July 23 – Fear

fear trw

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. (Psalm 18:30-33)

Read: 2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19, Romans 8:9-25, Psalm 18:16-36, Proverbs 19:26

Relate: Last summer it seems like I had barely landed after returning from two weeks in America when the coup struck. This summer I once again have spent some time in America but it was by necessity rather than choice as I needed to get my visa issues worked out. I will actually be heading back this year and so I felt that instead of writing a new post for today I will simply repost what I wrote one year ago. Although I am in Gaziantep rather than Istanbul now, the sentiment and reality behind my writing have not changed.

It wasn’t the gunfire, or the shouting, or the twit-a-twit of helicopters flying overhead that woke me. It was the buzzing of my phone on the coffee table. I had drifted off to sleep while reading on my couch and that buzzing drifted me back into a state of semi consciousness. I ignored it. Then it buzzed again. I ignored it again. Normally, I am quite good at ignoring that thing but when it went off a third time in roughly a minute I figured somebody really needed me and rolled myself into reach of the stupid thing. I had a bunch of texts from more than a half dozen people. asking me if I was OK. One of them asked if I had been caught on the European side and needed a place to stay for the night. Suddenly I was sitting straight up wide awake. Suddenly the noises coming in through my windows and the open door to my patio started registering. I quickly typed out a facebook message that I was safe and then pulled up the internet to find out what was going on.

That is how I came to realize, this past Friday that there was a coup happening in my back yard in Istanbul. A little more than two weeks before that I was in Ataturk Airport for a very brief flight home. To fly home I had to pass right by where two of the three bombs had done their damage less than 48 hours earlier. (Actually, I was returning to Istanbul from Izmir earlier on the day of that attack but I did so by bus not plane.) Neither of these circumstances had me scared. The only time I was truly scared this past month was when I was flagged and questioned for about 4 hours by US customs at JFK. Even then, I wasn’t scared for my safety, I was scared that something was going to happen where they were not going to let me return to Turkey.

React: Someone told me recently that I was weird. They meant it in a good way, sort of. They were trying to say that I just don’t register fear the way normal people do. Of course I don’t. I’m a Christian. When God’s spirit took up habitation in my life fear was evicted. Does that mean I don’t get afraid? No. I do. The things that scare me are just different. I fear that I won’t live up to the calling God has on my. I fear that my own sin and stupidity will get in the way of the huge task God has. I am meeting people all the time in situations where I might be the only presentation of the gospel they will ever have. I fear that my flesh will step in and make that presentation inadequate. As long as I am in His hands, I know that I am secure. As long as I am walking in His Spirit my steps are sure. I fear that, all too often I am walking my own way instead. That is something worth fearing. Death? That’s just an express ride to the top floor.

Respond: 

Dear God,
For those times I have stepped out of Your will because of fear, forgive me. For those times I have not spoken fully or represented You adequately because I was far too concerned with what others thought of me, forgive me. Thank You for confirming to me time and time again that I am right in the center of Your will. Help me to always put Your will and Your Spirit’s leading far ahead of fleshly concerns like safety. As long as I am in Your will, I know I am protected. I am not alone. I pray that You would use my life, and one day my death, to bring You glory.
Amen

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37 thoughts on “July 23 – Fear

  1. Thank you for your inspiring words ….yes as a Christian, I too feel called to speak the truth without fear. That is a special need….and courage in these times….fear not the one who kills the body , but the One who after death can throw into hell fire.

  2. Thank you for not being afraid to post and to speak life and truth and the things that God wants known. I was speaking about you and praying for you as soon as I heard about what was going on.

  3. I am so grateful for those words of encouragement! I must however differ with you, if you don’t mind. The Spirit coming to live in our lives does not automatically dispel the fear from our lives. We must choose to believe His word and simultaneously feed our faith. That is just my experience.For others it be different. Thanks once again.

  4. I was reading your other posts during the event. Glad things are okay for you there. I think your fear for living the Christian faith is the healthy fear of the Lord. Most people I know I have this. I think that’s a testimony to the truth of God. No matter where we are on the globe, followers of Christ want to live a life of worship and testimony to the world. Put in the context of what you experienced in your home, it’s a really amazing truth to see.

  5. “Death? That’s just an express ride to the top floor.” Love it! When I had bypass surgery years ago, my wife and I prayed and realized I would wake up to see either her face of God’s. No bad outcome was possible!

    I am glad you are well and praise God for your faith!

