Our fears do not come from God

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When I was growing up, I lived in an old windy house in north Missouri.

The house sat on a basement that was added after the house was built. The basement had a constant odor of dirt and mud that would waft in your face when the door was opened.

No one wanted to go into the basement.

Going down to the basement meant opening the door and walking all the way down the stairs before you get any light by pulling the string of the exposed bulb fixture. There was never enough light, no matter the time of day, to illuminate the dark corners.

Once I retrieved whatever it was I needed, I would pull the cord and sprint up the stairs escaping the encroaching darkness.

After living in the house for a few years, I was exposed to my first horror movie: "The Night of the Living Dead." I sat in terror for nearly two hours as zombies roamed the city devouring anyone in their path. To this day, horror movies and I do not mix.

After the movie the once-scary basement became terrifying. Not only did it stink and was dark, I was now convinced it was the home of zombies waiting for me to turn out the light so they would drag me off the stairs as my nails dug into the floor clinging for safety.

If I could run fast enough and could shut the door quick enough, I would barely avoid their grasps.

It must have worked. I never saw a zombie. I was never pulled back down the stairs. Still, I was never more afraid of something that wasn't there.

Fear is as irrational as what fuels it.

Our fears reside where either we have given something more power than it deserves or something, someone, is attempting to hold power over us that they don't deserve.

Fear controls and dictates. Scripture says God "has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-discipline."

God's desire is not for fear to oppress. God's desire by his grace is to produce an explosive internal power, a love for others than can only be explained by him and skills to navigate complexity with tremendous confidence and competency.

Fear is not of God.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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