Friday, March 14, 2014

Bye-Bye Fear...You've Been a Bad Friend

This week in the In the Gap Online Bible Study, I wrote about some victims of fear in the Bible.  Our top contestants included Adam and Eve, Cain, and the Israelites.  Even though they are in many ways the poster children for fear, I am quick to realize how my picture could have nicely fit in that poster as well.

I was a victim of fear for over 30 years of my life.  On Monday this week, I shared how I have struggled with the fear of rejection and how God has helped me and continues to help me overcome.

God doesn't want us living with fear.  In fact, He commands us over and over again in His Word, "Do not fear!"  Our God does not want us to live as victims, but rather as victors in Christ.  With Him, we can overcome our fears, kick them to the curb and live in faith.

In Deuteronomy 31:6, God says:

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you." 

I looked up the words "good courage" using Blue Letter Bible and found it came from the Hebrew word 'amats and it means "strong, alert, courageous, brave, bold, secure."

The last word stood out for me because for most of my life, I have been the opposite of secure.  Insecurity defined me and defeated me.  Insecurity would tag along wherever I went, uninvited (how rude--right?!), and whisper constant lies, shrinking my heart and binding my boldness.  However rude I may think him of being, I didn't stop him from coming along nor did I keep him from tearing me down.  I allowed him to be my companion and I listened to his deception instead of drowning out his voice with God's truth.

I believed what the enemy said over what God said.  As painful as that is to admit, it is the reason I wallowed in insecurity instead of walking in freedom.

God commands us to "Be strong and of good courage" or to "Be strong and alert, courageous, brave, bold and secure (in Him and His love)." He follows it with, "do not fear nor be afraid of them".  He then encourages us, "for ( I ) go with you.  ( I ) never leave you nor forsake you."

What comfort in those words!!  He never leaves us and He goes with us wherever we go.  I love how God connects being strong and of good courage with His reminder that He is with us!!  He does this often in His Word!!  He knows we cannot be strong and of good courage without Him, He never intended us to be.

When the Lord was speaking to Joshua and the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31, He was preparing them for their future and purpose in Him.

Too many times, our destiny and purpose in Christ is plundered by fear.  God needs us to be strong and of good courage to cross over our Jordan, and into our promise land. And our lives aren't the only ones affected by us overcoming our fear and trusting God.

In Deuteronomy 31:23, God told Joshua, "Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them and I will be with you."  Joshua's obedience was tied to the outcome of the children of Israel.  Our obedience impacts others.

What will you do when God wants you to reach out to that neighbor down the street?
What about when you are asked to share your testimony at church or Bible study?
What will you do when you are out with your friends they are talking about something inappropriate or gossiping?
At work, when a co-worker is going through a difficult time?
Of if God prompts you to ask your waiter to go to church with you? (Like what happened last night! And yes, I asked him! I hope he comes!)

There is courage in every yes.

I know there are many of you who struggle with fear and I understand how discouraging and disabling it is. Sweet friends, are we really going to let fear reign and rob us of all God has for us?  Or will we allow God's strength to prevail? He will empower us when we step out in faith.

Fear, you have been a bad friend and you are no longer welcome in our lives!!!

Girls, what do you say we kick this bully, fear, to the curb?!!













4 comments:

Kim

Sue, what a beautiful post - thanks for the inspiration "there is courage in every yes". I look forward to kicking fear to the curb with you!

Jennifer Gearheart

That verse has spoken to me all week!! I am reminded that in any situation God is with me and I can be strong, courageous and secure. I have struggled so long with what others think. I have learned when others are gossiping, I change the subject. My main objective is speaking up in a group. I don't like to do it because of my insecurity of what others will think of me. What if I say something stupid? I have started some small talk, and engaging in conversation so it is a step. God is working in me and for that I am grateful!! Thank you so much for sharing. You really spoke to me today!!

Kris Danko

Wow, what an amazing post!! I'll admit, when I started this fear study, I didn't think I had any big fears. . .until I read about how Adam and Eve had fear--hadn't thought of their story that way before! It made me realize how much fear I have, but labeled as something else. Love how you tie it back to obedience and impacting others. Thanks for sharing!

Sue Molitor

Thank you Kim, Jennifer and Kris! I am so glad you are kicking your fears to the curb too! So proud of you Jennifer for those steps you are taking! Love to you all! ~ Sue

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