I want to start out today by being very honest with you all…
My name is justin and I suffer from acrophobia….
That’s the scientific way of saying….
I hate heights
My wife janae…. She doesn’t share this same fear
She jumped out of an airplane…. Me… Never….
Even talking about it makes me feel sick
I am scared to death of heights
I have a very real fear of heights….
Thank you god for making me short…. Because I don’t know if I could
Handle being tall….
>>>break<<< What about you? Who here has ever been afraid of something? Let’s see your hand if you are afraid of any of these things…. Public speaking Heights Spiders Snakes Sharks Drowning Blood or needles Flying Darkness Clowns Hopefully nobody here has pogonophobia which is the fear of beards My wife doesn’t have that fear either…. I am not surprised to seeing most you raising your hand multiple times in That list because those are some of the top fears amongst americans >>>break<<< I bet if we are honest… There are some other things that we are afraid Of that maybe we haven’t ever shared with anyone before…. Maybe you don’t consider yourself a person who deals with fear…. But maybe you worry a lot Or you have anxiety Or you have a lot of doubt Or you panic… Maybe you have panic attacks Or maybe you are extremely timid… Or maybe you are a controlling person… Or you have the fear of imperfection Or you have the fear of failure Or maybe you have trust issues All those things are a subset of a phobia… Or fear. Ok… So let’s try again…. With that list in mind… We all have something we fear…. And then there are the everyday fears that come and go with life… Something happening to your children Being alone for your entire life Dying Not being able to feed your family Foreclosing on your house Losing your job Failing your classes The political landscape Your marriage falling apart Deep down inside…We are all afraid of something, right? >>>break<<< Today I want to look at fear and what god has to say about why we need To become fearless people…. Here’s the big idea today: Misplaced faith leads to fear and deprives us of the peace found in Christ (x3) Let me give you a personal example of misplaced faith in my own life and How it has led to fear and not freedom…. >>>break<<<< The past few months we have been preparing to move to arizona. Packing, finding a house to move to, finding a school for our Daughter…. Going over a new budget…. The list goes on and on and on… The reality is that our decision to take this territory for my job was Not an easy decision. And at the end of the day it came about through countless hours in Prayer between my wife and I and some close friends and family. As we prayed we felt god telling us that this was the right next step For us. Does it all make sense on paper? No, not totally but we know That god has asked us to take this step and start the next chapter in Our lives in arizona. It would be great if I could tell you that once we made the decision Everything was just happy and exciting But the reality is that I started to get scared. I started to become fearful of this decision that we had made to move…. I have lost hours of sleep thinking about all the variables… Will we make enough, will we like it, will we make friends, will we find a Church…. Those quickly lead into a cascade of what if’s…. Worst case scenarios…. What if we can’t make ends meet and then what if we become homeless… What if we can’t make friends and what if I am terrible at this job… What if we move and we hate it and what if …. And what if…. Anyone else ever done this before? Lay in bed planning on sleeping and you start playing the what if game? Next thing you know it’s 3:30am and you ask…. What if I never fall asleep? It’s an endless cycle….. What I have discovered is that my fears really come to life when I have Misplaced where I am putting my faith and my hope When I starting putting my faith in myself and my abilities… I become Fearful. When I start putting my hope in other people….I become fearful When I find myself putting my faith in something, like money or a house Or a car…. I become fearful All those things that I often place my hope in, including me, will fail me. 100% of the time….It’s not if but when I will be let down and hurt by all Those things and people that don’t deserve my hope but I put it in them Anyway. Misplaced faith leads to fear and deprives us of the peace found in Christ >>>break<<< Did you know that the phrase “fear not” is used 365 times in the bible? 