aknowing that He is so much more powerful than the petty fears Satan uses to divide us.
For further reading: Ephesians 6:10-18, Galatians 6:13
Lord, where I’m weak in fear, strengthen me with Your holy love. Help all living in fear.
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