Mark Driscoll spoke on fear in the opening session of Catalyst Atlanta.
He began by stating: Every leader is afraid of something.
Fear in the mind causes stress on the body.
Your body will start to manifest that stress. Some suffer with depression, can’t sleep, eat or drink too much, they get stomach problems or headaches. Or some just start reading lots of books on the rapture thinking “God, aren’t we done yet?”
Jesus said, “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life?”
Fear is not always a sin, but it always is an opportunity. We can fear or trust in the Lord.
Questions to consider addressing fear:
What are you afraid of? - Some of you are afraid of conflict or failure.
Who are you afraid of? – Often someone other than God takes that place in your life. We start giving glory to them by attempting to satisfy them. We place people in positions of fear and we make them functional gods. Proverbs says the fear of man is a trap.
To examine that question more consider: Who’s opinion matters way too much to you? Is your appetite for praise unhealthy? Are you committed to people or things that God didn’t call you to?
Mark then shared 5 statements about fear:
Fear is vision without hope - (Fear is how we see things in the worst case scenario. This is the future and it’s going to be painful, so I’m stressed about it and living in dread toward it.)
Fear is not always rational, but it is always powerful – (It has a huge impact on us.)
Fear is about getting what we want or don’t want. (It’s self-absorbing.)
Fear preaches a false gospel – (We look for a solution we must find to save us rather than relying on God.)
Fear turns all of us into false prophets – (We predict a future that will never happen causing ourselves stress.)
Then Mark asked us to consider: What’s the solution?
The Bible gives a simple answer: FEAR NOT
It’s the most frequently mentioned command in the Bible.
God didn’t simply give us the command. Throughout the Bible God reminds us, “Fear not, for I am with you.”
Everything may not be okay in your life, but if God is with you, you’re going to be okay.
Driscoll closed with a story about his son being afraid. He comforted him by reminding him, “Fear not, your daddy is with you.”
This was a great reminder not to live in fear as believers. It’s especially timely for many of the pastors I know…including me. God is calling us to huge tasks. I see fear as a major stumbling block to following God’s will. We must not allow fear to disrupt or derail us.
Since this issue is on fear, and I suspect some may struggle with this, I refer to a couple posts I’ve written on fear:
7 Questions When Facing Fear
5 Reminders for Ridding Your Life of Fear