Encouragement for Today - May 10, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“The Fear Factor”
Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Romans 8:15-16, “For you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our sprit that we are children of God.” (NLT)
My husband and I are opposites. He is compliant, level-headed but somewhat fear-based and tight with his money – so tight he squeaks when he walks. I’m glad he’s this way. I feel loved and protected knowing that he has carefully planned his funeral and has safely tucked away a life insurance policy in the lock box where we bank. He wouldn’t dare keep it at home. It could be destroyed if the house caught on fire. Silly me, I would have never thought of that. On the other hand, he is very humorous, relational and loves a crowd. I like people, too, but I also need my time alone. I love to shop, dream and seek out a good adventure. You might say I’m a “free spirit”.
The family is always teasing my husband about how conservative he is. One summer our best friends joined us for a vacation at the beach. That was the year Pat attempted his first daring feat! Joined by our friends, we ventured with the kids into a water park. They had every kind of water ride imaginable. The lazy river was my favorite until my tube was flipped upside down by a waterfall. I continued to float rear end up until the fear of drowning provided me with enough adrenalin to turn my float right side up again.
The slides were the best feature of the park. Some whirled under and over before dumping you out into a pool of water. Others were enclosed and had twists and turns that came unexpectedly in the dark. The most daring slide was one that dropped straight down, providing the thrill of free falling. This slide was for the brave, the daring, and the adventurous only.
At first, Pat didn’t want to go down the slide, but his best friend and our oldest son challenged his manhood, so what could he do? He slowly climbed the tall stairs of the slide, looking back at me every so often as if he were going off to war never to be seen again. First, our son went down. I held my breath when his body did, indeed, separate a few inches from the slide. “What a rush! That was awesome!” our son boasted at the end of the ride. Our friend went next, “Let ‘er rip!” he yelled on his way down. Now it was Pat’s turn. He peered over the top of the slide and then took a few steps back.
“Come on dad. You can do it,” our son yelled. Again, Pat looked over the edge but he still didn’t get into position.
“Hey!” I called. “Just in case, where did you say the key to the lock box is?”
That did it. He sat down, crossed his arms in front of his chest, leaned back and away he flew! He did it and he survived! There was nothing to be afraid of in the first place. The only dreadful thing that happened was his bathing suit ended up around his neck. He walked funny for the rest of the day, but it was worth it to have conquered his fear.
The Bible says that God does not give us the spirit of fear. Fear was introduced to the human race with the satanic lie that we can be our own God, be exactly like Him. That’s preposterous, you might say. Is it?
We were made to live under the love and protection of God, but because of our fallen nature we choose to live life according to our own rules. As a result, we suddenly feel all alone. We carry the world on our shoulders as if it all depends on us. Somehow we know in our subconscious that we are not enough. Yet, we don’t want to admit our fear because we want to appear strong and in control.
Nevertheless, we are quick to acknowledge the Lord when things go wrong in our lives. We don’t mind blaming Him when we’re paralyzed by our emotions. Often we make statements like this, “See, I knew God really didn’t care about me or He wouldn’t have let this happen.” Here’s another one: “I guess God is punishing me for my sin.” Lies, lies, lies!
Our Heavenly Father has proved His love and provision for us by way of the cross. God’s perfect peace comes when we fix our hearts and minds on Him and the truth of Who He is. Letting go and living in childlike faith is the cure for which we are looking. We will never experience the peace of God until we see that our fears, anxieties and worries are a result of believing a lie and living outside of the grace of God.
I know you want to slide, too. You want to live free from fear. Then stop peering over the edge as if letting go will result in death. I promise it will be the ride of your life that ends up in the pool of God’s love. Old fears may tempt you again from time to time, but as God’s child all you have to do is call out “Abba! Father!” and He’ll come running.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, thank You for revealing the lie. I confess that I have been living life in my own strength. I’m thankful to have learned today that You never meant for me to be in charge of my life. I don’t have to carry the weight. I want to lay it all down and trust You. Thank You for loving me. Fill me with Your peace, Lord and help me to trust all things to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
First, if you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit the “Do You Know Him” section of this website, by clicking the link below. Once you have made Christ the Lord of your life, try to write down your strongest fears. As you pray, picture yourself laying them at the Father’s feet. Give them to Him completely. When the enemy tries to convince you they are still your worries, remind him that you no longer believe the lie. Your Heavenly Father is handling it from now on.
Who are you putting your trust in…God or yourself?
From where are your fears coming?
Do you believe that God loves you and wants to give you peace?
Have you received His peace through Jesus Christ?
1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” (NLT)
Philippians 4:6-7, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (NLT)
Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Do You Know Him?
Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
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