Stop Letting Fear Limit Your Life

It’s inescapably true: We let fears limit us when we listen to them. 

John Piper wrote, “I call you today to stop defining and limiting your future in terms of your past and start defining it in terms of your God.”

When we have a spirit of fear instead of the confidence that comes from a right relationship with God through Jesus, the smallest of things sends us ducking for cover! “As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.” (Leviticus 26:36 NASB) 

God says, “Fear not—there is nothing to fear—for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My victorious right hand of rightness and justice.” (Isaiah 41:10 AMPC)

“When God calls you to be free from fear (to overcome this natural emotion and have peace), He does not leave the command hanging in the air. He puts pillars under it. Five of them in Isaiah 41:10. That’s the nature of all biblical commands. They come with divine support.

  1. Fear not . . . God is with you.
  2. Fear not . . . God is your God
  3. Fear not . . . God will strengthen you.
  4. Fear not . . . God will help you.
  5. Fear not . . . God will uphold you.” —John Piper

When we grasp that God is with us, that God is helping us, that God is bigger than the things we wrongly fear, there is nothing we cannot do! 

As Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For there is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving by many or by few.” (1 Samuel 14:6 AMPC)

O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by Your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for You! (Jeremiah 32:17 NLT)

“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” (Matthew 17:20 MSG)

Lamenting Over The Fallen

How The Mighty Have Fallen! Long before Jim Collins entitled his latest book with this phrase, David said this when King Saul and Prince Jonathan were killed in battle. In fact, he said it not once, but three times in just eight verses.

It is understandable that David would lament the death of his friend Jonathan. They were covenant brothers, they shared the same heartbeat for God and for Israel, and they stood by each other through thick and thin.

But Saul… why would David lament the death of Saul? This is the man who was jealous of David. So jealous that he did everything he could to trip David up. Including trying to kill him. Saul chased David from his home, his family, his wife, even his country.

Why would David lament Saul’s death? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to rejoice over it?

But David still saw Saul as “the Lord’s anointed.” David recognized the good in Saul. He called him…

  • The glory of Israel,
  • A successful warrior,
  • Gracious,
  • Lovable,
  • Strong, and
  • Israel’s provider

When David heard Saul had been killed, he lamented, Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

When I see the mighty, God-anointed leader fall, do I lament?

I may shake my head … I may feel vindicated … I may be disgusted … but I don’t know that I have ever lamented or grieved when one of these mighty brothers has fallen. Or if I have, my lament has been short-circuited by other less appropriate emotions.

Despite their sin, they are still God’s anointed. Who am I to sit in judgment? Who am I to do anything but lament their fall?

Lord, forgive me! Father, help me to see Your anointed in the proper perspective: as Your anointed. Holy Spirit, remind me of the tragedy of even one mighty one who falls. May my response be one of lament, and mercy, and prayer.

Just keepin’ it real, folks. This is me, but I’m trying to get better.

UnZone

UnZone

We kicked off our Bigger Than Me series last night talking about one of my favorite Bible stories where Jonathan and his armor-bearer pick a fight with the Philistines.

What I love about this story is the contrast between Jonathan and his father Saul. King Saul was enjoying life as the king, hanging out with his friends, sitting under a pomegranate tree, far away from his enemies. Life was good for Saul, life was familiar and risk-free. Saul was living in his comfort zone.

But the comfort zone is a lousy place to stay. In the comfort zone you only tell stories, but never live an adventure. In the comfort zone you only hear about what God has done for others. But Jonathan wasn’t willing to stay in this comfort zone.

Jonathan stepped out into The UnZone. He went into unfamiliar territory, with an unusual battle strategy, and uncertain results. Jonathan said, “Perhaps God will help us.” But he didn’t stop there. Jonathan quickly added, “I don’t know how, but I know God can come through.”

After Jonathan stepped out of his comfort zone into The UnZone, God not only gave him a victory, but encouraged the entire Israelite army. This never would have happened if Jonathan had stayed in his comfort zone.

In The UnZone you don’t just tell stories, you live adventures.

In The UnZone you don’t just hear about God’s power, you experience it firsthand.

I challenged our youth group last night to step out of their comfort zones and into The UnZone. How cool it was to see all of the uncomfortable, unfamiliar, uncertain, unusual things they wrote down on their UnZone cards and tacked up on our bulletin board. I’m looking forward to seeing our bulletin board covered with these cards over the next few weeks.

What about you? What comfort zone is God calling you out of? What UnZone do you need to step into? The Apostle Paul said, “When I am weak then I am strong.” In other words, “When I step into my UnZone, I step into God’s Strength Zone.”

The UnZone is a great place to live, so step out today.

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