The Fear Factor
2 Timothy 1:7New Life Version (NLV)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.
Forward Thinkers, as we embrace our journey, we must overcome the fear factor. Fear is designed to make cowards out of men of faith. Notice the bible makes it real clear; fear doesn’t come from God. When God created us, He gave us power and authority and then encouraged us by telling us no weapon formed against us would prosper.
Two other keys I see here in 2 Timothy is, God gave us the spirit of love and I know the bible says love never fails and when I’m operating in love, God can do more for me than I can think, ask, or imagine. The final thing here before we move into the main text is God declared we would have a good mind, meaning we would be good decision makers. Forward Thinkers, no way around it, we become products of our decisions.
In 2017, we must decide to embrace our journey and overcome fear.
“We must build walls of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
During Hurricane Katrina, it was not the amount of water that wiped out New Orleans but it was the lack of strength of the walls in place that caused New Orleans to flood out. Forward Thinkers, we must take Dr. King’s words of wisdom in 2017 and build walls of courage and faith big and strong enough to stop fear from flooding us off our journeys.
Genesis 12:10-13 10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
Forward Thinkers, I love the fact that the bible allows us to see the character flaws of the super heroes in the bible because it gives me hope and encourages me to embrace my journey no matter what I go through; it’s all part of God’s master plan.
Forward Thinkers, yes, God can and does use messed up people.
Abram, the Father of Faith, will temporarily be overcome by fear and if we are not careful, fear is waiting to capture us and rob us of our faith and force us off our journey.
Let me pull seven quick fear factors out of this text:
1) Fear comes in when God is ignored
Notice when Abram gets to Egypt, he doesn’t build the Lord an altar like he did at previous stops along his journey. Abram is so focused on what’s going on in this foreign place he loses focus on the promises of God.
Forward Thinkers, in 2017, we must not allow Donald Trump or anything else to cause us to take our focus off the promises of God.
Wherever God allows us to go, he already knew the details of the land and he has promised to make us a great nation.
Embrace the journey, even if it takes us through a foreign or unknown place.
2) Fear hangs out in times of famine
Abram receives a promise from God that he is going to be a great man, then he ends up in Egypt during a famine. A famine is a period of time where there is a great deal of lack and fear wants you to panic and start to believe God can’t take care of you during a famine.
A few of us are old enough to remember the days of Reaganomics, and all of us remember the years in the Bushes; but guess what? Somehow, someway, God brought us out.
Forward Thinkers, I just made the biggest financial decision in the life of my ministry at the same time Trump is becoming President because I believe God is getting ready to raise up a remnant (synonyms: leftovers, remains, residue) of people of faith that did not quit when it may have made sense to quit.
3) Fear desires to keep you stuck in the past
Remember, Abram had never really won anything yet. His father and brother had died and his wife was barren and in reality, the only thing he had entering Egypt was God’s word.
I know you super spiritual people will say that’s all he should have needed but the reality for the rest of us is, it’s hard to believe when you never experienced victory or have been exposed to a winning atmosphere.
Abram will become a better man after God delivers out of this situation because he will then have some proof text that God is able.
Forward Thinkers one of my goals here at this huge new location is to expose young people of color to a winning atmosphere and at least present to them some new options that don’t look like their past results.
“Fear is a powerful enemy, but not one too strong to overcome.” – Kiley Kellermeyer, Damsel in Distress
4) Fear turns you into a liar
Abram will become the Father of Faith and his journey of faith will end up in the halls of faith in the book of Hebrews but in this story, fear will turn the man of faith into a liar.
Abram is so afraid of what might happen, he tells his beautiful wife to pretend like she is his sister. Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest fears known to man.
Forward Thinkers, the Thursday before this deal was complete, the fear of the unknown was trying to kick my butt but I keep telling everybody who showed that day; it’s only a faith test.
If you say you have faith in God, remember, God does not lie. So embrace your journey and stand on the truth of God’s word. He didn’t bring you this far to fail.
5) Fear makes you go into selfish mode
Fear caused Abram to become so selfish, he was willing to give his wife to another man so he could prosper during the famine.
I want you to pause and reflect a minute and examine some of your decisions you have made during times of fear.
Fear will have you in self mode and you’ll sacrifice others because you are afraid of what might happen to you.
Let me break something down to my young crew. I’ve been behind the scenes during many investigations and pre-trial hearings where the so-called homies, sometimes the toughest, hardest dude on the block, is faced with 50 years to life in prison and fear has him turning state evidence on any and everybody he knows.
Forward Thinkers, Abram was scared and fear makes you selfish.
6) Fear causes you to stop trusting in God
Abram was told by God to go on a journey to an unknown place and simply trust me. I’m going to bless you and make your name great and Abram responds in great faith with no procrastination. Every stop along the journey, Abram builds God an altar and gives God praise for his journey.
Forward Thinkers, we all can pass the faith test at a certain level but can we continue to trust God when things turn scary on us?
Can you trust God after your child is murdered, after your marriage crashes, after your business fails, after public disgrace, or after a medical hardship?
Fear will do everything it can to stop you from trusting God but we must always remember, God is love and there is no fear in love and there is definitely no defeat in love.
Forward Thinkers, I’ve made my mind up to trust God till the wheels fall off and even then I’ll trust him to replace or repair the wheels and if need be, I’ll trust him for wings if I run out of wheels.
7) Fear puts you in a hopeless position
Abram allowed fear to put him in a hopeless position. He let fear convince him there was no hope but I declare in the early days of 2017, we will all touch and agree with President Barack Obama and release the audacity of hope needed to embrace our journeys and win.
Hebrews 13:6 so we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Forward Thinkers, God delivers Abram and by faith, he returns back on his journey. Something may have attacked in 2016 or you may have had some very difficult roads to travel but embrace your journey and reconnect to God because God is love and love never fails.
“Fear plays games with your self-defined limitations, not your actual ones. To change your self-image, you must first face what causes you fear.” E. A. Deckard
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.