I've recently discovered that my 5 year old has a debilitating fear of falling. It stops him from doing the things he wants to do. He wants to be up on my shoulders, but when he's there, he becomes paralyzed with fear, to the degree where his little hands begin choking me. He wants to ride a bike without training wheels (we'll go ride to get ice cream if he can), but when he's up on the bike, he's so afraid of that less than 2 foot fall that he will begin to cry hysterically, and seize up the moment he thinks I will let go. Quite simply, his fear prevents him from doing anything he wants to do.
Throughout scripture we're told to fear God only. Jesus Himself said "fear not" more than a few times. I've even found a website that lists 365 verses about leaving fear and anxiety in God's hands. Why is this so important? Because too many of us don't live the full and abundant life promised to us by Jesus because we, like my 5 year old, are paralyzed by our fears. We're comfortable where we're at, we're afraid that somewhere new will only be a let down, or, worse, that we'll fail, we're afraid of so many unknown variables that we don't even take that first step of faith. We let fear, not God, rule over us. Yes, the Bible says to fear God, but that means to be in such awe and wonder of God that we do not even desire to step to the right or left from His path! Fear is a liar who holds us back from the promises of God. Fear keeps us bound to our pain and not to the promises of God. Fear keeps us, no matter what our current situation, from having peace in God. Knowing God is bigger than your fears, what's stopping you from that promised peace and joy? Philippians 4:1-20 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.