Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Immobilizing Grip of Fear

In life we are too willing to settle because we are afraid. Fear keeps us suffocated in the corner. We are so afraid of getting it wrong that we get paralyzed. Sound familiar?  Ever been there?  I know I have!

The problem with fear is that it keeps my focus on me and not on Christ. When we allow fear to cripple us we are really at our depths questioning, "Can I really trust that God has a glorious future in store for me?" We need to ask ourselves, "Do I really want what God wants for me or am I willing to stay in the muck and mire?  The only way out of the muck is to grab hold of God's hand and let him pull you out, clean you off and then follow Him to the glorious future He has intended for you.

At the end of C.S. Lewis' Last Battle the dwarfs could not see the glorious world that surrounded them because of their perspective.  They kept themselves from seeing the truth.  Wait! Isn't that what we do when we don't believe what God says is true about us or what He promises us.  One might be lead to think it was just because of their lack of faith, but I dare to say it was due to fear.  Fear at it's root is a lack of trust in Jesus (He who saves).  Trust is synonymous with faith, thus, we cannot live in fear and have faith.  They are opposites. Perfect loves has NO fear. We cannot reside in the muck and mire and reside in Christ.

When Jesus sent out the 72 disciples, they came back surprised that the demons obeyed them. They had not felt qualified to be sent, but they had gone anyways.  How often are we called and do not answer because we do not feel qualified?
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road...Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’...The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
In and of themselves the disciples were unqualified, but Jesus gave them everything they needed to accomplish His purposes.  When Jesus sent them out he said, "Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." It wasn't until they came back that...
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
When we don't feel brave, we must do it anyways. It is not about me, my pride or anything else. It is about the purposes God has for my life.
"What a tragedy if God comes with the gift of Kingdom purpose and we disqualify ourselves from it." (Bo Stern)
When we submit to the perfect love of Christ, it permeates us so that all fear is driven out and we are just left with the courage and boldness that comes from living in Christ. "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (2 Tim 1:7)

Today is the day to decide to stop allowing fear to paralyze you from the great things God has in store for you.  There is no joy or peace to be found in the muck and mire. Do not waste the glorious life God has given you being suffocated in the corner.  He has given us life to be lived abundantly!  In Christ you have all you need to achieve God's best for your life.  Take hold of it today!  Go!  You may be sent out like sheep among wolves, but God will give you authority to overcome all that lays in you path. Exchange fear for faith and trust today and live the life you were intended!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit...Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Romans 15:13, Eph 3:20-21)

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