John T. Willis

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fear: This is a Heart Issue [Part 3]

Fear is a great motivator. God frequently summons us to trust in God and not to fear. As we continue, here are some more fears. I. The Fear of Abandonment. a. When a spouse leaves the husband or wife, this is a terrible feeling. Hovering in the back of the mind, many people are afraid that "my spouse" will abandon me and go to someone else. Marriage is the most dearest relationship on earth among human beings. True commitment lies at the heart of this relationship. When a person becomes unfaithful, this is a very harsh behavior, actually as bad or worse than death. The Bible portrays Israel as being unfaithful to Yahweh. Yahweh yearned for his wife, but she rejected him. This type of abandonment is a great fear. Hosea 2:2-13 is a defining text about this issue. b. When an individual or a body of people feel that God has abandoned that person or community, great fear comes upon the individual[s]. Jesus himself cried out: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46. This feeling is one of the most powerful threats in life. II. The Fear of Inferiority. a. We all feel that we are inferior to others. When we interact with others, we are faced with the fear of being inferior. Saul felt this way when Samuel told him he would be the first king of Israel: "I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?" (1 Samuel 9:21). b. Actually, we are ALL inferior about some things and some people FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE. One person can excel in football and be a failure at biology to become a doctor. God does not want any of us to compare ourselves with others, but to be thankful for God's gifts and use them to his glory. Paul emphasized this point: "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, they do not show good sense." 2 Corinthians 10:12. III. The Fear of the Future. a. No one knows what will happen in the future. But we often FEAR what might happen in the future that will change our lives in a bad way. b. This has always been the case. We must trust in God. What God has done God can do. God will sustain us in all circumstances from the past, in the present, and on into the future. There are many other fears which we might discuss. But we will stop in this series of blogs. [As an aside, I received a reply stating that there is no evidence that Abraham did not go all the way to Canaan, but stayed until his father Terah died. Here is the evidence. 1. Genesis 11:31 says: "Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Saris, his son Abram's wife, and they went out together FROM UR of the Chaldeans TO GO INTO THE LAND OF CANAAN, BUT when they came to HARAN, THEY SETTLED THERE." The next verse says that Terah died. Then in Genesis 12:1 God told Abram to "GO FROM YOUR COUNTRY" to go to the land of Canaan. "YOUR COUNTRY" in this context is Haran, located on the Euphrates River far north of UR, where God originally called Abram to go to the Land of Canaan. 2. In Stephen's speech in Acts 7:2-4 says: "Brothers and fathers, listento me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in MESOPOTAMIA BEFORE he lived in HARAN, and said to him, 'Leave your country and your relatives and go to THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU [Canaan].' Then he left the country of the Chaldeans and SETTLED IN HARAN. AFTER HIS FATHER [Terah] DIED, GOD HAD HIM MOVE FROM THERE TO THIS COUNTRY in which you are now living." Here is the evidence. I hope this is helpful]. Share YOUR thoughts and insights and reversals and relationships with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis