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Scared to death: Walking in Circles

Let me tell you a story about a man

Who showed as much as promise as anyone can

But he lived a life ruled by fear and dread

So much so that all his dreams were as good as dead

What hope is there for such a fearful soul

Knowing certainly that this type of life is not the goal

Strong and courageous is what he should have been

But fear stole his tomorrow again and again

So what can we learn from this fearful man’s strife

But that fear can rule you and steal you life

The name of this man, what can it be?

But the name of all of us, both you and me.


Many of us have allowed our fear to make us scared to death

  • Death of a dream
  • Death of a calling
  • Death of a relationship
  • Death of forgiveness


Defining Fear:

Fear - assuming the threat is greater than the potential


Fear can be based in many things:

  • Fear of not being enough - self worth
  • Fear of the past
  • Fear of the “what if” - future
  • Fear of not being in control
  • Fear of God not coming through


Fear causes us to walk in circles

  • You become frantic but do not making any ground
  • Can last for years/decades scared of the same thing


We don’t want to live that way - Here is how we should want to live


Joshua 1:9

9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


God is for you and with you

  • fear has no power but what we give it


Fear has a cycle

  • The cycle is circular
  • Recognizing this cycle can help you break its power


The cycle of Fear:

1. Threat

2. Misconception

3. Retreat


Story of the people of Israel Summary: (Approx 2 years from leaving Egypt to start of the story)

  • Been enslaved in Egypt for 400 years
  • Approx 2 years since Egypt. Sense then…
  • Miraculously delivered (Plagues and red sea)
  • Miraculously Feed and water from rock
  • Given ten commandments
  • Now was the time to walk into the place of promise
  • It was theirs for the taking


Numbers 13:26

26 The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. 


Fear Cycle Step #1:

Threat


28 However… the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified.


Fear and courage are begin at the same place. 


A threat displays what is actually in your heart


How you respond to threats displays the strength of you faith - Fear is a faithless response to a threat


Fear - assuming the threat is greater than the potential


Fear Cycle Step #2:

Misconception


Numbers 13:30-33

30 Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “Let’s go up now and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!”

31 But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t attack the people because they are stronger than we are!” 


32 So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. 33 We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”


This is why fear is so devastation to our lives…

  • Fear limits our view of ourselves and our view of God


Fear will make us irrational and self focused.

  • It removes our ability to see what God has done before


The “spies” began assuming what the other people thought

  • But they were really saying what they felt in their hearts


Fear - assuming the threat is greater than the potential


Fear Cycle Step #3:

Retreat


Numbers 14:2-4

 2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”


Fear sends you back to comfort, even if that comfort is found in bondage

  • Fear convinces you that it is better to be miserable and trapped in a familiar place than scared in a new place.


Some of you have been trapped for years. Miserable for years, but your fear has convinced you that it is best to stay there.


That is not God’s best for you

  • God is for you and with you


This is what they were saying… Its would be better to stay slaves than to trust God


If you don’t break the pattern of fear, it will make you a slave to its process.

  • It will control your reactions, emotions, decisions, you future


This decision to follow their fear instead of having faith caused them to wander the desert for 40 years


Fear will cause you to walk in circles

  • always tired but never going anywhere


Pro tips:

1.Make a "fear list"

  • Write down your fears
  • Look for scriptures that speak to those fears
  • Pray specifically for faith and courage to overcome those fears
  • Share those fears with someone to join with you in prayer


2.Do it afraid

  • Having courage and faith is not the absence of fear, but moving in spite of it


Joshua 1:9

9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


God is for you and with you