But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition… Hebrews 10: 39a
The human brain is designed to detect fear and danger and responds without our conscious participation. For instance, you hear a loud noise nearby and before you can even blink , this sensory information has passed to your brain (the amygdala to be exact) for processing and response. If it feels it’s threatening then it will jump-start your “fight or flight” response. You will either decide to run or to remain where you are.
I have been in situations where I have felt like fleeing and taking refuge within the confines of my mind. My mind fills with fear, my heart beats rapidly and my knees almost buckle underneath me. Having to deal with conflict is not an easy task. Don’t you wish you could just blink and have it all disappear? I seek for advice and hope that someone will
be able to relieve me of having to face my fears alone. But, I sing a hollow song, and only hear the echo from afar coming back empty to my ears.
Fighting back, or standing up for what you know is right, takes practice and experience. Psalms 118: 5 states, “Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid.” When we are backed up against the wall, then it is we cry out to God. Out of desperation we seek his counsel and help. And he hears us, coming to our aid. Friends, why does it take us so long to realize that our battles need not be fought alone? Our “giants” are real and they taunt us through their knowledge of us. They know that we are accustomed to reacting a certain way to their threats. We run and hide.
I was reading the accounts of Joshua and how he faced battles in settling the promised land. He and the people with him faced their enemies with confidence as they conquered the territory. In fact, their enemies had heard of them and feared them greatly. The Israelites were confident in their strength because they knew God’s power and trusted in his word. They had experienced God’s mighty power in crossing the sea, being fed in the desert and receiving water in a barren land. They knew him well. There was nothing that God would not do for them in helping to establish themselves within a new land.
Our natural tendency to any threatening action is to run. It takes a courageous person to stay and fight. Courage is facing your fears even when you feel like fleeing. One of my favorite bible chapters is Psalms 91 because it speaks of God’s protection of those who trust in him. “..that’s right, he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you — under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Fear nothing …. ” (MSG Bible). (I can almost hear a large booming voice speaking this to me from a mountaintop!) I know that it is true for I have experienced his strength when I had none.
The more you face your fears, the stronger you will become. Constant fear in itself is a lack of faith in God. God says that perfect love casts out fear. I love the scene in the movie Lord of The Rings where the princess stands her ground against the dragon. You can see the fear in her eyes but she continues to face the dragon, sword and shield in hand. As the dragon lashes out, she cuts off its head. She watches it roll off to the side, surprised that she actually killed the beast. This is reality. We face our fears head on and when the victory is ours we faint back with a sigh of surprised relief. I often wonder if God has a good laugh on us (in a good way… he does have a sense of humor!).
Friends, when you face a challenge …. face it with God’s power within you! Stand and fight. You will be victorious.