Hi, everybody. Welcome back to session two of this series on awe. Last week, I focused on the fact that we all deal with fear. As far as life influencing fears, we looked at the five, which the Bible highlights. Number one, the fear of physical threat to ourselves or to those we love number two, the fear of scarcity or loss three, the fear of being inadequate for the fear of contempt from people or five, the fear of conflict with people.
Today. I want to look at what the Bible says about these life influencing fierce. And I want to look at the four CS of fear, the first word that describes fear. And that is true of fear is that fear is controlling. I had a flight layover a few years ago in Atlanta, Georgia. And while I was there in the terminal when got some food and restaurant and they had the TV on, and while I was sitting there where they were replaying a broadcast of a weatherman, and this poor guy was doing his, his broadcast and his weather report.
And while he was doing the report, A spider apparently had dropped from the ceiling right next to him. And this poor guy completely lost it. He, he saw the spider and I guess a spider sorta hanging in there and, and he jumps back and he can’t right. Recover. So he turns to his compatriots there. The other important, he says, did you see that a spider.
And then he actually started shaking his head back and forth and went now beside that being my all time, favorite weather report and probably that for tens of thousands, we recognize this poor guy was completely flummoxed with fear. Fear controls us. It can put a, it can cause us to do embarrassing things.
It can cause us to do things we don’t want to do or to not do things that we do want to do fear. First of all, limits in its control, your capacity to do the right things. King Saul in the Bible had received specific command from God and it’s recorded in first Samuel chapter 15 and what they had won a battle.
And God said, look, I don’t, I don’t want you to take any of the booty. I want you to get rid of it and burn it all. And instead of that, the people surged in and Paul said, you know, we’re not supposed to do that. And, and, and, and they said why? And the question saw, and so he, uh, whatever. So they took it and he disobeyed, he, he lists sent to the voice of the people over the voice of God.
And he was confronted by Samuel the prophet in verse 24. It records, uh, Saul’s response to Samuel. When Samuel said, why did you do that? Why did, why did you disregard what God said? And he says this, I feared the people and I obeyed their voice. Fear, made the voice of the people. Louder than the voice of God.
This is really easy to have happened in our lives. During the Watergate hearings, Senator Howard Baker was interviewing a man who had been a part of, uh, Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. And. As he was talking to him, it was apparent that this guy, Howard Porter knew some of the illegal things that were going on by the campaign.
And so Howard Baker sort of probed. And he said to him, did you not at some time feel, and I’m, I’m getting into your mental processing here, did you not at some time feel, this is not appropriate. This is wrong to which Howard Porter responded. Yes, sir. So Baker followed up at that point. Why did you not say something to which Porter answered?
Probably because of the fear of group pressure that would ensue not being a team player. People are big to us. Their voices are loud, their contempt can be paralyzing. Fear can limit our capacity to do we know is right. Fear limits your capacity to love. Second Timothy, one seven. God says this, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and self control.
The implication is that if you are experiencing fear, there’s some real holes to it. You did not have power and love and self control. When living in fear, you feel powerless. You feel you, you can easily feel that life is just sort of out of control and you become self-absorbed sometimes hiding sometimes withdrawing, sometimes distracted.
And you lose the capacity to love because fear and love do not operate on parallel tracks. John says it this way in first, John four 18. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. The old Testament that was guy named Isaac, and he was, uh, a fairly good godly man over read what fear did to him.
Isaac settled in the city. The town of when the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, she’s my sister for he fear to say my wife thinking the men of this place might kill me because of Rebecca, because she was attractive in appearance of God, miraculously protected Rebecca, but Isaac’s fear his sense that, wow, I got, I got a hot wife.
This could get me in a lot of trouble. If these guys decide they want to take her and, and, and what will they do to me? So he risked his wife’s safety in order to look out from his own skin. Fear is powerful. Fear causes us to become self absorbed. It’s a striking statement made by Gandy. Gandhi said it this way.
The enemy is fear. We think it is hate. But it is fear. Fear, causes honest people to act without integrity, fear causes Christian people to disregard God’s voice. It causes nice guys to do self centered things, regular people to be filled with rage. When changes are proposed fear controls and things can get ugly.
When fear controls us. The second C is fear is crushing fear, plays havoc with other emotions, Joshua chapter eight, verse two, the Lord says do not fear and do not be discouraged. That phrase actually is very common in the scriptures, fear and discouragement, or sometimes translated fear and dismay are often associated together.
The word discouraged used here in the original. Literally means to be shattered or, or crushed to pieces. Fear can crush you Nehemiah. I mentioned them last session, Lee Nehemiah, and his work of rebuilding the walls experienced this firsthand, the surrounding rulers were presenting their false narratives to try to spook the people and, and, and he describes it this way.
They were all trying to frighten us thinking. Their hands will get too weak for the work. Nehemiah six verse nine are these governors around the, the, the Jerusalem project were evil men, for sure. But they were not dumb ones. They knew that fear can suck the life out of you. So they used an intimidation campaign.
