Thursday, October 8, 2015

Learn From Your Fears

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

Does your fear drive you to rely on God as your Protector or on yourself? The answer to that question is crucial to understanding the passion that drives our fears.  We must be careful, however, not to make the assumption that all fear is a spiritual problem of misplaced dependency.  Quite often the core issue underneath our fears is not whether we fear but what we fear. Our fears expose our heart and whom we really serve - man or God.
The story of Caleb in the Bible is a good example of someone who had the right perspective.  He was a reconnaissance soldier, a man of valor who understood that cowardice is fueled by a lack of faith in God and His goodness to those who follow Him. He had a different spirit than the other spies in his platoon (Numbers 14:24 - But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, [a]I will bring into the land [b]which he entered, and his [c]descendants shall take possession of it.).  While they cowered at the thought of going up against the "giants" in a full-scale invasion of Canaan, he was gung-ho and ready to move.
It wasn't that the Canaanites were not a formidable enemy deserving of a healthy level of fear.  But he understood that the Israelites' fear of the Canaanites was not their real problem.  It was Caleb who, along with Joshua, identified their problem as rebellion and unbelief.  Their fear distorted the danger posed by the enemy and diminished their trust in the power of God to protect and bring victory.  (Numbers 14:9-11).
What we often learn from our fears is that we have a tendency to allow our fear of others and the dangers we face to eclipse our awe of the omnipotent God we serve, who promised to fight for us.
Relinquish Unhealthy Fears
Larry Crabb wrote, "We live in sheer dread of giving up control and abandoning ourselves to God. Only when we discover a desire for Him that is stronger than our desire for relief from pain will we pay the price necessary to find Him."
As hard as it may be to admit, demoralizing fear that encourages cowardly retreat is rebellion. When the Israelites' fear was unmasked-exposing their rebellion and contempt for God - their hearts were revealed.  Their refusal to believe God and to repent of their preoccupation with the danger ahead and their stubborn demand for safety cost them the Promised Land . 
Fear Of Building For The Future
What's the first thing on our minds or out of our mouths when facing danger?  Is it David's words, When I am afraid, I will trust in You? (Psalm 56:3).  If not, we need to confess it to the Lord.  We need to turn from our tendency to groan and complain and seek help from sources other than God.
Fearing people more than God always has disastrous results. Once we are released from the enslaving fear of worrying how others may or may not respond to us, which is often the controlling factor in our relationships, then we are free to serve God and others in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

Scripture to Claim:
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! Isaiah 31:1

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