365 times! If I have to tell my kids something 365 times… I hope and pray that they Listen because I am obviously trying to tell them something of extreme Importance…. The fact that god tells us, in the bible, 365 times to not be afraid… Tells me that fear is a major factor in each one of our lives. Some of you are afraid that we are going to read all 365 verses about Fear today…. Well… Fear not… We aren’t going to do that. But we are going to look at some of them…. Why don’t you open your bible, bible app, blue oaks app or you can just Follow along on the screens as we dive into these verses about fear. >>>break<<< Let’s start with the old testament together to look at a couple stories Let’s go to exodus 4:1 A little backstory here…. Moses was adopted into the family of the pharaoh of egypt Moses had everything he ever wanted He had power, wealth, food, family, friends But a series of events, where moses kills an egyptian who was abusing a Hebrew slave, leads moses out into the desert alone and afraid… God then speaks to him through a burning bush…. Literally a bush that catches fire and is not consumed by the flames God tells moses to go back to egypt and pharaoh and demand that god’s People, moses true people the hebrews, be let go from their slavery… He gives moses some very specific instructions… Exodus 4:1 is where we hear moses respond to god… God who is speaking audibly to him through a burning bush…. Exodus 4:1 (nlt) “moses answered, “what if they do not believe me or listen to me and Say, ‘the lord did not appear to you’?” Does this sound familiar to anyone besides me? God… What if??? What if they don’t believe me? What if they don’t listen to me? What if they say the lord didn’t appear to you? What if god???? After god gives moses the playbook for liberating god’s people from The hand of the egyptians Moses still asks … What if? Essentially moses hears god and then misplaces his faith and hope for The entire situation in his Ability to deliver the message effectively In how the message will be perceived And if the message will be believed >>>>
Well moses ends up going and delivering the message and it all works
Out just as god planned and because moses finally placed his faith in
Moses was just like you and me…
Even when he heard god tell him exactly what to do…
He doubted him…
He was afraid of being wrong…
He was fearful of all the other potential outcomes…
Moses isn’t the only one…
There are countless stories in the bible of people being afraid because
They misplace their faith…
Let’s fast forward a little bit further into the old testament…
God told the israelites… The same group that had been liberated by the
Hand of god from pharoah….
The same people that had seen the seven plagues
The same people that had walked across the parted red sea on dry
God told them to go and occupy the promise land….The perfect place
That god had chosen for them and what do they do?
They get scared….
They go and scout out the land and they see that it’s amazing..
There is only one problem… There are giants living in the land
God knew that there were giants there
He also knew that the land was the perfect place for them
They lost sight of the promise because they became fearful
They misplaced their faith
They put their faith in their ability to defeat the giants instead of
Putting their faith in god’s plan and promise for them
They misplace their faith and they and deprived of the peace that comes
With just taking god at his word
This goes on for generations
Their fear is passed down through the years and the israelites become
Paralyzed with fear
Then after moses dies joshua leads the charge to finally take the
Promised land despite the fact that there are giants in the land
After the death of moses the servant of the lord, the lord said to
Joshua son of nun, moses’ aide: 2 “moses my servant is dead. Now then,
You and all these people, get ready to cross the jordan river into the
Land I am about to give to them—to the israelites. 3 I will give you every
Place where you set your foot, as I promised moses. 4 your territory
Will extend from the desert to lebanon, and from the great river, the
Euphrates—all the hittite country—to the mediterranean sea in the
West. 5 no one will be able to stand against you all the days of your
Life. As I was with moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor
Forsake you. 6 be strong and courageous, because you will lead these
People to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 “be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my
Servant moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,
That you may be successful wherever you go. 8 keep this book of the
Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may
Be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous
And successful. 9 have I not commanded you? Be strong and
Courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the lord
Your god will be with you wherever you go.”
God tells joshua, and us, to be strong and courageous and not fearful
To put our faith in him and not in what we see in front of us
Not in the what ifs
Not in our own abilities
God says…. Put your faith in me and I will bring you peace and freedom
So the question is how can we become fearless people?
