Thursday, May 11, 2017

Much More In Our Faith

 The main Scripture text tonight in church was in Romans 8:15, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father." And another from 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 

There are 3 enemies of fear: 
→ Power (or faith)
→ Love
→ A Sound Mind

According to this article in Psychology Today, there are 5 types of fear: 

  1. Extinction—the fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. This is a more fundamental way to express it than just calling it "fear of death." The idea of no longer being arouses a primary existential anxiety in all normal humans. Consider that panicky feeling you get when you look over the edge of a high building.
  2. Mutilation—the fear of losing any part of our precious bodily structure; the thought of having our body's boundaries invaded, or of losing the integrity of any organ, body part, or natural function. Anxiety about animals, such as bugs, spiders, snakes, and other creepy things arises from fear of mutilation.
  3. Loss of Autonomy—the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control. In physical form, it's commonly known as claustrophobia, but it also extends to our social interactions and relationships.
  4. Separation—the fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else. The "silent treatment," when imposed by a group, can have a devastating psychological effect on its target.
  5. Ego-death—the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one's constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.
It's interesting that in Romans 8:15, Paul wrote that we have not received the spirit of bondage to fear. Note he didn't say "the spirit of fear"..but that, as sons (and daughters) of God we didn't inherit the bondage to it.  He didn't stop there..Paul said we've "received the
Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father." The example used tonight was that of a child who is afraid in the darkness and calls out to his dad. His dad comes to the room with a flashlight letting the child know that he is here and everything is ok. The comparison, of course, was to God our Heavenly Father and that as children and heirs of God, we can cry out to Him when we feel the chains of fear wrap around us. 

No matter what category of fear we may suffer from, we must remember that we are equipped with the Spirit. 

• Through dark times, we can cry out in FAITH believing He will come to our rescue, and reassure us that His light can cast out the darkness.

• Through dark times, we can cry out in LOVE knowing God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son to free us from Satan's vices. 

• Through dark times, we can cry out with a SOUND MIND trusting His Word when He says He'll never leave or forsake us.

There are a lot of things in the world that can make us afraid. Fear distracts us from the truth of God's word and robs us of His purpose for our life. But, there is so much more to faith than we have discovered, I'm sure, to make us unafraid. What is our first instinct? To give in? To be bound by fear, rendering us ineffective? Or do we cry out, "Abba Father" in power (faith), in love, and with a sound mind? 

I love the quote I found posted in the blog title photo at the top: "There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid." Do we believe it? 

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