Fear. It is something that is in nearly every person’s life. To some it’s just an annoyance, and to others it is crippling. Most of the time, the thing we fear most is people. Whether it be consciously or subconsciously.
I was reading Jeremiah 1 today and I got to verse 8, and something just struck me. It says, “And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” He straight up told Jeremiah to not be afraid. Why? Because HE WOULD BE WITH HIM! So, why do we constantly walk around in fear, regardless of what were scared of, especially if God is with us? Because we don’t trust Him and that He really is with us. Oswald Chambers said “The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
I have noticed over the last several months that a common phrase that comes out of my mouth is “I’m afraid that…(insert fear here)”. It’s become a habit. A very bad habit. I don’t even think I realize I’m saying it because it has become a catchphrase for me. But there is truth in it. I automatically fear. Why?
“Faith, which is trust, and fear are opposite poles. If a man has the one, he can scarcely have the other in vigorous operation. He that has his trust set upon God does not need to dread anything except the weakening or the paralyzing of that trust.” – Alexander MacLaren
Because I have forces within that are at odds with each other. The one that I have given more power to is the one that has been driving me for most of my life. Granted it is something that I have been chiseling away at over the last year, but why haven’t I purposefully decided to cast it aside? Because I’m afraid to. And in that, is the vicious cycle. I’m AFRAID to cast out FEAR! Even though I’m afraid of being fearful. Fear does nothing but spin around itself. It creates a stranglehold.
“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” – Paul Chappell
God tells us 365 times throughout the Bible “Do not be afraid” in some capacity. Guess how Satan likes to strike the most? To strike fear in the heart of man. If he can render you fearful, he renders you inactive. If he can make you inactive, it’s one less soldier that he has to deal with. But he doesn’t have the authority to do that unless we give it to him. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. Fear is not of God and it has no place in us if we don’t give it a place. Scripture tells us so! 1 John 4:17-18, And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. SUCH LOVE HAS NO FEAR, because perfect love EXPELS ALL FEAR!
So the question is, how are we living in God? ARE we even living in God? Do we just dip our toe in the water every now and then and say “that’s enough Jesus for today” or do we run down the dock, as fast as we can, and jump in, shouting with joy, doing a cannonball? Which would soak us in His presence more? Our toe or our dive? Or have we been rendered so fearful that we’re too afraid to even enter His presence? It’s time to cast out fear and be a child again. So, run as fast as you can and JUMP OFF THE DOCK INTO THE WATER! It’s time!
=) Be Blessed!