Although we try to be like Jesus, we are not Jesus. As God, Jesus could walk on water and shut lion’s mouths (Daniel 6). He is King of creation and knows the future. But you and I are not, so we still fear lions and storms.
Paul, like us, experienced life’s normal fears and doubts. He was afraid in storms when sailing, worried about the health of his coworkers, and anxious about his converts staying strong in their new faith. Since we fear when we wonder if something bad will happen to what we love in the future, we will fear when we do not know the future. Fear often protects us from danger. A wild lion is no danger to Jesus, who is God, but it is to us! We run away because it can harm us. Without fear in our dangerous world, we would see more destruction and death.
How do we know when to listen to and when to calm our fears? When are they healthy and when are they destructive? We fear lions in the savanna. But at the zoo, we know the lion has no power to harm us from his cage. Our knowledge of the situation informs our fear.
To be delivered from unhealthy fears, we must understand if we are having them for the right reasons and if they have the proper and legitimate place in our minds and hearts. Paul was not crushed by his fear; he did not allow them to dictate his life. Once shipwrecked, he did not allow that experience to fill him with fear for his next voyage. He traveled by ship again and again and again. Even after a shipwreck where he was afraid, Paul knew his God was able to keep him safe in any storm or give him the strength to face any danger.
Think about things you have been afraid of recently. Perhaps losing your job, the health of a family member, or your children’s future. Some fear can protect you and those you love, but do you go further and fear the lion will get out of its cage at the zoo? Like Paul, tell God about your specific fears. Then leave them at God’s feet and move forward with what he has asked you to do.
Popular posts from this blog
Victory Over Sin When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden, sin became a part of the nature of mankind. Ever since, humans have been born naturally separated from God because of that sin. Because He is perfect, God simply cannot be in close proximity to sin. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were required to frequently sacrifice an unblemished lamb to atone for sin. The offering had to be perfect to cover the debt of sin - it was the only way a person could stay in right standing with God. Jesus is often referred to as the “Lamb of God”, because His sacrifice on the cross covered the sin of humanity. One of the many miracles of the cross is that it reversed the curse of Adam and Eve’s sin: Just as one act of sin separated all of humanity from God, the sacrifice made by one perfect person covered the sin of all people and made a way for reconciliation. Because Jesus offered Himself for us, we hav
“So Far So God” After the Israelites pulled off an upset victory over the Philistines, the prophet Samuel built an altar and named it Ebenezer, signifying that the Lord had helped them up to that point. The altar was a way of saying to the people, “The God who did it before can do it again.” We all need Ebenezers. Reminders that the God who got us here will get us there . That the God who did this will do that . An Ebenezer is a way of recognizing and celebrating the success God has given us along the way in pursuing our dream. After our church built our coffeehouse on Capitol Hill, we decided to name it Ebenezers. We were afraid that some people would associate it with Ebenezer Scrooge, but it was a risk worth taking. There were so many miracles in the process of purchasing, rezoning, and building our coffeehouse that we wanted to name it what it was. On our coffee sleeves at Ebenezers, there is a Scripture reference that looks like a SKU code—ISAM712. There are also ini