Friday, September 23, 2011

Paralyzing Fear

Has fear ever gripped you and wrapped it's tight chains around your heart?  I've had a few instances where I've been fearful for my physical safety. Two instances stand out in my mind.  One was a time when I was in a shower and couldn't hear my potential attacker breaking into my house (he never showed up) and another time I was very fearful in a tent when I was certain a neighbor was going to shoot us (that obviously didn't happen either). More often I'm fearful about the future, about personal finances, about a collapse of our economy, about a career change, about raising a child, about what others think of me.  It seems I overcome one fear and another one pops up.  And, believe me, I'm not a fearful, worrying type.  But I do have my moments.

When I am fearful it's wonderful to reflect on the ways God has protected me in the past.  (I really should begin a journal where I note each specific fear as they arise and then note how God provided and protected me.  I forget too quickly.) God's Word and prayer are great weapons to use to combat fear.  I love Psalm 121, a beautiful psalm of encouragement reminding us of God's constant presence and oversight of our life.  Verse 7 says:  "The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul." The Hebrew word for "evil" seems to mean all physical evil, such as wild animals and unruly men (women too, I suppose).  And then the verse ends with the promise that God will preserve your soul.  How comforting is that?  This promise is similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 10: 28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Tabletalk Magazine had an article in the September issue entitled "What if or if God?" The author, J.R. Vassar, asks if we will let fear keep us from obeying God.  Here is an excerpt:
When it comes to the issue of fear, we all face the same question.  Will I choose to quench the Spirit by cowering under the tyranny of the what if:  What if I fail?  What if I suffer?  What if I go without?  If God is prompting you to cross the street and engage a neighbor or to cross the ocean and invest your life among an unreached people, will the what if paralyze you?  If God is stirring your heart toward radical, future-shaping generosity, will the what if have the final say?  Will you let an unsanctified imagination stir up potential scenarios that argue you out of obedience to the Scriptures and the Spirit's promptings?
 He ends with this sentence:

If God is holy, sovereign, wise, good, powerful, and abounding in love, let us resolve to no longer ascribe greater authority to our fears than we do to God. 
I don't want fear to rule my life, but rather to be filled with faith in my Sovereign God who knows what is best for me and will give me grace to face any future trials.   I want to eradicate the "what ifs" in my life as I learn to lean more and more upon Savior.  What about you?
  I'm linking up with:

Beholding Glory

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! So good! I totally understand fear and have found a change when I remember whats true about God. Thank you for linking up. So encoraging!


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