THE FEAR FACTOR
Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will
accomplish for you today.
When I was a kid growing up, I remember that my oldest sister loved to watch scary movies. She thought those movies were fun and exciting. They scared me to death and gave me nightmares... but I often watched them with her because I thought that made me seem mature and "cool."
One particularly scary movie was titled WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE. It starred Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Betty Davis played a psycho who beat and abused her invalid sister, played by Joan Crawford. Just the creepy face of Betty Davis in that movie was enough to bring waves of fear to my heart. As a little kid, it was terrifying to try to sleep after seeing that horror show. I kept thinking that Baby Jane was going to show up in the middle of the night - YIKES!
THE PROBLEM OF FEAR
Fear is something everyone has experienced. While people may wear tee shirts and hats that read NO FEAR, the truth of the matter is we all struggle with fear. Sadly for many, fear becomes a paralyzing force that keeps them from realizing their full potential... that keeps them from being all God wants them to be...that keeps them from stepping out on the rock solid promises of God.
Is that true of you? Has fear gotten the best of you? Has the fear of the future, or the fear of failure, or the fear of disaster, or the fear of man caused you to become far less than God intended you to be? The time is now to break the chains of fear on your life!
HOW TO BREAK FEAR'S POWER
It is God's will and plan for you to live a life of victory over your fears. The Bible says, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline (2 Tim. 1:7). What can you and I do to defeat fear? Remember the timeless lessons from Exodus 14 concerning Israel, Pharaoh and the Red Sea:
1. God has a plan. Israel was seemingly dead meat. The people were racked with fear and dread. Angry Pharaoh and his bloodthirsty armies were behind them, and the Red Sea was in front of them. There was no place to go. Yet, God had led them to the very place they were in... not to see them slaughtered, but to bring about a great miracle and a great deliverance, one they would be talking about for thousands of years. In your fearful situation, please remember... God knows what He is doing... He has a plan that you cannot see...so just trust Him!
2. Keep your eyes on the Lord. God led the children of Israel with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He was visibly with them 24-7. Israel had a choice: they could look at Pharaoh and his armies... or they could keep their eyes on the Lord. Remember, focusing on your problems ALWAYS produces fear, but focusing on the Lord ALWAYS produces faith. What are you focusing on today?
3. Take that step of faith. God told the people to go forward into the sea (Ex. 14:15). He told Moses to stretch out his staff over the sea. As they did their part (obey), God did His part (a great miracle). The fearful Israelites were so sure they were going to die by the hand of Pharaoh... yet God had other plans. He brought about the greatest deliverance of the Old Testament in the midst of the worst circumstances. And He did it in response to His people's simple steps of faith, "Go forward... and stretch out your staff."
HOW ABOUT FOR YOU?
What difficulty has you all fearful? Are you between a rock and a hard place with your finances... your marriage... your career... your health... your family... your future? God does His best work in the worst circumstances. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Know that He is able, more than able to handle your situation. Trust Him and obey His clear commands... even if it sounds crazy ("Go forward" sure sounds crazy when a sea is before you).
Be assured, God honors those who believe Him enough to step out in faith. He is faithful and all powerful... and He has a miracle in store for you as you simply trust Him and do it His way.
PS. If you would like further help in your battle with fear, you can follow this link to the sermon WHEN FEAR MEETS FAITH (Exodus 14-31). This message was highly requested as many found great encouragement and strength through the story of the miraculous parting of the Red Sea.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for almost 20+ years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.