"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7, King James Version
"Touch" - To cause or permit a body part, especially the hands or fingers, to come in contact with, and then to feel or have an emotional effect on someone.
Is the power of fear limiting my ability to reach out to Jesus?
"Fear" - Alarm and agitation caused by the expectation of danger.
"If you fear, cast all your cares on God; that anchor holds."
Lord Alfred Tennyson
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
1 Peter 5: 7, K.J.V.
A number of years ago, I was flying by commuter plane from Tucson, Arizona to Los Angeles. As I returned from the business trip, the small plane, according to information we were later given by the pilot, got into turbulent air caused by being too close to the large 747 in front of us. For what seemed like an eternity the plane was turning side ways, slipping around in midair as if no one were in control. The guy in the seat next to me threw his arms around me, squeezing me so tightly, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I looked him in the eye and shouted, "Mister, if you think I can save you - you're wrong!"
People started screaming. The beverage carts in the back of the plane were clanking. The stewardess fell over into an empty seat. For a few seconds, the entire situation was chaotic. After what seemed like forever, the plane leveled out. The pilot had repositioned the plane and we were out of harm's way. When we finally landed in Los Angeles people were jumping up and down clapping and screaming. The man who grabbed me was now "Mr. Businessman" again, all proper, only acknowledging that the momentary experience was "unusual."
As I walked out of the airport terminal, I was congratulating myself on my calm, cool demeanor. My husband arrived to pick me up and I jumped into the car, immediately sharing the tale of my adventure when all of a sudden I began to shake. I couldn't control the response. Suddenly, the fear I had experienced boiled over and took control. It was several minutes before I was "back to myself."
Fear is one of those emotions that makes us incapable of accomplishing or performing the most simple and routine tasks. Fear can lock us away in our homes. Fear can hinder our work. Fear can incapacitate us. Fear can paralyze our lives.
Throughout Scripture, we find that fear served as an effective weapon in preventing many of God's children from being all they were created to be. This may be the reason the devil very frequently uses fear as His tool of choice.
This insidious emotion disguises its voice in different ways but here are three of the fear "voices" you may have heard before:
Voice #1: I'm not good enough."
This evil voice can hinder us from following the path to our ultimate purpose. The lady who was hemorrhaging could have used this excuse, "Oh my, I might ‘pollute' someone if I go out in public. I can't touch Jesus, I'm unclean." Do you hear the sinister voice of fear saying, "You don't have what it takes?" Well guess what - in Isaiah 43: 6, 7, God puts a stop to the "I'm not good enough" talk. Here are God's words: "Bring my daughters (that's you!)…bring to me all the people who are mine. I made (her) for my glory. I formed (her); I made (her)." Now, how dare I tell God He made a piece of junk? What nerve do I have to tell the Creator of the universe that someone He designed and created (little old me) isn't good enough? The God who created you has perfectly fitted you with everything essential to carry out the purpose He has for your life. There is NO reason to fear you aren't "good enough." God had made certain you are just right.
Voice #2: "What will other people think of me?"
This is a doozy. Do you know how many people fail to accomplish what God wants for them because they are held by a voice of fear that whispers, "What will your friends say? How do you think you'll look to your family? Are you crazy or something? People will think you have lost your mind!" This is what people told my grandmother, when as a young bride, only 21 years old, and not knowing one word of Spanish, she and my grandfather were asked to go into an area in Central America where people needed physical and spiritual care. In the middle of a revolution she found herself alone for days at a time. People thought she'd lost her mind. But years later, as my grandparents traversed the Orinoco River on a "medical" boat, providing healing to people forgotten by most of the world, people called my grandmother adventurous, a pioneer, a daring woman, a trailblazer. Just remember, if Jesus had looked around for affirmation regarding His ministry when He was on earth, He wouldn't have gotten much. If the hemorrhaging woman had asked the temple leaders if she could go to Jesus for help, they would have told her, "No, you are unclean." Don't let the fear of what others will say or may say keep you from doing what God says!
Voice #3: "God may ask me to do something I don't want to do."
When the hemorrhaging woman broke through the voice of fear that told her she wasn't good enough and the voice that asked what others would think, she ran straight into God's voice. Jesus turned to the crowd and asked, "Who touched me?" Her act of faith was exposed. The spotlight was on her. She shrank back, wanting to slip away without being noticed. But Jesus had other plans. Her faith and her trust were a testimony He wanted her to share. He knew her experience could change the life of someone like you and someone like me, over 2,000 years later. Here we are today, in Transformation Garden, studying about the wonderful things that can happen in our lives when Jesus touches us, because this woman, who for 12 years had a life filled with so much pain, didn't let the voice of fear keep her from doing what God asked her to do. WOW! The songwriter, Professor Anthony Showalter got it right when he wrote: "What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms."
You don't have to fear you aren't good enough -- just remember who created you. Don't fear what others might say - do what God asks you to do. And when He tells you He has something He needs you to do - you have the assurance He has given you the talents, the experience and His strength to be just what His plan calls for. There's nothing for you or me to fear!
"My greatest fear is not that I am inadequate. My greatest fear is that God may ask me to leave my comfort zone. To walk in uncharted territory! To leave the security I enjoy. To travel on a path unknown. Help me, when I look in the mirror and see fear, to see Your face instead. When my legs shake and my voice quivers, may I hear You say, ‘My grace is sufficient. I am strong when you are weak.'
"God of fearlessness - take possession of my fearful world."
"Lord, Christ, help us to have the courage and humility to name our burdens and lay them down…
"…we lay down our fear, of unsolved questions, of the unknown, of fear itself, we name it and we lay it down.
"It is so.
"Blessed are you, Lord Christ, who makes heavy burdens light."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.