What Does Fear Lead You To Do?
Senseless tragedies strike grief within many who turn on the daily news. Evil is evident throughout our world. Overwhelmed with this reality, many find it easier to hide rather than take a stand. Yet, through ashes of brokenness, heroes are needed- those willing to step forth in horrific conditions, taking on risks for the sake of others to reveal truth that will set the captives free.
Sometimes, however, fear rattles the heart, restricting our ability to make a difference. Rather than standing for the truth, we find ourselves compromising Jesus’ standard for a mirage of peace, sinking deeper into a pit of unforeseen consequences while wading in a sea of fear.
What if fear could be used to motivate rather than restrict. What if fear was the condition of the heart that actually pushed us towards action?
While fear has the ability to cripple, it also has the ability to motivate. In the Bible, Noah was motivated by fear (Hebrews 11:7). When he realized the destruction that was to come, Noah took action.
This distressing emotion that is aroused by a perceived threat is a basic survival mechanism. If used correctly, fear can be an extremely powerful and positive emotion. In the movie, Karate Kid III, Daniel LaRusso faced an intimidating opponent in Mike Barnes. With terror gripping the heart, Daniel was on the verge of giving up. Towards the end of the match, Mr. Myagi approached Daniel telling him: “it is okay to lose to opponent, never lose to fear.”
Let’s be honest, we all fear something. Being overwhelmed with angst we often find ourselves at a crossroads… run and hide, or take action? What is your tendency?
In the Bible, Noah, when warned, moved towards action. Today, many Christians have taken the run and hide approach. Trying to coast through the rocky waters of our current culture, we find ourselves simply trying to get by. Fear has consumed our hearts and moved us towards silence. Quietly we pray for peace.
The crazy thing is, peace can never be achieved without truth. Jesus rocked the boat and caused many waves because he stood for a definite standard, which led to conflict. However, Jesus’ message was pretty clear- follow Him and the truth will set you free.
Yet, oftentimes, fear holds us back from standing for truth. Fear is an extremely powerful emotion that will either bind or motivate us to do something. The Bible says that Noah exhibited “holy fear”. Holy means to be set apart. Holy fear is a complete respect and realization that Jesus is God. It is recognizing that He is the ultimate authority and in control of all things. Just take a moment to read the Gospels and see His control: over life as He forgave, healed, and raised people from the dead, and over nature as He stopped the storm.
Holy fear is recognizing what God declared is true. His Word is real. It led Noah to do something. Despite being the odd man out in the world, despite the ridicule received, Noah built an ark.
Let’s be honest, this was not an easy task. Building the ark was such an enormous job, taking nearly a century to complete. Just imagine committing to a project that will take the majority of your life to complete and the entire project is based on a simple belief in what God said. No immediate results and not much of a supporting cast.
Uncertainty of what will happen develops a fear that restricts. Our trust in Jesus must be at the core of who we are in order to move forward in His mission. The task may be long and difficult. Results may not be revealed in our desired timeline. Scrutiny will come from others, but the reward is unbelievable!
Noah trusted God above everything else. He built the ark. He made a difference.
What about you? Do you revere God in such a way that trusts Him above what this world may throw at you? I guess the better question is- who or what do you actually fear? All fear leads to some sort of action. Fear of the world leads towards an action of staying silent. On the other hand, "holy fear" towards the reality of God leads to an action of His mission- making the name of Jesus known.
What will your fear lead you to do?