10/10/18 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
Reality: we all have fears. If someone asked you to write down your 10 top fears, what would be on your list? Fear of horror movies, fear of walking on a tight rope over Niagara Falls, fear of your clothes not fitting after the holiday season… or more serious fears, like the fear of losing control, of growing old alone, of losing your job, the fear of a marriage disintegrating, fear of the unknown… Maybe you are fearful of God, of Christians, or even of going to church?
I went online this morning to find out what people fear the most. Here are the top 10 things that people fear:
- 10. Fear of getting old
- 9. Fear of being poisoned
- 8. Fear of being a coward
- 7. Germophobia (fear of bacteria and microorganisms)
- 6. Fear of going crazy
- 5. Fear of intimacy
- 4. Fear of spiders, rats, cockroaches, snakes, airplanes, monsters, demons, mirrors, high heels…
- 3. Social phobia (fear of public speaking) and agoraphobia (fear of open spaces)
- 2. Fear of death
- 1. Fear of loneliness.
I look at this list, and think, “Are you kidding me?” I fear very few things on this list, yet one of the things I fear the most, doesn’t even make the list??? What group of people did they interview anyway? And who in their right mind doesn’t have a deathly fear of HEIGHTS??? Not heights as in an airplane, or on the 60th floor of a hotel in NYC, but heights like being on top of a roof, with nothing to hold on to, with a roof pitch that just invites you to fall and slide down to your death. A roof where you have to crawl over the edge to be able to get to the top. A roof where you have to climb up a rusty old staging, walk up a rickety wooden ladder that is ricketier and older than you, and crawl over the edge of one roof so that you can get the opportunity to crawl over another edge to get to yet a higher roof. Doesn’t everyone have this kind of fear?
And this scenario is exactly what I had to do yesterday, to help a friend repair his roof. And I was fearful! So much so that I was hugging everything I could find that did not move!! The fact is, we all have fears. The issue isn’t whether or not we have fears. The real issue is: who will control my life? My fear? Or me?
We have to first realize that fear is not from God… For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 The only fear that God encourages in anyone’s life, is a reverential fear of God… Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10:34-35
Fear of people does not come from God. The fear of things, the fear of loss, the fear of disease or death… you can name your worst fear but you must know that your fear does not come from God. When fear controls our life, it is because we fear the thing, or the event, more than we fear God. Fear paralyzes. Fear does not free us. Fear controls our actions. It wants to control our thoughts, and it always wants us to question God.
Often, we are happy and content to obey God until… until something negative happens or that obedience becomes difficult to do and then we question, “Did God really tell me to do this?” The unknown wants us to become apprehensive, to become fearful. Often when we don’t know what lies ahead of us, our imaginations take off until it convinces us that no one in all of human time, has ever had to deal with this issue before and then this fear makes the problem or situation insurmountable in our minds.
It is in those times we need to fear God, and as we fear Him, all other fear dissipates… So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
Look at the fear that is trying to control you right now, that event, that person, that disease, those circumstances. Now look at that same fear in light of the God who just spoke and everything came into existence… In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3
Many of us would be more inclined to walk in the freeing fear of God, instead of the controlling, discouraging, and defeating fear of everything else. If we would just see God for who He is and look at everything else for what it is. Satan wants to use fear to control you and eventually defeat you, yet God has sent Christ to die on a cross to set you free from fear. And if God is willing to send His Son to die to free you from fear, don’t you think He is just as committed to keep you free from that very fear?
Ask God to free you from the fear that is trying to control you. Ask Him to help you see Him clearly, see Him for who He is, and see your circumstances for what they really are. The reality is that your circumstances are real, your fear is real, yet compared to God, do you really think that your greatest fear is bigger than He is… Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:26-27
Yesterday I had to take on one of my biggest fears: heights. I took it on and won, because I focused on my friend, and my desire to help him. The reality is, when it comes to life, we are set free to do what we need to do, when we lay our fear down, and focus on God… Because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5