Tuesday, April 18, 2017

To Stretch Your Faith, Tame Your Fear!

If you’re going to make a fresh start with faith in your life, you must face your fears. Fear has an incredible ability to paralyze our potential, to keep us from launching out, to keep us from having faith in our lives.

 Giving into our fear makes us skeptical. We become afraid of trying anything new when we’re afraid.

 Remember the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10 in the Bible? He faced a fear that most of us face: the fear of rejection and disapproval.

 He was blind and in need of healing. Jesus was walking by, but Bartimaeus knew that to shout out at Jesus in that crowd wasn’t the culturally acceptable thing to do. He knew that people would look down on him for it, but he was desperate.

And he knew that Jesus Christ was the only one that could help him.

 Bartimaeus shouted. And sure enough, people in the crowd criticized him for it. When he shouted out to Jesus, the Bible says in Mark 10:48, “Many scolded him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (NET).

 When he shouted out, everyone around said things to him like, Don’t do that. Be quiet. Quiet down. Don’t make a scene. Surely Jesus Christ isn’t interested in you. He’s got more important things to do.

 The Devil whispers things like that to a lot of us. And those kinds of thoughts often keep us from having faith. When you see before you the opportunity to change, to be healed, to take another step forward in your spiritual journey, all kinds of shouts from inside and outside of you tell you not to rock the boat.

 But here’s an important question: Whose disapproval do you fear the most? Whoever that is, that person is your god. That person can keep you from having faith or invite you to have faith. Peer pressure isn’t just for kids.

 It’s possible that as you read this, God is asking you to do something greater than you’ve ever done before. He’s asking you to depend on him in a way you never have before. Of course it’s a little scary.

 Here’s my encouragement: Tame your fear and move out in faith!

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