Yesterday, during my wog (walk-jog), I noticed 2 very large birds within close proximity, at the lake, behind our condo. As I slowed down and tiptoed on the path (which was a good 10 feet away), I noticed that one of the birds had a fish in its mouth. At that point, I realized that this bird had a dilemma. He could either hang on to the fish and trust that I would continue walking on the path, OR act out of fear (and caution, or course), and fly away with the risk of losing the fish. Can you guess what happened?
Sure enough, he took off. The other bird did, too. And sure enough, the weight of the fish fell out of the bird’s grip. I thought, “Silly Creature. If you wouldn’t have panicked, you would have had the fish. I should be more afraid of YOU than you are of me.”
It made me think about the topic of FEAR. How there is good fear and bad fear. And how FAITH over FEAR brings about God’s best!
There was a time that my life was controlled by FEAR. I’ve been challenged in relationships…at work…and just about every single day-to-day life decision to choose between “appeasing others” and doing what was RIGHT. Appeasing…going along…keeping our mouths shut…doing what everyone else is doing…guarding our hearts and our homes from ministering, etc. These are the EASY ways to give in to FEAR.
It took me a long time and a lot of lessons to understand this fully, but once I made a true confession to put ALL of my trust in God, the peace I experienced felt like a HUGE weight being lifted off of my shoulders. I still have this peace in my heart. And, I pray that my loved ones (and readers) will have this kind of peace, as well.
I remember (when I was kid) attending church; I was so taken aback by the joy and the peace that was so very present in the room and in the hearts of the members of that community. Naturally, I was shocked when someone there would be mentioned as needing prayer because they were going through such traumatic events such as Death, Divorce, Infertility, and Illness. I would think to myself, “How is it that they have this peace and joy amidst this troubling time? I would be so afraid. I don’t even think I would want to go to church going through all that!”
FEAR is talked about dozens and dozens of times in the bible. As I matured (mainly by studying the scriptures) I learned more about FEAR. There is good fear and bad fear. The bible commands us to have FEAR of the Lord. The bible also warns us NOT to fear anything else. *50 Scripture Verses on FEAR
10 Things FEAR Causes – By Pastor Perry Noble
This content comes directly from Perry Noble, a Senior Pastor (and the founder) of New Spring Church in South Carolina. (See Reference) In one of his messages (and posts), Perry Noble reminds us how critical FEAR can be in our lives. Ultimately, it can destroy us and/or our families.
Pastor Perry goes on to remind us that these verses from scripture are not suggestions, but COMMANDS. Therefore, if and when we choose to give in to the wrong kind of fear we are acting in rebellion to God’s word.
As you read through these, I hope that you are challenged and encouraged as I was. I could relate to some more than others…
#1 – Fear causes us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size and opinion of man.
#2 – Fear causes us to lead people in the wrong direction. (Remember when the Israelites wanted to GO BACK TO EGYPT and being slaves because they feared going into the land that God had promised them?)
#3 – Fear causes us to stay quiet when we should clearly speak up. (Mostly because many times we are OBSESSED with what others think about us, see Galatians 1:10)
#4 – Fear causes us to be passive about an issue that the Lord has clearly brought to our attention. (As Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.”)
#5 – Fear causes us to seek consensus rather than really seeking the voice of the Lord.
#6 – Fear causes us to not engage the broken, the hurting, the misfits and the neglected because if we include them in our lives and actually invite them into our homes then it could get messy. (I’m so glad Jesus didn’t have that attitude…if He would have then I would have been screwed!)
#7 – Fear causes us to refuse to embrace change because we care way more about being comfortable than being conformed into the image of Christ.
#8 – Fear causes us to control things and take matters into our own hands rather than trusting the Lord and trusting others. (People who are control freaks really do fear when things don’t go their way! BUT…remember, control is the biggest illusion in the world, I wrote about that here.)
#9 – Fear causes us to conceal sin and shame in our lives when God’s Word is so clear that we should ask others for help – James 5:16
#10 – Fear causes us to seek the easy decision rather than seeking the right one.
Do any of these speak to you?
My life has included many trials. I believe God used these trials to teach me to live each day in FAITH over FEAR! (Remember, He disciplines those He loves: Hebrews 12:6, Proverbs 3:12, Revelation 3:19, Acts 17:11) So, YES, I am grateful to finally understand FAITH over FEAR.
I don’t want to be like that bird who lost his prized dinner because of fear. I want to live each day in confidence, knowing that God will give me the peace and joy to endure any circumstance. What about you? Do you find it difficult to live in faith over fear? What steps can be taken to help make a change for the better?