Fear…does it control you?

Fear.  That scary, impending sense of doom.  The emotion that keeps us from doing things that might bring harm to ourselves.  But have you ever thought about this…does it keep you from doing things that might help you live your life to the fullest, as well?  Or, even more importantly, does it keep you from doing things for your Lord?

Dictionary.com uses this definition for FEAR: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Did you catch that?  “Whether the threat is real or imagined.”

Many of us do not even think about how fear affects our daily choices.  Think for a moment about how some of these decisions are affected by your fear of the outcome–

~Your teenager desires to do something that you know is against scripture.  You choose to allow him to do it, because you fear losing his love.

~Your friend is living in sin.  You know scripture teaches that you should confront her with love, but you put it off because you fear losing her friendship.

~The stockmarket is diving quickly.  You trade all of your stocks.  You fear losing your financial security.

~You would like to start walking or running for exercise.  But you fear walking along the busy road.

~A trip to the city would be fun, but you never go, because you fear driving the highway. Or you fear getting lost.

~You believe the Lord is calling you on a mission trip, but you choose not to go because you fear traveling outside the United States.

Each day we make choices affected by fear.   Some of those fears are valid.   But may I suggest that, oftentimes, they are not?  Or if there is validity to them, we grow them into some unrealistic, enormous thing that they really are not.

When I was a young teenager, I developed a fear of throwing up.  Yes.  You read that right.  Throwing up.  This fear controlled me for probably over 15 years.  It dictated when, what, and how much I would eat.  It affected how I treated my kids when they were sick.   This fear gripped me, like no other ever has.

I pleaded with the Lord to remove this fear.  I knew it was not of Him.  I knew that I had grown this fear into something completely out of proportion to what it should be.  I knew that getting sick was just part of life.

The Lord answered that prayer.  Oh, not in a day.  Not in a month.  But, gradually, one small step at a time, I was able to overcome.   One of the best things for that fear was having children.  They inevitably get sick.  A lot.  Nothing like facing your fear head on!

Oh, I still cringe and feel a bit weak in the stomach when the stomach flu is going around.  But it is not controlling me anymore.  Why do I share this?

I share this because if you are controlled by fear, ask God to rescue you!  Ask Him to show you if that fear is valid.  He is faithful.  He will answer you.  You don’t have to live this way.

Psalm 34:4
I sought the LORD, and He heard me,And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 56:4
In God (I will praise His word),In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

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