Last October, Jordan went with a friend and his family to the one & only Texas State Fair! (Yes Big Tex Burned to a crisp…very sad. I put our family picture from last year up with this blog.) Jordan did what any normal kid would do at the fair. He ate a lot of fried food, cotton candy, popcorn, etc…, and he rode rides, played pointless games, and had a great time. The day went bad quickly, when after getting on a ride that spun him around very fast, he got really sick. He threw up repeatedly in big blue trash can. It wouldn’t have normally bothered him, but two days before, on Saturday, he had suffered a mild concussion playing football. The effects of the concussion coupled with all the other “Fair Day” excitement, caused him to get sick. (Donna and I didn’t think to tell him not to ride rides that would have jostled his brain.) We went back to the fair the next week as a family, found the same trash can where he had thrown up, took a picture of him by it, and I wrote a blog about it.
This October it was “Fair Day 2012” again for our school district. Jordan asked if he could go the fair with the same family he went with last year. As Jordan was getting ready to go, I remembered what had happened last year, and to be honest…I felt fear. I didn’t want him to repeat what he went through last year, so I “warned” him about what rides to ride, to be "very careful" and reminded him of his experience last year. Jordan looked at me and said, “Dad, I had a concussion last year. That’s why I got sick. It won’t happen again. I’ll be fine!”
I’m so thankful Jordan didn’t receive my “warning!” He believed the TRUTH, went to the fair, and had a GREAT time!
Fear is paralyzing. If I’m honest; Fear has been the emotion at the core of most of my struggles in life. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure, Fear of abandonment, Fear of loss, Fear of not-doing-things-right, Fear of missed opportunities, etc… When we live in fear, we tend to project our fear into others’ lives around us. Since we are afraid, we want others to be afraid with us. (That truth applies to our other feelings too.)
I John 4:16-18 says, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
When we truly & genuinely understand the relationship we have with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, and how much He loves us, we will realize that our identity is not based on fear (or any other feelings\emotions). It’s not based on what we do, have done, or will do either. Our identity is based completely & totally on the finished work of Jesus Christ. That’s why John says we don’t have to be afraid of the “day of judgment!” We can have confidence because we can “live LIKE JESUS in this world” through the power of His presence IN US; the Holy Spirit.
Live like Jesus? Yes! We can live like Jesus! Jesus didn’t let feelings or emotions control Him, and we don’t have to let them control us either. How? By realizing that we can do what He did, live like He lived, and think like He thought! By choosing to believe & surrender to His Word, above what we feel, as His presence IN US, the person of the Holy Spirit, leads, guides, confirms, and renews our mind moment by moment…day by day. (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:8; II Corinthians 10:5)
Look at what Jesus said in John 14:23-26 to His disciples. This was right after Jesus had told them that He would be leaving soon to go back to His Father, and that caused them to feel some heavy fear & doubt. Jesus reassured them by saying, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Isn’t that Awesome?!? Jesus told them that they would never be alone, and that He and His Father would come to make their home with them. How? He said the Holy Spirit would be sent to them. God’s presence IN them! He would teach them everything and remind them of all that Jesus had said. That same promise is true for us when we believe and receive Jesus Christ into our lives. The Holy Spirit will teach us God’s thoughts, as we read His Word, and we can have peace of mind and heart as His presence stays with us always. It’s something that this world can’t give to us…So, We don’t have to be AFRAID! That’s the truth.
When Jordan looked at me and spoke TRUTH about going to the fair a few weeks back, I realized something. He wasn’t the one who was afraid…I was. I was projecting my fear and doubt into his situation…He didn’t receive it! He walked in faith and confidence, and the result was he had a great time!
Are you living in fear today? Is fear dictating your choices and decisions? Is it fueling your addictions and compulsions? Is it holding you back from stepping out in faith in an area of your life? Is it paralyzing you as you face a situation that seems insurmountable? Donna and I know how you feel!! We have been walking by faith now for two years, and we have faced some hard days too. But we can claim the following truth together. We can walk in Faith and Confidence today! Check out what Hebrews 11:6 says, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Jesus overcame it all for us! We don’t have to live in FEAR! We can proclaim & receive that truth today and walk just like Jordan did that day at the fair. He didn’t walk in fear…he walked in victory! He ate, he rode, and he conquered!! I’ll close with these final words Jesus said to his disciples just before he went to be crucified and offer His life as a sacrifice for us all.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33