  6. Thank you for sharing! I was not able to respond to your earlier post for prayer, but I lifted you and Turkey in prayer that night. When we meditate on God and in His Word, fear leaves, what others think of us are mere words and death is welcomed. Odd yes, but heaven is our home!

  7. I know that you’re speaking the truth. Christians shouldn’t be afraid of death—even a violent death—because God is always with us in moments of distress. But unfortunately, I suppose I’m still far more human than I am Christian. I long for the day when I realize that Christ is the image I see when I look in the mirror. I long to have His gentleness and fortitude in circumstances where everything in my body is screaming for the opposite response. But I’m not there yet. I see the madness our governments are allowing—savage acts of terrorism being committed every day—and I don’t want to love the perpetrators of these acts. I want them gone from my sight and rendered incapable of taking even one more life from this world. And I want to stop wondering when mine will be next. I don’t want to be afraid, but I know I can’t stop it. I need Him to stop it for me. The only thing that comforts me in all of this is the thought that He’ll give me what I need in the very moment when I need it. No sooner. No later.

    • I can completely understand this. As I was reading your comment I just felt a nudge that God wants you to begin to seriously pray for them. Have you ever wondered how broken someone has to be to get in a truck like at Nice and begin running people over? How desperate and hurting must someone be to strap a bomb to their chests to blow themselves and their world up? How sad and alone must they be to do something like this? These are people that Christ died for, and for whom this world has failed them. They are so hopeless and angry that they want out from this world and they want to lash out one last time hurting others just as they had been hurt. Christ loves them, desperately loves them, and when we ask and He gives us that love, our fear of them will melt away.

      • I hope it will melt away. I don’t know how much more of it I can bear. Sometimes, it actually makes me want to end my own life just so I can be spared the possibility of death at the hands of another human being. Yet, I know that compared to many, if not most, of the people in this world, I’ve been blessed with a life of abundant safety, comfort, and freedom. Maybe I should just be grateful for the life I’ve known instead of asking for it to continue. Why should I have such protection for one more second when so many have never known it at all? Protection has been lavished upon me ever since I was born, and it’s made me weak. Why should I be spared from suffering when God Himself was not? Please, pray for me, too—and pray that God will send me an unlikely friend to whom I can be of help.

  8. Been praying for peace and if its not going to be possible, then peace in the individual hearts who are willing to recieve it … very sorry that everybody is going through so much there and it makes my troubles seem very small. Mostly, I get afriad that Im too spoiled 😐that I take Jesus for granted too much and I dont like that thought. I know we dont earn Heaven but for the last few months I almost feel urgent to do what ever I can for people just for Jesus and no other reason. I guess there are worse fears to have … that Im not grateful enough. 🌻

  9. The eternal perspective changes everything. Blessings to you and your work. Freaking awesome. Praying for your peace, strength, wisdom, discernment and knowledge of His will with the strength to carry it out. Blessings to you and your work. Peace to you, those around you and the country you love.

  10. This post was beautiful. I’m a Christian too and I love how you addressed that since we have Christ we are called to react differently than the world because we have hope, and that since we are human we are not immune to fear 🙂 And concerning the coup, I’m very glad you are safe! There have been so many prayers lifted up for everyone other there from the United States and surely many other places, as well. Wishing you all the best, and I cannot wait to see more posts from you in the future!

  11. wow this post got me and got me to the point I intend practising a bit of some of your steps! Its good you know yours is a ‘good’ weird…I have come to accept my too as same as even your fears are very similar to my kind. I feel good reading it in words because I havent found best ways to put it in words. WOW…dunno what to say again but This is Beautiful, believe me!

  12. As a Christian we live in a world that does not fit our beliefs but God calls us to fearlessly shine a light that will illuminate and not darken the world. Your blog post is spot on!

  13. Beautiful piece of writing. My personal opinion defers immensely from yours, but that does not truly matter. Different people are supposed to have different opinions, yours are religious and mine are atheistic. Nice style of writing though. Have a nice day 🙂

  14. Thank you for your candor. I am strengthened by word of God that you shared and by your life as a living epistle of that Word. Once more you remind us of God’s encouraging words: “Do not fear.” The song was a perfect complement to your message, as was the powerful prayer. Thanks so much for this post.

    Thanks also for the likes posted on my blog.

  15. I once heard that you are more safe in an ‘unsafe’ situation INSIDE the will of God than in a ‘safe’ situation OUTSIDE the will of God. Praying for you, praise God for your trust in Him and your braverism!

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