This is the sixth post in the “Battle for Your Mind” summarized series. Click here to view the previous post.
Fear can be conquered (Continued)
In the last section, we learned that fear can be conquered in two ways: through the way you think and through faith. In this section, we will see that fear can also be conquered through obedience and persistence.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the sixth chapter of Matthew. In it Jesus informs us that God has both the ability and desire to take care of His people. There is, however, a catch. He does not just offer His provision for anyone who wants it, but for those who are obedient.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
While we prefer to look at the last part of the verse, the focus really should be on the first part. The promise is for those who seek His kingdom first. Not second, but first.
Our children sometime like to play out in our yard in places where we cannot readily see them and may even cross the cornfield behind our house to play in the woods. When they are out digging holes or hanging from trees, we found that it is hard to call them to come in. So, we found a nice bell at a garage sale and hung it on our patio. Now whenever we need to get the kids’ attention, all we have to do is ring the bell. Sometimes we ring it because they have work to do. Other times, however, it rings because it is time to eat.
Let’s say that it is supper time and we step outside to ring the bell. The kids, however, are having such a great time playing that they ignore it. What would happen? We would eat without them. Their refusal to respond would mean that they get nothing to eat. The provision is made, but their rebellion forces them to go hungry. They can only receive it through obedience.
I’m afraid that often when we have needs that are not being met it is because we did not “heed the bell.” God has given us instructions, but we refuse to listen. Then we blame God for not taking care of us.
God’s promise in Matthew 6:33 is that we do not have to fear going without the things that we need if we put Him absolutely first. We must program our minds to respond when God calls. Then He will fulfill His promise of caring for our needs.
The final way (as far as this discussion goes) that fear can be conquered is through persistence.
One of the ways that psychologists help people who suffer with phobias is through cognitive therapy. If a client has a specific fear, the psychologist helps him to imagine himself in the fearful situation within the safe confines of his mind. Then he can slowly work up to facing the fear in reality. Over time, with persistence, the fear begins to diminish.
Do you remember the first time you drove on a busy interstate? You probably had both of your sweaty hands on the wheel. However, you did it. Next time it wasn’t so bad. If you would have quit the first time, you would have greatly hampered your ability to thrive in this country.
Sure, we are tempted to quit when we are afraid. However, perseverance in the face of difficulty will prove that we can have power over our fears. More appropriately, God has power over the things that instill fear in us.
The apostle Paul was asked by God to do many things, and great trials came along with them. However, through it all he saw that as he continued to be faithful to God, everything would work out. That is why he was able to write these words:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
How could Paul be so sure that Christ would strengthen him? It was because when he was faced with difficult situations, he plowed right into them and God had given him strength. If He could do it in the past, would He not be able to do it in the future?
Do you have fears about your service to God? Maybe God is asking you to do something and it scares you to death. Let me urge you to give it a try. See if God gives you the strength to do it.
If you just can’t talk yourself into it, consider how He has come through for you in the past.
If He proved Himself in the past, why not trust Him next time?
Click here for the next section: The Battle for Your Faith: Finding Hope in the Inevitable Storms.