Some Quick Thoughts on Fear

Fear is one of the most crippling things in life. It causes us to fall back in the face of opposition or danger.  It prevents us from taking advantage of great opportunities that could alter our lives for the good.  It leads us to play it safe when anything worth having involves some level of risk.

Too much of life is dominated by fear.  Fear to move. Fear to try. Fear to love. Fear to hope. Fear to risk.  Sure there is room for a healthy dose of “fear” that, hopefully, causes us to pause and assess the risk-reward ratio before we do something completely foolish, but what I’m talking about is that level of fear that prevents us from even such an assessment.

2 Timothy 1:7 teaches that God hasn’t given a spirit of fear, but love, power and a sound mind.  Each of these things take something very important: boldness.  It takes great boldness to love, to exercise power and to think straight, putting behind us stifling thoughts and irrationality that prevents us from truly living; from fulfilling all that God has for us.  In this verse, Paul tells us that those things are provisions from God.  They are gifts given to us through the Holy Spirit of God to those who are His.

In whatever form fear may try to creep into your life, remember this verse of promise from God that has become very special to me as I engage in battle with my own fears:

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will hold on to you with my righteous hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

If this is true and we determine to take God at His Word, how could fear ever have any power over God’s Children?  Today is the day to conquer fear in your own life, once and for all, through the power of the Holy Spirit of God who has already defeated it!

Owned

This is a passage that, if you consider it honestly and seriously, will rock your world and radically change your priorities:

Luke 12:31-34 

But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  HCSB

I’m praying for the courage to take the hard look necessary to be a faithful disciple and change where change is required. 

Giving Pause: Taking Action When Conviction comes

ImageSomething happened to me Sunday just before I got up to speak at The Gathering.  Clearly, the Spirit of God was working through the time of worship and I had the impression that we needed to pause…I knew I needed to pause.  Things weren’t right.  Earlier that morning, I had gotten upset with my 12 year-old son because he was acting like a 12 year-old.  The nerve of that kid!  I’m ashamed to say that I was, too.  Thankfully, I’m the only dad who does that kind of thing.  What would the world be like if every father responded to their kids in a less-than-mature way?

I was reminded of Matthew 5:23-24:

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

I fell under heavy conviction that morning in worship and had the feeling there were others who had, as well, for one thing or another.  I took a few minutes after a very moving time of worship to deal with these things in silence, during which I went to my son and begged his forgiveness.  It’s one thing to feel remorse, but that is worth little unless it drives us to acts of repentance and restoration.  It seems others in worship that morning experienced something like that, too, as at least a few people moved towards others within worship to address personal issues.

I don’t know about you, but I find it so easy to become wrapped up in pride to the point that relationships become strained or damaged as a result sometimes.  The beautiful thing is that, when we decide to repent, both to God for a childish attitude, and the other person we had the issue with, forgiveness generally flows easily.

My son was quick to forgive me as I repented and gave my assurance that I am going to work much harder in submitting to God’s leadership in making me a godly role model for him. I want the legacy I leave to be a positive one.

So, do you struggle in this area, too?  Do you find yourself acting the juvenile in relationships sometimes?  How quick are you to repent?  How quick are you to forgive when wronged?  What are some things you do to maintain an attitude of humble submission and repentance when you are wrong?

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