What Do You Fear?

How many fears should you have? I believe the number should be zero.

According to WebMD, 19 million people in America experience phobias. A phobia is an intense, prevailing, irrational fear that leaves you powerless over your reactions. These extreme, life-altering feelings of anxiety aren’t diminished by telling yourself your fears simply don’t make sense.  If all 19 million have two fears, the total number of fears is close to 40 million. That’s a long way from zero.

“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”—Psalm 3:6, NIV

One fear many experience is aerophobia, fear of flying. It can be triggered by real experiences, like severe turbulence, or imagined ones. Earlier this summer I needed to travel from Nashville to Memphis for a conference and hated the thought of a 3-hour drive. Then, I discovered SeaPort Airlines.

I’ve been on jumbo jets but never anything as small as their fleet. Yet, it was a wonderful hassle-free experience that made my journey fantastic. Small plane, yes. Could I have reached out and tapped the pilot on the shoulder, sure. Boarding at the private airport in Memphis, a German traveler got on with a 2-liter Dr. Pepper. That’s how different it was. If there was ever a smidgeon of fear of flying small aircraft, it’s gone now.

There is a natural purpose for fear when it protects us from danger. The problem today is that people exist in perpetual fear; that’s not how God intended us to live.

When we are fearful, where is our confidence in God? Trusting Him involves refusing to let fear impact how we respond to people or situations. God demands complete trust and dependence.

There are 336 references to the word “fear” in the New International Version of the Bible, including stories of Biblical heroes melting in fear in the face of their enemies. Not so with David as he fled from his son, Absalom.  David commences Psalm 3 counting his enemies, but he concludes, in verse 8, by affirming, “Real help comes from God.” (Message Bible)

Cancel Fear with Faith

I want you to know today—I am praying for your healing and health. I proclaim the power of God’s Word and promises over you, even if I don’t know you by name…God does.

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iStockphoto, Tom Fullum

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

—Proverbs 30:5 NIV

I don’t claim to understand why some are healed and some are not; what I know for sure is that God wants us to trust Him for healing. If I’m wrong about that, nothing else in the Word makes sense—but since I know I’m right, everything makes sense. As a believer completely healed of Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I know that God still does the hard stuff.

He wants us healed and understands our interest in our healing not taking forever.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.—Proverbs 13:12 NIV

The enemy’s words are always the opposite of what God says. And the enemy uses fear to block our healing and our blessings.  Be assured today that things are happening in the spiritual realm that we cannot see or measure. Consider, for example, what happened after Daniel prayed  (Daniel 6). In the lion’s den, lions acted like lambs. An angel of God gave them lockjaw—(look that up; it’s a real pathological ailment.)

I’m confident that everything God promised, everything He has ever said to me will be given to me.  I believe I will accomplish everything the Lord said about me. I believe I possess all that the Lord said that I have. This is the level of faith I claim for you.   Be confident;  your deliverance is on the way!

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…”—Exodus 14:13a, NIV

Reach up your right hand, at this very moment; allow God to take hold of you. This gesture is not about you holding God’s hand…for you might let Him go…but He will never let go of your hand.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.”—Isaiah 41:13 NIV

So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows, and sparrows, as small as they are, fear absolutely nothing. (Matthew 10:31 NIV)

You Are Relational

Black Man on Beach with Open Arms

When you look into someone’s face, do you see the real presence of the person you encounter?  Do you understanding our connectedness.

You are relational!  You are connected to others.  You are not a separate entity, traveling through life on your own.  Wrapped up in your own identity. Engulfed in your own little world.  So often, we get caught up in the “me” and “mine” of life—my money, my job, my family, my issues.

The dictionary definition of the word “relational” is this:

          Concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

Last Saturday, the men’s ministry in our church hosted a prayer breakfast. We gathered at individual tables;  after sharing pleasantries, we got down to the business of discussing the assigned topics.  Near the end of the teaching period, each person shared a brief prayer with the entire audience.  As we went around from table to table, the room was electrified by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was as if someone opened a window to let us peer into the life of the person sitting nearby.  We had a personal glimpse of private conversations with God.

A mother spoke of the imminent challenge facing her son—returning home in a few hours after twenty-five years of incarceration.  A young woman sought Divine direction in meeting the mate God designed for her.

We are connected to one another, even our enemies.  For years, I told myself I had no enemies.  That was all right; even when I discovered I was wrong, it didn’t matter.  When you can tolerate being injured by a person and not resent them for it, you become a stronger person.

When we understand that we are relational, we choose not to react to or get sucked into anyone else’s anger, resentment or hatred.  Otherwise, you wreck your immune system.  Being reactive results in inner dis-ease. You cannot become internally angry about a situation without making yourself ill.

Being conscious of our connectivity doesn’t make you vulnerable, it makes you powerful.  You can become immune to negative energy.  Nothing can hurt you; you reserve that power for sharing love. Transmitting love and joy may not change how others feel about you, but it sucks the negative energy out of your reaction.

Experiencing everyday joy means opening your eyes to those around you to see your coworkers, casual acquaintances, friends, family members. Learned joy is caring enough to understand the challenges others are facing and what is going on in their lives.

There is even scientific evidence that life connects us and that we affect one other. You are an eternal soul, encased in a temporary body. The energy that I want to transmit is that of healing, connection, communication and compassion.

That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ,

as well as part of one another.  ~  Romans 12:5 (Contemporary English Version)