They sought to crush the spirit and therefore the energy of the people. Robert Green is an author with six international bestsellers to his credit. He addresses business people primarily in his writings on power. He comments about fear. Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action.
The less you fear, the more power you will have, and the more fully you will live. Sounds exactly what we’re reading in second Timothy. You can have fear or you can have power and love and self control, but they do not operate together. Psalm 34 is one of the fullest discourses on fear in the, in the Psalms and in it.
David talks about how the fear, the all of God can displace our fears. One of the promises in Psalm 34 is this, the Lord delivers those who are crushed. In spirit.
Fear is controlling. Fear is crushing. Thirdly fear is contagious. Eddie bag. It was one of my best friends growing up in high school. And I had gotten my license for a little while and was driving. And I actually enjoyed back that back in those days where a lot of the circles we used to have, and I enjoyed weathering those things and, and running the gauntlet, trying to do it without ever stepping on the brake and, uh, I always look forward to until one day I took my trip with Eddie and I in the backseat and mrs.
Baggett, a Southern woman, um, who was at the helm at the wheel. And we were driving. We were heading down roads, route 70 towards what was the Ellis Burke circle at the time. And as we were getting towards the circle, I wasn’t thinking anything of it, but I began to notice that things were changing in the car.
Um, things, everybody stopped talking. There was no conversation. I noticed that the radio had been ominously. It turned off and I glanced over at mrs. Baggett. And I noticed that her arms were now out at 90 degree angles and her, her hands and knuckles were white as she, she held on for dear life, the steering wheel.
And I realized there was something different going on in the traffic circle than I had ever experienced before. But it was all brought home as we were about to enter the circle. And in the silent, the silence was broken by mrs. Baggett with her, her Southern accent. And she said, pray bars.
At that moment, the Ellis Berg circle was transformed into a death trap. Full of maniacal enemies, determined to smash in our doors and obliterate our lives. Mrs. Bag it’s fear. Not only obsessed her, it flooded over me. I’ve never been more frightened in a traffic circle than when mrs. Baggett was at the helm.
Fear is contagious. Deuteronomy chapter 20 is giving battle strategy to Israel before they take the land. And God says this to them in verse eight and the officers, when they, the way they were to do battle and the officers shall speak further to the people and say, is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted, let him go back to his house.
Why. Less T make the heart of his fellows melt like his own Jimmy Stewart famous actor of days gone by said it this way. Fear is an insidious thing. It can warp judgment, freeze, reflexes, breed, mistakes, worse. It’s contagious. Any leader knows how fear can influence a group or organization. It’s a disease that is hard to can control, and it can create a culture of suspicion, still a D and blame British philosopher.
Bertrand Russell said it this way. Collective fear, stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce porosity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Fear is contagious. Lastly, fear as a con artist, fear as an exaggerator on your car side mirror. If you look closely, there’s still usually print, which says objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
What it’s saying is that truck looks small. But it’s big and it’s close. The mirror is saying is warning you that the mirror makes things seem smaller than they are. Fear does the opposite. It makes things bigger than they are. Every message you hear from fear is an exaggeration of the danger. When the people of Israel, after two years of watching God do one miraculous thing after another, got to the promised land to go in and take the land.
Each tribe of the 12 sent a representative spy and they went and, and, and 10 of them came in back and they were just overwhelmed. You know, they saw all the beauty that was there. They said, Oh man, we can only go to a one thing. They have big forts. And, and, and, and, and these guys are scary. And I w w w we’re tossed man.
And Caleb stepped up and sold, recorded numbers, 13 and Caleb said, but Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, let us go up at once and occupy it for, we are well able to overcome it, but the 10 spies got louder and they said the land through which we have gone to spy it out as a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.
And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come from the ethylene. They were known as being oversized people. And we seem to ourselves like grasshoppers. And so we seem to them okay. And they came out with it and they convinced people except for Joshua and Caleb, the two spies that, that gave a God-centered report.
They said, we’re just grass up. And you want to say, who cares what you are? I mean, God is the one that’s going to win. And remember guys, the last 24 months of your lives, God has opened the red sea. And he’s, he’s, he’s done only some amazing things for you, but fear was a con artist. It presented a picture that wasn’t true.
It wasn’t in any way, the whole story. Dan Allander and his wonderful book, the cry of the soul, how our emotions reveal our deepest questions about God says this about fear, fear, distorts our perception of ourselves so that we seem weaker than we realize they are. It distinct the size of our problems so that they seem huge, huge, and undefeatable, but perhaps most significantly fear distorts our picture.
Of God, God seems weak un-involved or uncaring in the midst of our troubles friends, we need a big God. Of course we’re scared our gods too small. We need to be awed by him. We need to know him in his greatness and his bigness, because fear is controlling. It’s crushing. It’s contagious. The con artist.
We need to be off.