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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

May 9, 2014 - Driven by Fear?

By Jerry D. Scott

Faced with a choice to take a risk, I find myself making defensive decisions. Instead of pursuing a possibility, my course is often to avoid a potential loss. As a pastor, my impulse is to pull back on a ministry program, to place limits on what we are doing instead of working to expand the supply of resources!

I call it "being a realist." The truth is, it is more about a kind of fear, about wanting to be safe and in control. I can make a lot of excuses for thinking this way. All of my ministry I've worked in church settings where dreams are bigger than available resources. I can blame my caution on the fact I see the "big picture" and must anticipate responses to situations that might develop. Excuses are hollow, however, because I'm really demonstrating a lack of faith — in God and in what He can do through me and through other people.

We can be driven by fear or drawn by faith. Which will we choose? Fear enslaves, faith liberates. Put another way, fear seeks control while faith provides freedom.

When I am challenged to "have more faith," I try to point out the downside that might derail the program. When I realize my lack of faith, I borrow the prayer of the father who brought his son to Jesus. The boy was tormented by a terrible condition that seemed hopeless. The father asked the Lord to heal his son if He could. Jesus challenged the man.

"'"If you can"?' said Jesus. 'Everything is possible for him who believes.'

"Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'" (Mark 9:23,24, NIV).

Matthew tells of an occasion when the disciples, men who walked and talked with Jesus everyday, looked at their situation and became afraid.

"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We're going to drown!'

"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

"The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'" (Matthew 8:23-27).

Jesus' words imply an option was available to them that they were failing to use. They saw only the possibility of drowning and death. He saw the possibility of a miracle. When they looked away from the waves and into the face of the Lord, they found security.

Faith is not to be confused with stupidity, nor does it lead us to presumption. When the devil urged Jesus to force God to rescue Him by jumping off of the high wall of the temple, Jesus refused. He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, where Moses told the Israelites, "Don't push God, your God, to the wall" (The Message).

Faith does not cause us to try to lead God! Faith makes us fearless followers of God's leading. When we know what God says, what God desires of us, faith is the only appropriate response, the one that pleases Him. When we don't know what God desires or where He is leading, we must not rush ahead. Faith, in those situations, waits on God, resting in His eternal purposes.

Faith is focused on a Person, not a program or a performance. Looking to Jesus, we are drawn to greater heights by faith.

Are you afraid? Is that sense of fear or dread causing you to resist the will of God, to make your own way? I can understand for I'm tempted that way too. Choose faith, real and deep faith. Rest on God's promise.

Here's a word from the Word to inspire you. Meditate on the choice of the father of the faithful.

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:8-10, NKJV).

"Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief."

Amen.

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Faith Discovery Church (Assemblies of God) in Washington, N.J.

 

 

 

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