Fear - More than Conquerors|
James Borror, Th.D.
A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?" He said, "Call for backup."
Taking something from Us?
Fear is one of the main reasons why people self-destruct. Something has been chasing them for a long time. Maybe it is a sense of guilt for what they have done. Maybe they feel like an impostor. Maybe they are afraid the years are racing by them, and they will never be happy unless they do something drastic. In our current craze with victimization, we are not even sure what we fear, but we just know that somebody, somewhere, is trying to take something away from us.
Making Decisions in Fear
We tell ourselves we had better act and do it in a hurry. But when we make decisions because we are afraid, that is always when we make the biggest mistakes with life.
Perhaps we need to be like the 84 year old grandmother who fiercely maintained her independence and lived alone in the old family home. Her four children lived in the same town, but she rarely called them except in emergencies. It was with some apprehension, therefore, that one of her sons drove to her house one morning in answer to her phone call. When he arrived, she said she suspected that there was a burglar in her bedroom closet, since she had heard noises in there the night before.
"Why didn't you call me last night?" he exclaimed. "Well," she replied, "it was late and I hated to bother you, so I just nailed the closet shut and went to bed."
The problem with most of our plans for dealing with whatever it is that makes us afraid is that they leave us feeling very much alone.
Fleeing from Loneliness
People, who get married just because they are afraid of being alone, are surprised to find that their marriage has made them even lonelier. Those who work so hard because they are afraid their family may not have enough are surprised to find that their family which has everything but love is falling apart. And one day they are alone.
Those who were afraid their lives were going to be insignificant if they did not grab some power are surprised to find out how lonely life is at the top. Those who were afraid of the bully at school, or the bully at work, or at home, and who determined they had to get mean to survive are surprised that their anger has made them so lonely. Many people think that financial security will eliminate fear and anxiety, but it will not.
Fear a Lousy Companion
Fear is a lousy companion in life, because it pushes all the love out of life. It is all just a way of self-destructing, of giving away the blessings we have, because we cannot run from our fears as long as we are holding these precious gifts.
There is another way.
Taking charge of Fearful Hearts
Rather than focusing on the threat around us, we could focus on our own hearts because that is where our fear resides. Nobody can make you fear anything.
When you are afraid, it is because you have chosen to let that feeling overwhelm you. The feeling is not out there. It is inside - in your heart. You will never vanquish the fear by changing things out there.
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) wrote, "Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable - and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God."
Top 12 Fears:
1. Speaking before a group (40%)
2. Heights (30%) Acrophobia
3. Insects and bugs (20%) Entomophobia
4. Financial problems (20%)
5. Deep Water (20%) Bathophobia
6. Disease (20%) Phathophobia
7. Death (20%) Thanatophobia
8. Flying (20%) Aerophobia
9. Loneliness (15%) Monophobia
10. Dogs (10%) Cynophobia
11. Driving/riding in a car (10%)
12. Dark (10%) Nyctophobia
-Charles J. Givens, Super-Self (Simon&Schuster)
Some sayings about fear:
"The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else." (Oswald Chambers)
"The right fear is the fear of losing God."
"The fear of God is the one fear that casts out all others."
"Where there is faith, fear cannot abide…"
"Feed your faith, and your fears will starve to death."
"Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there."
"Fear and faith cannot keep house together; when one enters, the other departs."
God Works for our best Interests
Fear is gone when we realize that God is lovingly working for our best and doing it inerrantly.
"Behind the cloud the starlight lurks,
Through showers the sunbeams fall;
For God, who loveth all his works
Has left his hope with all!"
-John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
Life in His Father-Filtered Will
God is sovereign over "all things" in our lives, so that nothing touches us without first passing through His perfect will. Paul gives us the real antidote to fear, anxiety and worry in Romans 8:24-30.
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (NASB)
Borror, James. Becoming more than conquerors. Countdown. Golden Minutes Ministries. February 2010. Available from:www.biblecoachonline.com.
James Borror, Th.D. is our father in the faith, serves as a professor at Talbot Theological Seminary, and founded Golden Minutes Ministries headquartered in Long Beach, California. We still write quotes from sermons we heard over thirty years ago! James Borror will surely hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:23).