Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: SOUL LAID BARE
By Paul Potenza
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Have you ever been afraid? I know that's a stupid question but now that the ice is broken I have to ask a second question.
Think about that for a second. Go ahead and have another drink or take a puff on that cigarette before you continue to read.
OK. Here's the way I see it. We get frightened because we think we don't hold all the cards. We know that we are weak. We hope that nobody else can see that fact.
I think that's hilarious. Just what are we trying to hide? When I was at war, I tried incredibly hard to show how unafraid I was when to be honest my insides were jelly. And it's not just war.
What about relationships? I'm a guy but I think I can speak to both genders because I have a wife and I have successfully raised a daughter. Both of my girls absolutely hated to go out in public with me because they were acutely aware of my penchant for embarrassing them.
Embarrassment is not the only thing that my girls were apprehensive of.
My bride is scared of thunderstorms and stray dogs. My daughter is timorous of failure. She has a 3.9 GPA in college and quakes at the thought of entering a paper that might bring that GPA down.
I have read the Bible.
Do you know that one of the most used phrases in the Bible is "Be Not Afraid".
We're winners folks. We are annointed. We have nothing to fear.
Go ahead and name your fear.
If I could, I'd like to get personal.
Do you Lie? Cheat? Gossip? Drink? Smoke? Steal? Lust? Hate? (You KNOW that you do...) And yes, I'm smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer. I have hated a lot of people and I have stolen and lied and lusted and gossipped.
Somehow I feel that I'm not alone.
If I am then so be it.
If I'm not then...
Join the club!!!! At least you have the courage to admit it. I'll tell you something...
You're a human being. Read Romans 7:18-25. Here...I'll print it for you:
18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Don't be afraid my brothers and sisters.
Remember the first words spoken at the advent of Christ's birth by the angels to a few sleepy sheperds:
10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Didja HEAR that??? "Do NOT be afraid!!!!" Ha HA!! His first message to us.
I've laid my soul bare tonight because I think that we need to be brothers and sisters. In my opinion, we should have complete confidence in each other.
I'm not going to be fearful anymore.
My soul is laid bare.
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