When Fear Rises Again

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I told you in this post that I used to struggle with fear, and I know that my post struck a chord, because several of you e-mailed me and commented, and many of you asked for a follow-up post.  So, I wanted to share with you another element that I’ve found to be so true in this topic and to share a little more about how the road to a peaceful heart is a journey that will likely be life-long, and must only be done with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Fear is something that, once you are gripped by, it is forever with you.  I’m not saying it can’t be overcome.  With God’s help, it absolutely can, and I told you here the steps that I took to do just that.  But, you should know, that it will occasionally come knocking at your door again.

And just in the last few days, I found myself having the opportunity to answer that door once again.  Like I’ve said before, we don’t watch the news very often, but I do keep up as much as I can, and I’d heard about the possibility of ISIS being in the United States, I’d heard about the call of ISIS to target military families.  Then, there was the Oklahoma beheading, and then there was a local realtor who was kidnapped and murdered when she was simply trying to show a house.  And, honestly, it was just too much for my heart to take.  I could feel the panic rising as I sat on the couch.  Yes, after 11 years, it still happens sometimes.  Let’s face it, we live in a scary world.  So, as Christians, what should our response be to all the evil in the world?

I don’t have all the answers.  But I do know a couple of things on this topic.

The right response is not fear.

The right response is love.

“Perfect love casts out fear.” -1 John 4:18

Let’s be very logical and practical for a minute…so let’s say you worry and you fear.  And it takes over your life-just like you know it will.  You will be scared to go to work, scared to walk into your house, scared to open your door, scared to go to the grocery store.  And what does it do except make YOU a prisoner?  And the terrorists have won.  They have done what they set out to do.  They have stricken you to the core with sheer terror.

Now, let’s say that you, instead, let the peace of God rule in your heart (because you’ve hidden God’s Word in your heart), and rather than allowing fear to settle into your life, you do the exact opposite.  You love.  Not just a little…but you love a lot.  You do things you’ve never done before.  Let’s say that you….

begin to serve in your church

open your eyes to the need in other countries and give freely or answer the call to become a missionary

open your home to adoption/fostering

pray for your enemies, even the scary, terrorists ones…especially them.

decide to go without luxuries in your own home to be more generous to others in need of basic necessities

start that prison ministry that your community so desperately needs

This list goes on and on and on.  But, think with me…what if we all took that feeling of fear, and did something totally radical with it?  What if we just loved like crazy instead?  Wow….how would our world change?  We say we want revival.  And I completely agree.  We need revival…desperately.  But, for a revival to take place of the magnitude that changes millions of lives, we’re going to have to show them that following God isn’t about locking ourselves inside our homes.  Do you remember in the Bible all the times when God showed that He was so much more than all those other false gods?  (Remember Elijah and the prophets of Baal?  What about Moses and the Magicians?)  We have to allow God to convey that through us or people can’t see Jesus.    Maybe Definitely: we should fear less and love more.

We can’t do it on our own.  I know that when God first laid the thought of “loving my enemies” on my heart, I balked quite heartily.  (Father, you want me to pray for those people?  Do you know what they believe??)  But, I kept praying.  I kept asking, Father, if this is really what you want me to do, please help me to love like crazy.  And He didn’t fail me.  He’s showing me every day, more and more how to love like crazy.  And I find that the more that I follow His command to do just that, the less fearful I am.

So, what is God calling you to do that is out of your comfort zone?  What does your “love like crazy” look like?  It may not look anything like mine, but that’s why when we all work together, doing what we are given by God to do, we are a mighty church.

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