Friday, October 9, 2015

Cultivate Healthy Fears

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31

There are some situations and some people we must simply learn to avoid because they are dangerous. God did give us a sound mind and discernment.  
To allow abusive, violent, or deeply addicted people unrestricted access to our lives and relationships is foolish. Prudence, not paranoia, requires that we establish strong and clear boundaries with people who refuse to recognize or take responsibility for the damage they have caused others.
The military trains men and women to deal with life-threatening situations they may encounter in battle. In essence, they are trained not only to survive but to advance in the face of what they fear (the loss of their lives) so they can neutralize the enemy and accomplish their objectives.  In much the same way, God calls us to obey and follow Him into battle against the forces of evil in the midst of our fears. As we strap on our spiritual armor and prepare for war (Ephesians 6:10-18 Spiritual Warfare is Fought Against a Real Enemy!), we must not pretend that fear of the enemy doesn’t exist. But we must move forward with conviction and resolve in spite of the genuine threat posed by the flaming arrows of the evil one or the opposition we face from the adversaries in this world.
What must preoccupy our thoughts are the reassuring words of Paul: “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). And “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Move In Spite Of Your Fears
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalms 118:6).
David’s words must become the expression of our hearts when cultivating healthy fear: When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalms 56:3-4).
It’s our Father’s tender words reassuring us that nothing can divert His attention from us nor dilute His undying love for us. The Lord reminds us that when all else fails and others desert us, He forever remains faithful and true to His children, whom He loves (Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 4:16-18).
God called the prophet Ezekiel to fearlessly face people and situations that are much like those we face in our daily battle against evil. God said to him, “Do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. You must speak My words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious” (Ezekiel 2:6-7).
Jesus’ command to “take heart” (John 16:33) is a call to be courageous when facing danger that threatens to overwhelm us with fear. He knows that our tendency is to cower and flee rather than to courageously stand and fight. Our confidence must not be in our own ability but rooted in our Heavenly Father, who has overcome the world with an overpowering love that neutralizes paralyzing fear.
Courageous living requires courageous loving. And this is only possible when we’re not motivated by fear but by God’s love—the love that conquers all.
Scripture to Claim:

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

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