Healthy Fear, Unhealthy Fear
by Marijo Phelps
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A fellow writer recently posted a piece about an armed robber going into a store with a gun drawn and encountering the owner of the store and a customer. The owner boldly told him, "In the name of Jesus, I command you to get out of my store," He demanded they lay down on the floor. They did not but kept telling him to leave. He got agitated and left. Fear led to boldness, and using her authority in the name above all names, Jesus Christ.
Bear suddenly appearing, healthy fear flight/ fight adrenalin reaction within our bodies
Mick and I were hiking in the middle of nowhere. Actually it was oil company property which had just been opened as State Trust Land during a few months of the year. We were in right after it opened up. This means that with the exception of a few oil pipeline crew members no people had been there for years. Pristine, wilderness, remote are just a few of the descriptive words which come to mind in painting a picture of Bosque del Oso, which means Forest of the bear, that should have been our first clue. We were totally enjoying the wilderness smelling of intense pine aroma with a gentle breeze blowing. The weather being perfect for a long hike , we were trying to find a small lake we'd seen on the topographical map.
Suddenly I spotted a bear. I screamed “bear”, not too bright since my nickname for Mick is Mr. Bear or Cinnamon Bear from the days when he was a red head. He kind of glanced at me and noticed I was walking really fast, backward up the hill we had just come down. Then he spotted her. She had a “cub” whose rear end was just about as big as hers and she was slapping that rear end up a tree in front of us.
“Get back here and draw your pistol for Pete's sake quit running, she'll chase you.”
“I am NOT running, I'm walking fast.”
We both drew our guns and started walking backwards up the hill. She looked at the tree. Popped her jaws and began charging us, then seemed to remember “baby” and ran back to the tree. Soon she went into the woods behind the tree. We could guess she was circling around to come at us from behind. Pretty soon she was back at the tree.
Terror doesn't begin to describe what kind of fear I had. We get the outdoors magazines. We have seen the photos of what brown bears can do to a human body. We were looking at TWO brown bears, one for each of us. This was not the lion's den. We were not here because we refused to bow down to the King's edict. We never shot the guns - good thing as she would have probably felt threatened on the baby's behalf and taken care of us.
We got out of the area leaving mama and “baby Huey” behind.
Was our fear good? Yep, kept us from wanting to get closer and take her picture, SMART fear. I don't think I was prepared to become bear lunch. However, I am not sure what would have happened if we'd taken authority in Jesus name and told her to leave, that didn't occur to either of us at the time.
Daniel was in the lion's den. I imagine he had a healthy fear of the lions. He didn't fear the king or what he could do to Daniel, but rather, trusted in his King (God). He would worship no one else and his prayers to God got him thrown in the loin's den. Did God give those lions a full tummy so they weren't interested? Did He send angles to hold their mouths shut? Did he give them a sudden craving for “salad bar” and an aversion to “meat”? We don’t know all those details - BUT Daniel was saved alive.
Fear of the Lord is another kind of “smart” fear.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJV)
This scripture doesn't say we will not have tough or troubling times but that the Lord will go through them with us. If we panic and get consumed by fears and “what ifs” does that show we are trusting God at His Word? I don't think so. We can lean on this scripture during those times, especially the “I will fear no evil” part.
Another scripture comes to mind about Jesus being with us to the end of the age.
Does that mean that God will be with or us abandon us during tough times? Knowing some of His promises and even repeating them out loud helps us get them internalized. God doesn't forget, but I wonder how often we do and need this reminder.
One of my favorite quotes from my husband is “God is ABLE and we, well, we are but dust.”
That doesn't give us an excuse but a head's up so we can be ready when the tough times come. Let's get into the Word and get ready!
Is FEAR looming Like a horrible storm on your horizon – there is help?
What if I have an accident on the wintry roads? What if I lose my job? What if my husband gets laid off? What if the kids get a horrible disease? What if someone is breaking into the house tonight?
We get to be really good at “what if-ing” if we aren't careful. I am sure the enemy will whisper some of these ideas in our ears if we aren't thinking them up ourselves. Is that your focus? Is that where your mind naturally goes?
“Perfect Love casts out all fear.” My word picture might not be the intended meaning of this portion of scripture but it was very powerful for me. Who/what is perfect love? God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit are perfect love. God is love and there can be no one more perfect than God. The picture that came to me is my most powerful savior coming on my behalf and taking those dark, ominous storm clouds replete with lightening, thunder and throwing death at me. God came and cast them out, away from me to a place where they could no longer impact me, not with one tiny sprinkle or shiver. Jesus did it and they were gone!
Then I thought of the times recorded where Jesus was taken by the Holy Spirit (yes, the Holy Spirit) into the wilderness.
How did our Lord, savior and prime example respond? “It is written.” And he quoted God's Word to Satan over and over.
Apparently Satan can argue with you and me but he cannot argue with God's Word. It looks like that is a sure fire way to get the enemy to hush up and leave. All we need to do is have a stockpile of ammunition ready (God's word memorized or maybe even a topical book of promises if you haven't memorized yet) and use it.
When you are fearful, aren't you really saying that your God is not big enough for your circumstances? Or that the promises he makes in the Bible are for someone else but not really for you? Knowing these scriptures helps you to see what he has promised on your behalf and to get them into your heart and mind so they are ready when you need them.
We are encouraged to submit to God and resist the enemy and the enemy will go.That is a most powerful promise! It doesn't say he might flee, or maybe in a couple of days he will go. It says he WILL flee from you. I think the key is not our spouting off at him or ranting and raving but being submitted to God. Realizing HE has done it all on our behalf and taking Him at His Word.
Here is the kind of fear we are to have, this and only this fear:
1 Samuel 12:24
Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. (NKJV)
Maybe you can think back to recent times when things looked impossible, you were afraid and God came through on your behalf in a creative and unexpected way. It never hurts to review those times of His faithfulness.
Now let's take a look at His Word. There are many scriptures which speak of God's promises and would help you stand against ungodly fear.
Will we never have troubles or times of trial? NO, but God will be right there with us, walking us through so that we are able to “fear no evil”.
David in the Bible had much to fear in the natural. King Saul pursued him and tried to kill him over and over. David, in spite of his choices and sin, chose to believe God and God's plan for his life. His trust is reflected in many, many of his writings in Psalms. They are there today for us to think upon and hang onto in our stormy times.
Another most powerful weapon against fear is prayer, communication with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to seek Him, talk to Him and that He will deliver us from our fears.
Have you ever noticed that the enemy cannot stand to hear the praises of God? During a worship service or when you praise him privately? He usually leaves. Praise is also a big weapon against fear. Worship songs or choruses or scripture that you sing.
When I “what-if” I am really saying that my God isn't quite big enough to handle the problem. I know from His Word that is not true and I know from experience. There is something about declaring that out loud too. There is really no better way than saying “it is written” and quoting a scripture which applies to your situation and circumstance.
We can truly be over comers with the help of the Lord Jesus.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.
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