If you missed Part One of this post, you can read it here.
2. Who are you afraid of? Many people live in fear of another person. Peer pressure and the desire to be a people pleaser can be motivated by fear.
In the Old Testament, there is a fascinating story about Elijah the prophet. In first Kings 18, he has his famous confrontation with the 450 false prophets of Baal and 400 false prophets of Asherah. He challenged them to a duel of sorts. Whoever could get their god to send fire from heaven would be the God that Israel worshipped. At the end of the day, Elijah’s prayer was the one that God answered and fire came from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. Many of the false prophets were then put to death.
Just a few verses later in 1 Kings 19, though, the king’s wife, Jezebel, found out what had happened and sent a message to Elijah promising to have him put to death. The man of God who had just stood up to 850 false prophets and called fire down from heaven, was terrified by the threat of an evil woman. Elijah fled into the wilderness and fell into a deep depression.
The passage says that Elijah fled “alone into the wilderness.” Fear is irrational so much of the time. It does not make any sense. Elijah flees from Jezebel after just seeing God’s mighty power at work and after just displaying incredible courage. Elijah ran away into the wilderness by himself. One of the ways that we defeat fear is by having people around us who can be objective for us when that irrational fear wants to paralyze us.
Is there someone that you would admit to being afraid of? It might be your boss, a spouse, a child or your parents. We have let our fear of this person cloud our judgment and we have ended up doing things that we know we should not have done. Your boss has had you doing unethical things at work but you go along because you are scared of losing your job. Maybe you live in fear of your spouse. As an adult, you might live in fear or emotional bondage to your parents.
Some parents don’t discipline their children because they fear them. When the children are young, mom and dad let them do anything they want because they don’t want to be perceived as bad parents or they don’t want their children to dislike them. The end result of this lack of discipline, however, will be a teen-ager that runs the household. Mom and dad will have created a monster because they feared to discipline the child when they were young.
Is there someone that you have allowed to control your life through fear?
To be continued…
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