- 'This isn't fair' (04/17/16)
- Finding stillness amid the storm (04/03/16)
- The curious, the cheerful and the crotchety (03/20/16)
- Accepting change through God's consistency (03/06/16)
- Building on a good thing: Part 1 (02/07/16)
- The divine call to excellence (01/24/16)
- Seeing God in the midst of tragedy (01/10/16)
Fear can distract us when we haven't identified our goal
In my church we have, appropriate to the Halloween season, been examining the issue of fear through the lens of 2 Timothy. We have been cross-examining the Scriptures as they speak to fear, loneliness, failing and death. Jesus clearly understood the controlling grasp that fear can have.
So many times in the Scriptures we can see him saying to those who can clearly identify why they are afraid and to others who are afraid but not sure why "Fear not." Fear can easily replace the role that God has in our lives leading us to worship safety.
Fear, as Max Lucado writes, emasculates greatness.
Paul writing this very personal letter that we call 2 Timothy recognizes the tendency in his spiritual son to turn to fear. Paul, a dying man, delivers what may be his final words to help prepare this young man to live a life of greatness for God. He tells him to face your fears, you must fight the battle well.
I have never been in the military. I share with numerous others the upmost respect and honor for our veterans and active military. I, like many, proudly stand, remove my hat and cover my heart to pledge my allegiance to the flag. The hair on the back of my neck stands at attention at the singing of "God Bless America" during major league ball games. Our military overcome personal struggles during basic training and faithfully fulfilling orders on the front lines of battles.
Strategists say that the key to fighting a battle well does not rest in the field of battle, in the supply lines or even in the training. The key to fighting well rests in clearly identifying why you are battling. Why you battle determines the training you need. Why you battle dictates the supplies that are necessary. Why you battle determines where you battle.
So often fear drives us and distracts us simply because we have not clearly identified why we are in the battle in the first place. We are afraid of everything because we don't know what not be afraid of. God has not given us a spirit of fear because he has given us a spirit of clarity. Clearly identify our battles. Clearly identify our reason for the fight. Clearly dismiss the fear that distracts us.
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.