I see three steps in this passage of joshua that will lead us into the
Peace of god and out of the fears that we have
>>>break<<< Step 1 – take god at his word Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your god. I Will strengthen you and help you…” John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the World gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Psalm 34:4 I sought the lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. When you take god at his word and you place your faith in him you will Have peace Step 2 – know god’s word Joshua 1:8 8 keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and Night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then You will be prosperous and successful. You have to be able to fact check in the moments of doubt and worry And I am not recommending snopes… I am talking about fact checking Using god’s word… The bible If you don’t know god’s word then how can you put your faith in it? You can’t Some of us already know this step but we simply don’t do it We want to do it, we intend to do it…. We even set up reminders on our Phones to do it… But we don’t And then we can’t figure out why we misplace our faith and become Fearful of making the wrong decision Meditate on god’s word and then you will unlock the peace that is Promised Step 3 – live fearlessly Joshua 1:9 9 have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be Afraid; do not be discouraged, for the lord your god will be with you Wherever you go.” 2 timothy 1:7 (nlt) “…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, And self-discipline.” “…God has not given us a spirit of fear…” God did not create us with a dna of fear or anxiety yet we find Ourselves living life with countless fears Sometimes, I don’t know if you can relate, I almost feel driven by fear Even when things are going well I start thinking this thought… “everything is going well…. I wonder what’s about to go wrong? I Wonder what storm in on the horizon.” I am so full of fear that even when I am in the good times I am afraid of What might be coming… This reminds us that god has not given us a spirit of fear We have to become fearless people We have to stop worrying, doubting, being anxious about things that are Out of our control…. We have to put our faith in god and become fearless >>>break<<< Here’s the question that I had to ask myself about my fears and I want You to ask yourself this question too…. If I live fearlessly… If I stop misplacing my faith and living in fear… How does that change everything for me? How does it change my family? My children? How does it change the way I interact with people? How does it change me? The second question is… What do I have to lose? If you go all in and trust god with everything what is the worst thing That can happen? I have come to the realization that it brings me peace That placing my faith in christ alone brings me a peace that drives out All my fears Its a daily, if not moment to moment battle to live fearlessly and im not Really always that good at it…. But I’ve started to just stop and instead of thinking…. How are we going to pay for that? Or how is that going to work? Or am I really going to succeed? I take my fears… And I hand them to god and I place my hope, trust and Faith in him And I start to think…. I am not sure how any of that is going to work but you do… And I trust You. Thank you for always going before me and faithfully taking care of all Our needs. My perspective changes It’s less about me and all about christ That’s where my fear turns to peace >>>break<<< As we enter into another new year I want to challenge all of us to let 2019 be the year that we live strong, courageous, christ centered lives. Let 2019 be the year that you became fearless The year of peace >>>break<<<
Maybe you’re here today and you don’t know christ… You don’t have a
Relationship with him and you came here today because 2018 was a rough
You came here with all kinds of fears…
You need peace but you aren’t sure where to find it.
I believe that you being here is a divine appointment and that today you
Can have the peace that surpasses all understanding… That conquers
Today you can have that relationship with christ that will bring you the
Peace you are looking for
Maybe you’re here today and you have had a relationship with christ for
Years but you still find yourself fighting fear every single day.
Maybe you feel consumed by your fears, anxiety, worry….
You want to hit the restart button as we go into the new year
Maybe like me… You need to take a minute and you need to place your
Faith back in christ and become a strong and courageous child of god
If that’s you today I want you to raise your hand and keep it up….
If today you want to place your faith and trust in jesus christ for the
First time today I want you to raise your hand in the air
Lets all pray together…..
Today I place all my trust in you
I confess that I have put my faith in so many other things and people
And today I want to refocus my heart and put my faith solely in you
I thank you now for the peace that you provide
I thank you for your mercy and grace
I acknowledge that you are the lord of my life
That you died on the cross for my sins…My fears….My worries… My
And that you rose again and defeated death on my behalf
Give me the courage and strength to be fearless in the face of my
Thank you for loving me