Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fear, ISIS and a Call to Action

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Fear. An overwhelming sense of dread.

Sometimes it can render paralysis in our lives.

A few days ago my soul was burdened. I had an overwhelming sense of evil and corruption over a particular situation. I just couldn't shake it. My stomach was in knots and my feelings came out of nowhere.

I remembered 2 Timothy 1:7 above and I began to pray in faith. "Lord, if this is not from you, please remove it."

Yet it remained.

So I hit my knees in prayer. And I called on others to pray with me.

As our prayers overwhelmed the gates of heaven, my soul finally felt peace. The burden was still there, but I knew God was in control of it. I knew that what He needed was for His people to pray.

God has not given us a spirit of fear as the world gives, but He can allow fear to come into our lives. Not to paralyze, but as a call to action.
There was a time in my life where anxiety and fear haunted me wherever I went. I'm talking 'leave-the-full-cart-of-groceries-in-the-store' anxiety because I couldn't make it through without panic causing me to flee.

I've come to learn through therapy and research, that the emotional abuse I was enduring in a failing marriage was the root cause of my anxiety. Gaslighting was the major component. It made me question everything I ever did and slowly eroded away who I was. It's subtle. Manipulative. And extremely damaging over time.

On a healing path now, my anxiety has diminished. In fact, I would dare to say, it's almost gone. My confidence has grown. I can speak and tell a story without pause or stutter. I can make decisions without second guessing all that I know. I have a freedom I never dreamt possible.

So when this feeling descended upon my soul, I was shocked. I questioned whether I was 'making stuff up' again, as I had been accused so many times before. But a few days later, through a series of events, reasons for my unrest were confirmed.

The Wrestling

Nothing can tighten the noose of fear around my neck like something beyond my control. Unable to predict or guide an outcome sends me into a panic. And I know I'm not alone.

The loss of a job. A surprise illness or test result. An impending move to another state. Waves of fear can overwhelm.

For me, as a believer in the Almighty God, the initial moments of shock and instability are instantly laid at His feet. It's the leaving at the altar where I struggle. Think of Peter walking on water. He began to sink when he focused on his circumstances instead of His Savior. Before long, we're relying on our own strength and we've snatched it back and tried to regain control.

I don't think it's always a lack of faith that causes us to pick up what we've laid down.

And I don't always think fear is a sin or from the enemy.

God says over and over in the Bible, "do not be afraid." "Fear not." He knew our human finite minds would not be able to completely wrap themselves around Who He is and what He's capable of.

He knew we would forget and look around instead of up. He knew that we would have to lay our burdens down over and over, because we are living human beings. Human sacrifices prone to crawl off the altar.

But we need to be aware that the enemy can monopolize and use that fear for his purpose if we don't recognize it. That is where fear can turn to sin.

A Call to Action

Today marks the 13th anniversary of 9/11. A day our world forever changed.

Recently more threats against America have surfaced with ISIS. I've seen post after post on Facebook of fear over the unknown magnitude of this situation. Darkness and corruption are definitely at the forefront.

Are they already in our country? Is there a plan already in place to cause mass destruction? Are we going to just sit back and wait until something happens on our soil? Don't we need to do something?

And the answer is yes. We do need to do something.

We can let fear cause panic and chaos in our souls or we can channel that fear into purpose for Him. We can sit back and worry, floundering in our faith. Or we can turn our faith into action. The choice is ours to make.

I tell you, the time is now to tell others about the hope you have in Jesus. We need to have more fear for the people that do not know Jesus as their Savior, than we do of any terrorist group.

We were never promised a full life this side of heaven. We were never promised a life without difficulty. In fact, as believers, difficulty is certain. Because we live this side of heaven in enemy territory. Our only hope is in what is beyond this existence, eternally in heaven. We should hit our knees in prayer and hit the pavement telling the world of our hope in Him.

God has called us to be brave. He has called us to do the one thing that can only be done this side of eternity: To tell others about the willing sacrifice of God's Son on our behalf.

A consuming fear that stops us dead in our tracks is not from God. Bravely, we can take fear by the horns and do as God calls us.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

Today I choose to leave the crippling fear at the altar. Today I choose to put my hope in the only One Who can breathe life into me for eternity. And in an hour or a day or next week, when that fear creeps in again, I will do the same. And I pray you do too.

Let's be brave together and do what God has called us to do: to go and tell others of His saving grace.

If you have any questions about the hope I have in Him, please send me an e-mail at or find me on Facebook. I would love to talk more with you.

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