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Fear or Faith?

A few years ago, when visiting my son in Canada, he decided it would be a good time to show me one of the tower cranes he worked on, and get me to climb it with him. This one was ‘only’ 135ft high as against the 900+ft ones he usually works on. We got to the site, only to find that what started as an interesting challenge had become something much harder.

The site crew had created a 6ft high section, 100ft from the crane, and it was filled with rebar (metal mesh) ready for the concrete to be poured into it. I had to climb up a ladder just to get to the top of it, and was then faced with walking across the metal mesh to reach the crane. My son’s words of encouragement were simple, “Place your feet in the centre point of each section, as I do, and you’ll be fine”. He then marched ahead leaving me to choose whether to follow, or to let fear force me to go back down. I chose to walk on, and got there and back (and up the crane) safely.

Following Jesus will take us into places where we have to decide whether we’ll follow Him or not, whether we’ll trust Him or not, whether we’ll believe Him or not. The verse we started with is actually the end part of a parable Jesus told about the master of a large estate, who gave each of his servants a sum of money to invest for him. The first two servants did very well and were commended. But this last servant was consumed with fear and hid it away and could therefore present the master with no return. The lesson here is simple. Fear holds us back and makes us unproductive.

Fear will, if we let it, get in the way of so much joy in our lives, from serving God, witnessing for Him, singing for Him, and giving to Him. Fear will also get in the way of our secular work and our relationship with our husband or wife. It can be there when we go to sleep at night, and there when we wake up in the morning. It stifles, it kills and it drains away hope and joy – if we let it.

At the heart of fear is the belief that God won’t do what He says He’ll do. It’s a fear that God can’t, or won’t, come through for us when we need Him, a fear that He can’t be trusted. That day in Canada, I had to trust that my son knew what he was talking about, that he was prepared to lead the way, and that, if he believed I could do it, then I could. I had to choose whether to follow him, or fail. Each day we have the same choice to make, perhaps many times, whether it’s singing in the choir, playing in the worship team, witnessing, giving, or trusting.

Jesus gives us a simple but powerful truth to hold on to when fear comes knocking. He says, in Matthew 6:25, ‘Take no thought for your life.’ Don’t allow fearful thoughts to gain a foothold. Jesus will always be there, whether we feel His presence or not. He’s utterly dependable. As Derek Prince said, when asked what he’d learnt about God during his long and fruitful life serving the Lord, ‘God is faithful’.

Today may be just the right time to ask God to help you release your fears to Him, to start trusting that what He says He’ll do, and that, if He says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, then that’s what we can do (Philippians 4:13). We can then follow Him wherever He leads.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I bring to You my many fears and confess that I’m tired of the way they drain the joy from my life. I choose to name them before You and to forgive those who’ve contributed to them having such a hold in my life. Please release me from these fears, as I choose, from now on, to fix my eyes and my heart on You, Jesus, and to place my trust in You alone. Amen.
 

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Scripture

"And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours."
Matthew 25:25, NIV

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Today's Writer

Philip Asselin is on the associate ministry and teaching teams with Glyndley Manor. He, and his wife Gillian, attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have 2 grown up children and one grandson, plus a step-granddaughter (both in California).

Philip Asselin


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