A friend’s children and a couple of their cousins took swimming lessons last week. Everyone learned much although some of them became quite adept at swimming. Her 5 year old son can now at least dog paddle in the water without going under.
But he wanted to do more than that. He wanted to dive from the diving board. He wanted to be able to jump in and swim to the edge. That was his goal.
His mom watched him as he stood on the diving board. He tried so hard to make himself jump yet his fear of heights was stronger than his desire to jump! He was encouraged by his grandmother and his mother and his swim coach. But shaking at the edge of the board, he could not bring himself to do it. Afterwards he was so frustrated with himself as he told his mother, “It looks easy from the side of the pool, but when I get up there it’s REALLY HIGH!” One day I am sure that sweet little boy will overcome his fears and enjoy the jump, but for now fear looks like the winner.
There is built within each one of us a desire to excel. We have high hopes for ourselves and great dreams and visions. We daydream of flying higher than high. We have the want to; we earnestly think about it, dream about it and plan it. But when it comes to doing it, to really putting feet to our ideals, that’s when trouble comes. That’s when fear shows up.
Fear is an incredible force – a foe to be reckoned with. It will take us by the hand and lead us totally away from our dreams, all the while telling us we just cannot do it. It will make us think we can’t breathe, we can’t move, we can’t go forward. Fear is a liar and a jailor. It will give us propaganda and then put us behind bars for life.
But there is Hope! His name is Jesus and He came to set us free! Free from fear itself and all of its cohorts – fear of failure, fear of the paste and all the regrets, fear of the future, fear of things, fear of people, and all of the other the fears that we can succumb to.
Nowhere in the Bible will you see your name tied to fear. Not once does God give you a spirit of fear. Never will He encourage you to let fear take you by the hand. Under no circumstances will God say, go back, you are too afraid! In fact, God Himself gives us marvelous witness to His abounding strength overcoming all our fears! Look to Gideon hiding from his enemies, Elijah running for his life, and Peter denying Christ; all of these great men of faith battled fears that plagued their lives and yet they went on to overcome those fears!
Oh beloved, it’s time to step out on the end of the diving board of life and take the plunge! God means for you to have life MORE abundantly! He says to you this morning, I know your fears and I know your weaknesses, but through ME you can go where I send you and thwart the enemy’s tactical forces of fear. Today is your day to say No to Fear and send it back where it came from. It’s your day to reach for the sky with faith and achieve the goals God has put on your heart.
God loves you and He’s for you and that, beloved, always puts fear to flight!
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.
Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Isaiah 41:13 For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’
Psalm 31:24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!
Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.