I’ve been thinking about fear this week. It’s not that I’m afraid of anything right now but I’ve recently witnessed many who are going through some fearful things. Let’s face it; these are perilous times. Every day that we wake up there are more stories on the news that point to the last days. We hear of men who have lost their jobs and seeing no hope ahead they have taken their lives and the lives of others. Other stories are of those who caught extremely rare diseases with no cure. The global economy is collapsing and each nation is failing. Many who have worked hard all their lives find that they have ended up with nothing. Divorce rates continue to climb and families are falling apart like never before. Immorality is rampant and no one seems to care about values anymore. Terrorists are attacking somewhere in the world everyday with no apparent motive. Yes-these are days full of fear.
We have to remember something as Christians. We must remember that we are not alone in our day. Christians can have an insight to something that non-Christians can’t have. If we pray for it God can reveal the spiritual side of things. As we walk through the valley of death God is with us. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. When we don’t keep our eyes on Him it is easy to forget. Do you remember when Peter asked to walk on water with Jesus? In Matthew chapter fourteen the disciples are in a boat. A storm comes up and they are trying to get to shore. Jesus came by walking on the water and the disciples thought that He was a ghost (v26). But Jesus comforted them and revealed that it was He who came. Peter, being the bold man that he was, asked Jesus to let him come out on the water. Jesus invited him out and Peter began to walk.
Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked again at the wind and waves. I love the next phrase! It says that he began to sink (v30). Imagine that for a moment. He didn’t plunge out of sight. He didn’t dive right in. Peter began to sink. In my mind I see him slowly sinking as a man in quicksand. In that great hymn “Love Lifted Me” James Rowe penned the familiar line. “I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore!” Peter sank slowly just as we do when we take our eyes off of Jesus.
We are all prone to sink in fear. I have noticed that some of the greatest men and women of God who encourage others in great distress have battles when it is there skin at stake. It’s easy to pray for someone with a real need but when we are faced with a tragedy we choke! All of the scriptures seem to go away and we panic.
Fear is blinding, isn’t it? When fear comes it keeps us from seeing anything else unless we consciously focus. We have to force ourselves to think straight. Think about Elijah. In First Kings eighteen there is the story where Elijah confronted 850 Prophets of Baal all by himself. He grew tired ofIsraelwaffling between Jehovah and false gods. In his spirit he was determined to correct this or die. He challenged these men in order to demonstrate who God was. During the challenge he was so confident of himself that he taunted the false prophets. Please get this picture. Elijah made fun of them while they beat themselves to try and get their god to burn their sacrifice. He must have made them mad but they were on the spot so they continued to rant and rave. Then, when his time came he prayed once and God answered. God sent fire down and consumed the wood, stones, sacrifice and even the water he had soaked it with.Israelkilled the false prophets and a great victory had been won. Enter Jezebel..
A man who had done such a deed should not have been afraid of anyone. We don’t know why but for some reason when Jezebel threatened Elijah he ran like a child. He asked God to take his life (Chapter 19:4) because he was so afraid. Elijah must have had some encounter with Jezebel that caused him to run. We all have our Jezebels, don’t we? We all have something that can bring unreasonable fear. It can be something that others think is silly but to us it is more real that life itself. To us, it is the wind and waves instead of looking to the Master. The enemy knows what it is, too. That old serpent has been watching mankind for eons and can read us like a book. He sends his demons to bring up things of the past to put gripping fear on us if he ever gets an opportunity.
I have had my own share of demons that try and taunt me. They have been blocked for a long time but I always am mindful that they can cripple me again if I let them. For many years I was afraid of very little. I climbed radio towers for twenty years and was not the least bit afraid of any height. I worked with electricity and was not afraid of that. I have spoken to crowds of hundreds of people and am not afraid to speak in public. But the one fear that gripped me was claustrophobia-the fear of small places. I know exactly when it entered my life, too. It was when I was in an attic installing a light fixture in a vaulted ceiling. I had to hang fairly downhill with my face in blown-in insulation. The temperature was over a hundred degrees and I began to choke. I could feel the roof closing in on me and I didn’t think I could get out quick enough.
Since that time I have recognized the fear rising up again. When I crawled under a house to do work it has come back. In a small space with a lot of people I am sometimes aware of it. I have had to overcome it though. At our last home the attic was barely 3 feet high at the peak. The entrance only allowed you to get in if you curled up as you went in. You had to lay on your stomach through most of the area. The house had a string of lights that started going out. I looked in the attic and saw a board going from the entrance to an electrical box. The previous owner had left it there. I tapped the box with it and the lights would come back on. They would usually stay on for a few weeks and then go out again.
Angie asked me if it was a fire hazard and at first I told her it wasn’t. I realized that something in that box was loose. Loose electrical connections mean heat and heat causes fires. I had to mentally overcome the fear and crawl into the attic. With a coffee can full of tools and parts I quickly got in place. Upon opening the box I discovered a melted wire nut! The plastic was completely gone and it was black from arcing. I cleaned it up and replaced the connection. The whole process took about five minutes. I came down and realized how close we were to losing our home over my fear.
We all have our Jezebels. For whatever reason, Elijah was terrified of her. Maybe he had seen her kill a man of God in a brutal way. The devil often begins a fear and then keeps it in the back of our minds. We go through life with no problems and then one day, like a time bomb it goes off. It was there all the time and we never overcame it.
Sometimes the Jezebel completely destroys our lives. I once knew a man who was a manager at a store. He was robbed at gunpoint and the fear from it caused him to never work again. In the end he lost his family because he refused to overcome the fear. He did nothing but sit and watch television. Let’s face it-we all have something that we can be afraid of. Like Peter we can look at the circumstances and see the problems around us. We all have battles to overcome and challenges to meet. We must meet them with God and stop making excuses.
In Second Kings chapter six is the story of another great man of God. Elisha was his name and he was the successor of Elijah. The King of Syria came down and surroundedIsraelto try and overcome them(v14). Elisha’s servant became fearful and asked what they would do. Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes. The servant then was able to see that they were surrounded by the host of heaven (v17). When we become fearful we must stop and ask God to help us to see the truth. The truth is that angels walk with us and protect us. There is nothing that can happen to us unless it goes by God first.
What about those times when we can’t get peace? When that happens we must stop and fix our thoughts on God. We have to grab hold of Jesus’ hand in the storm and take our eyes off of our trouble. We must take charge of the situation. Isaiah 26:3 says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. “ We must trust in God to overcome our Jezebel. We can’t let her stop our life. There is nothing that the enemy enjoys more than when we help him. We help him when we give in to fear and take our eyes off of the solution.
What is your Jezebel? Have you allowed something to creep in and take charge of your life? It may be like my situation where you don’t even think about it and then one day, there it is. If you’ve had fears in the past they can still try and get back in your life. All it takes is a crack in the armor. We cannot let our guard down-too much can happen. If the Holy Spirit is reminding you of something that could cripple you please take care of it right now. Don’t wait until you get in a battle.
Prayer-Father, I thank You that You didn’t give us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. I lift up those who battle with a fear today. May they be reminded that You are in control. When the enemy comes in like a flood be the wall that stops the damage. Helps us to keep a sound mind.
In Jesus’ Name-Amen
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