What is your greatest fear?
The “fear factor” plays a much bigger role in our lives than most of us would care to admit.
Isn’t that often what’s really driving us?
As ugly as the word is, yet it is one of the great realities of life. The child wakes up dreaming of imaginary monsters triggered by some emotion in his day. The adult, having left childhood dreams of monsters, may still face those familiar fears in different dreams, but still the same- fear driven by things he cannot control.
We still have some of those monsters. Waking up in a panic. Then wondering, “Where did that come from?”
Then possibly we become aware that it is connected to something that struck us emotionally during the day.
Sometimes simply making that connection dissipates the fearful emotion.
With bad dreams, it’s not the dream itself that may mean something, rather the fear it represents or stirs up.
Familiar fears- those things drive us, push us, manipulate us, and at times paralyze us. They cause over-reactions to normal life circumstances, withdrawal from situations that for others would mean nothing.
It is those emotions than often consume great amounts of energy to suppress.
How can this be, that people who believe in Jesus can have fears?
This is some kind of paradox.
To know an all-powerful God and yet be personally afraid? Just the concept of an all-powerful God should be enough to still our fears, shouldn’t it?
Realistically it does not always do so.
Most children fear the dark. As years pass, so does that fear- for most people.
However, life brings other fears. We learn new ones or connect new forms of old fears. It may be the fear of committing to a relationship, fear of acceptance, fear of sickness, fear of failure in career, fear of losing control.
As age keeps coming, fear of aging, fear of being retired, or not sure of your value as an old person.
Finally, for many, but not just the aged, the fear of death.
My point is that fears drive far too much of life for most people.
Fearlessness is much less common than you think.
Many of the people who appear to be fearless are not; their activity only disguises the fears behind the defiant faces.
The question I put for us today is this: “how much of your life, decisions or relationships are controlled or driven by fear? That is the word- “driven”. For a driven mind is not a mind at rest.
Those underlying fears create anxiety and anxiety can easily begin to dominate our emotions. Soon life has lost its peace.
To this problem there is no easy solution.
Some one, a professional person seeking guidance, said to me a short time ago, “Tell me the indicators when I know God has spoken.”
Almost a scientific term- “indicators”.
Maybe you’d like the indicators and steps to fix the issues of fear.
Realistically, we are not machines that can always be fixed by a shot, pill or prayer. “If I heard God speak it would all be over.” Maybe it would. Maybe it wouldn’t.
Let me first of all say, fear is normal. It is usually based upon something. That something is usually learned. Being frightened by a dog as a child may cause a fear of dogs your whole life.
Some fears are good. Seeing a bus coming at you as you cross the road may create a panic for which your good fear would cause you to jump out of the way. Good response!!
Fears only become a problem when they begin influence our decisions or shape our behavior.
Here are some very simple steps for dealing with fear.
Feel it- allow yourself to feel that fear. It is real. Admit it and define it. “I am afraid of dogs”…”I am afraid of relationships”…“I am afraid of being hurt”…
Find its source – When did this fear start, and why? Ask God to show you the source- the memory. Think about it, pray about it and search for it. If need be, get someone to pray with you to help you track it down.
Face the past. Analyze that fear and how you learned it.
Ask God to heal you right there where it began. Ask Him to speak to you about that situation maybe long ago. He will!
Then and only then can fear be replaced with truth and peace.
Some things cannot be ignored. Ignoring fears may be like taking Paracetemol for an infection. The Paracetemol only hides the infection, it doesn’t cure it.
God can heal your fears.
Faith it – always do the right thing no matter what you fear.
That is courage.
Some of the greatest people in the world are very ordinary; they may even live lives plagued by fear. But in faith they move forward doing what is right. That is great courage.
Faith is trusting God, standing on God’s promises, going forward in spite of what we feel.
I am aware emotions cannot be forgotten nor can memories. Yet we can choose what we think. In that way we can effect our emotions.
Don’t settle for a life controlled by fear. David said, “I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Feel it: find it: face it: and faith it.
The alternative is to stay like you are forever….to walk in freedom from fear is so much better!
Please share this with anyone who may benefit. If you need help call Church of God Makati, 632 8105366.