Fear can wreck your life. Fear of rejection can hinder you from meeting hundreds of great and awesome people who are around you each week. Fear of failure can hinder you from taking classes at a community college or trying your best if you’re already in school or even from pursing a better job, even a promotion at your current job. Fear of accidents can hinder you from traveling and experiencing fantastic things God has put in your path and around you. Fear of getting hurt can hinder you from ever having any excitement in your life. If you let your fears direct your path, you’ll never have any joy in life and you won’t even get very far in your walk with God and you’ll be afraid that He won’t honor your efforts for His Kingdom, so, you won’t try. You’ll be afraid that people in the church will reject you, so you’ll just rather drop out if one or two people don’t make you feel totally appreciated or excepted. You’ll stop sowing, which means that you’ll stop reaping and you’ll stop praying for specific things and stop getting specific answers to prayer. If you let your eyes get on the problems, on the people who aren’t making it, you’ll never have much to show for your experience with God. Ecclesiastes 11:4, “he who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” In other words, if you look at all the circumstances, all the things that could go wrong, you’ll never sow and you’ll also miss your time of reaping.
When it’s time to sow your seed and you’ll look out and say, “It seems like the wind’s blowing too hard. I’m afraid I’ll be wasting my time planting all those seeds.”, then, you’ll never plant anything. If when God has set before you some service for Him and you look at all the things that might not work, you’ll never do what He’s set before you. At times of reaping, you’ll miss your harvest and your reward if you let your fears direct you. Jacob did this. He and Esau were twins and they were also very different from each other. Jacob tricked Esau out of his inheritance and then took off and hid. He and his mom were afraid that Esau would kill Jacob and his mom Rebekah figured Jacob would only be gone a few days, till Esau cooled off, but she never saw Jacob again for the rest of her life. This is in Genesis 27. Fear of poverty caused Jacob to deceive Esau and fear of Esau’s anger caused Jacob to take off, fear of coming back kept his him from ever seeing his mother again. That’s not all. Jacob stayed away for years in the Land of Haran. He worked hard – became wealthy, strong and powerful but his fears had kept him away from his family and loved ones for years. Now, it was time to go home. Jacob came back from Haran wealthy but full of fear, mainly towards Esau because of what he did to him earlier.
Fears affect your state of mind and in Genesis 32:7, “Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed.” Why, because he heard that his brother was coming to meet him, his brother and 400 people. Jacob’s fear causes you to believe the worst and to feel threatened by the slightest thing and when your fears are setting your course, you end up living as though the worst imaginable things have already happened even though they haven’t. When you’re afraid of being rejected even when you’re not. That’s how hear works and it makes you imagine that what you’re fearing is coming upon you, like it says in Job 3:25. “The things which I greatly feared is come upon me!” Even when things are going great for you and your family, fear can be like a piece of bad meat in your soup of blessing! You’ll be waiting for the other shoe to drop, so every joy and blessing has a bit of sorrow in it and that’s what fear does. Fear also affects your spiritual life. God had told Jacob to return home, but Jacob was afraid to do it and fear does that, it makes you doubt God. God had promised to treat Jacob well and had been faithful to Jacob in the past, but Jacob was still scared. He’d forgotten who he was dealing with and fear gets you thinking you’re only dealing with man, when in fact, you’re dealing with God. Fear gets you to where you don’t even make sense. In Genesis 32:11-12 where Jacob was praying. Verse 11 he tells God how afraid he is of his brother Esau and that Esau might kill him and his family.
In verse 12, he reminds God that God said He would surely treat Jacob well and would multiply his descendants. Fear gets you to where you KNOW what God says, you just can’t believe it could apply to you and you can’t walk in both fear and faith. Fear causes you to mishandle your money and in Genesis 32:13-23, Jacob decides to send a huge gift to Esau and he didn’t give the gift because of his great relationship with Esau, he gave it out of fear. Fear will make you suffer financially and cause you to not take advantage of solid opportunities, but at the same time, to blow your money on things that you’ll be sorry for later. Sadder than that, fear keeps you holding back money, time and talents that could’ve been offered to Jesus – to build up the work of God. You’ll forget that your service is for the Lord and think it’s only for the people around you. One guy said he would give to our church, “seeing it was for me.” I told him that his gift wasn’t for me, it was for the Lord. All you do, all you give isn’t for me, its for the Lord. He looked at me a little funny and asked for his check back – and wrote a more realistic one. Not for man, but for God.
Lastly, fear divides you family. Genesis 33:1-3, Jacob sees Esau coming with his 400 men and panics. He puts his family through unnecessary fear, upheaval and stress which, naturally, caused him to “play favorites” – something they would never forget. Your family needs to see you operate in faith rather than fear and when you’re being directed by your fears, you become unsteady, inconsistent and you come off as being weak and lacking conviction. Being led by faith will make you steady, stable, consistent and strong. Guess what, happened when Jacob and Esau met? A battle raged? Jacob’s wife and kids were murdered? NO! Not one bad thing Jacob feared had happened, but because of his fears, he had lived in distress, weakened his faith, mishandled his finances and divided his family. When Esau met with Jacob, he embraced Jacob and they wept together. Esau had forgiven Jacob years ago and Jacob’s fears tormented him for nothing. Our God is bigger than any of your fears. 1 John 4:18, “Perfect love casts our fear, because fear has torment.” Bring your fears to God and let Him replace it with faith, the kind of faith that will save you for eternity and also save you in THIS life.
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